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GP has retired. Feel like I can no longer access help.

SMW83 Community member Posts: 108 Courageous
edited January 2023 in Mental health and wellbeing
Hey guys,

I have suffered from Agoraphobia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and Anxiety for around ten years now having been subjected to a life altering incident.

I have had the same GP for around 8 years and have dealt solely with her during this time. This is mainly due to the fact she seemed to understand my ‘individual’ situation, was nonjudgmental and did not force me into any therapies/to take certain medications etc. if I was unsure about it.

Around 8 months ago, she retired without notice and ever since I have felt unable to seek medical help since this time. This is owing to the fact that when my GP has been on holiday/off ill/unavailable and I have had to deal with other GP’s/Nurse Practitioners etc. I have had incidents like Social Services turn up, the police arriving with a door ram to enter my home and being forced to go to a mental hospital for an assessment. Whilst these incidents were resolved quite quickly, the fact my agoraphobia renders me housebound and my PTSD means I struggle to
interact with people unknown to me and also means I do not like people I do not know, in my home, this causes my illnesses worse and my anxiety to be at its worse, all because the GP I have dealt with on that occasion have not looked at my medical file or not understanding my situation as a whole.

As stated since my GP’s departure I have felt unable to seek any medical assistance. I was extremely ill in early December and had to purchase antibiotics over the internet (from a register online GP practice) but it took over three weeks for me to get better. I cannot afford to do this each time and am concerned that if I was to have an emergency, that I wouldn’t know where to turn for assistance. 

I am also to undertake PIP reassessment in the coming months and am really concerned at the outcome should I have not spoken to a doctor in several months (as during my last reassessment they refused to accept my doctors letter as it was over three weeks old and “a lot could have changed in three weeks).

Any suggestions as to what to do or any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello there @SMW83 thanks for reaching out about this. It sounds like you and your previous GP had built up a really good working relationship, so it's no surprise that you're feeling concerned now that they've retired. A similar thing happened to me recently, as I went to book an appointment, and was told my previous GP had left, I had no idea. 

    It takes time to build up that trust with someone new from scratch, and hopefully your surgery can help support you with that. Perhaps you could arrange a telephone appointment with your new GP to run through your medical file together, and to help familiarise them with your situation as a whole, and then maybe a follow up appointment to talk about a letter for PIP?

    I cannot afford to do this each time and am concerned that if I was to have an emergency, that I wouldn’t know where to turn for assistance. 
    I'm glad you were able to access the treatment you needed online, but as you say, this can't be a permanent solution for you. If you're worried about where to turn in an emergency, it's always advisable to visit NHS 111 online or call 111. If you feel unsafe or in immediate danger you should always call 999.

    It doesn't have to be your GP you ask to support your PIP claim, you might find someone else who could support you with this. As it says on the Citizens Advice website:
    What to ask health professionals for
    When you contact the health professional, tell them that you’re making a claim for PIP and ask them to provide a letter explaining how your condition affects you. It’s important to do this because PIP is based on how your condition affects you and not the condition itself or the medication you take.  
    The DWP will look at how your condition limits your ability to do 12 tasks. If you want, you can ask the health professional to concentrate their comments on the tasks you need help with because of your condition and that you think are more important to your claim.
    The 12 tasks you’re assessed on are:
    • preparing a cooked meal
    • eating and drinking
    • managing your treatments
    • washing and bathing
    • managing toilet needs or incontinence
    • dressing and undressing
    • communicating verbally
    • reading and understanding written information
    • mixing with others
    • making decisions about money
    • planning and following journeys
    • moving around
    Who to ask for evidence
    You could ask for evidence from these health professionals:
    • your physiotherapist
    • your occupational therapist
    • your social worker
    • your counsellor
    • your support worker
    • your consultant
    • your nurse 
    • your doctor or GP 
    Some health professionals won’t help with benefit applications and others may charge a fee for doing so.

    I hope this information helps, but if there's something I've missed please don't hesitate to ask. It can feel isolating when we lose contact with people we know and trust, but you've taken a positive step reaching out here on the forum. Let us know how things go when you can :)

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