SCOPE, the disability charity, has some excellent advice on its website

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Hospital cutbacks mean time is even shorter, Patients need to plan for their appointment so as to ensure they get maximum benefit

With cut-backs across the NHS board, and extended waits to see doctors, Scope has posted an article with some very sensible advice from Zec Richardson on on making the most of your limited appointment time, particularly with the rush-rush that is often all we get.

Zec warns, as you know, Consultants are on a time limit in clinic and have most probably already done their ward rounds and have surgery still planned for later that day. So they need to review your case and tell you what the next step is and they want this to be quick so clinic doesn’t over run. 

So how do you get your concern’s heard?

Particularly in today’s pared-down NHS, where everything has been cut –  secretaries (who used to keep Consultants up-to-date with your case) have been made redundant, time for each patient cut,  etc. Added to which is the time you probably have to wait.  When you finally get called to see the doctor you may have forgotten why you are there in the first place!


Tips to help you make the most of precious appointment time:

  • Make a list of questions that you want to ask
  • Make a list of any new symptoms
  • Don’t be afraid to stop the consultant if you don’t understand
  • If you’re not 100% happy with the treatment or surgery being offered, say so because it’s your body
  • Take someone with you who understands your health problems
  • Zec marks with marker pen areas where the pain is worse (he says it sounds silly but it helps remember when you are trying to think of things)
  • If you’re not happy with your consultant, say so.
  • Remember, you have the right to a second opinion.
  • Be polite always and never raise your voice.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you did a Google search and it has raised some questions on possible treatments

I liked this

Particularly the last item – a man after my own heart.  What doctors tend to forget is that many of their eminent colleagues have posted information on the web, and most of us have enough brains to be able to sort out the quacks and the scams and find the real gems.  These might often give clues as to what’s wrong with us, and possible causes for action suggested by some of the most eminent doctors around.


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