Advice needed please - possible medical negligence/disability discrimination? — Scope | Disability forum
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Advice needed please - possible medical negligence/disability discrimination?

hopeinmyheart Community member Posts: 2 Listener

I will try to keep this as brief as possible whilst also being as clear as I can. If you need any points clarifying, please ask. 

In March this year I began suffering from elevated blood pressure (129/110), chest pains, and elevated heart rate (over 120bpm at rest). I tried to get an appointment at doctors for weeks but, like many other people currently, could not. 

I ended up in A and E, who informed me that I was not having a heart attack, but they took some blood and told me my results would be available at my GP surgery the next day. 

I called my then GP surgery, and was informed by the receptionist that because i had gone to a Liverpool hospital and my GP was Knowsley, they couldn't access the system to see my results and i would have to wait two weeks to receive my results via post. 

I pointed out the absurdity of this, and was told that i either had to use Knowsley hospitals, or switch to a Liverpool doctors if i wanted to access prompt results in future. (For context, I live on the boundary between Liverpool and Knowsley, one end of the street is Liverpool, the other end, Knowsley.)

With this information, I went and applied to a Liverpool doctors at the bottom of the road and wrote to the practice manager of the knowsley GP to explain why I was leaving the surgery. 

The practice manager wrote back to me that afternoon and said they had been in touch with the Liverpool hospital, my results were now known, and could i go around and see a GP that evening. 

I did, and the GP put me on medication for my heart and referred me for a 24 hours ECG and a scan on my throat because of difficulties swallowing i was having and a lump on my neck. 

The next morning, I called the Liverpool doctor I had applied for the day before, and asked them not to add me to their system as I was now receiving treatment from my doctor and I didnt want to disrupt it. They assured me they wouldnt add me. 

2 weeks later I called the Knowsley GP for a repeat prescription and was informed that I had been taken off their list, and asked had I registered elsewhere. I then called the Liverpool Drs and was told I had been added. This was a little annoying, but I just went along with it, thinking it would at least save me the future complications of Liverpool hospital/Knowsley GP. 

However, the new Liverpool doctors had multiple issues accessing my results from the 24 hour ECG and throat ultrasound because the referring GP was different to my current GP. 

I had my throat Ultrasound done approx 20th April this year. I spent weeks asking the new doctors to get my results. I went to the hospital I had it done at 3 times and asked them to send it to my new GP. 

In the meantime, a private dentist had refereed me to hospital to investigate a growth I had on the roof of my mouth. Antibiotics hadn't shifted it, so he sent me to Maxillofacial for further testing. The consultant told me I was going for a CT scan, and I asked if this would pick up any issues with my throat and explained the issues i had been having. He said it possibly might, but that it isn't their area of expertise, that I should ask my doctor to refer me to an ears nose and throat specialist.

On the 22nd of June the Liverpool GP finally received my results from the April ultrasound, and asked me to go around to be told them. I met a doctor who called me the wrong name, googled medical words that was in my results letter, and told me I had a 6mm growth on my thyroid. I asked him to refer me to an Ears nose and throat specialist and he said "No. You are already waiting to see a cardiologist. You are being investigated for the lump in your mouth. We have taken bloods and they are only slightly outside the normal range. We are doing all we can"

At this point I put in a complaint to the practice manager and asked if I could please be referred to an ENT specialist.

The next day, the practice manager called me up and said she would investigate my complaint, but in the meantime she would be removing me from their practice. I asked why and she said because i asked to be removed. I said i didn't ask. She responded by telling me that i did, the day after i put my application in I asked them not to add me, that she was sorry for the delay, that she would now grant my request and remove me. I begged and pleaded with her not to. I said I didn't want to experience the same issues with delayed results etc as i had since moving to her surgery. 

I asked was she removing me because of my complaint, and she said "no, i assure you, it is simply because you asked"

I asked to be re-added, and she said no and wouldn't elaborate on why. 

I currently do not have a GP. I have had to call 111 to get emergency supplies of my blood pressure/heart tablets. 

I am going into hospital on friday to have the growth on the roof of my mouth removed and biopsied. They keep telling me how essential it for me to have a GP. When i check for Gp practices in my area on the only 1 who is taking on my postcode is the one who removed me and refuses to add me. 

I assure anyone reading this I have never became abusive or threatening to anyone in the doctors surgery. I have become upset and cried during the weeks I was trying to get my results, but never aggressive.

My blood pressure is currently unmonitered. It is very high when I take my home readings but i am unsure what to do about this? I dont want to just increase my own medication. My bloods were being monitered because kidney problems are a potential side effect of the medication they have put me on - but when she removed me from the practice, my blood tests were cancelled and I do not know if I am okay. Stopping blood pressure tablets is not recommended. So I do not know what to do. 

I spoke to the integrated care board, and they asked the practice manager to take me back, but she told them no and didnt give them a reason either. The ICB lady I was talking to didnt think this was an issue and told me to find a new GP using the postcode checker. I explained that I had and the only surgery that came up was that one. She told me to phone around until I find one that will take me outside their catchment area. I have been trying but so far, cannot.

I feel really strongly that I have been wronged, but if you are reading this and think I havent, please could you explain why so i can understand.

Do you think I have any legal recourse?

Added context, I know this post may make me look like a hypochondriac, but I had not used my Drs for about 7 years previously. I do not wish to be a drain on the NHS and treat everything at home that i can. I do not have a history of always asking to be referred to specialists unnecessarily. If this were the case, I would more understand the refusal of the ENT.

The practice manager assured me that I was removed by my own volition, but i had never asked to be removed, I only ever asked to not be added, which they disregarded. It was only 2 months later, the day after I had put in a complaint, that I was told I was being removed. It had never been mentioned to me previously. 

The lack of a reason for why I wont be accepted back is also concerning. 

As I have stated, I have never been abusive or threatening. I do have a diagnosed mental health condition, a symptom of which is emotional dysregulation (which is why i would start crying when being told "sorry, we still don't have your results, go the hospital and try and get them yourself" over and over again. The frustration of the situation would overwhelm me. I have been distressed in the surgery, but i cannot stress enough that it never was abusive or threatening. I was only ever really, really sad. 

I know that I am a difficult person, and someone crying must be annoying to deal with. But I feel that Drs of all places should be understanding of this, and it doesn't seem a good enough reason to deny me access to services. 

If you have read this far, thank you for sticking with me. It wasnt as brief as I initially hoped and i apologise for that. If you have any advice, even if that advice is "let it go, nothing bad has happened to you" I would be grateful to hear it. 




  • Wilf60
    Wilf60 Community member Posts: 12 Connected
    Wow what a story! I can understand your problems especially living in Wales which has a completely different Health Service to England and I have experienced issues with one being unable to access the others Medical Records.

    It seems you have been a victim of circumstances and in your shoes I would be livid. I am not a solicitor so cannot give you Bona fide advice only the 'wisdom' of my own experiences.

    Firstly, almost certainly you were removed from the GP list because you made a compliant. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about it, expect make an official complaint in writing. It could be that the surgery is potentially discriminating against you because of your disability but to prove that you have to build a case on the balance of probabilities. 

    If I were you, I would start by making the compliant in writing and asking for a reason why your request to be re-listed was refused. Make it clear you're not asking why you were delisted; you want an answer to why you were refused to be re-listed. Don't make any mention of disability discrimination at this stage as they might say something they shouldn't in their reply. They won't do that if you tip them off.

    As for your non-GP status have you tried calling the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 22 33?

  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 1,483 Scope online community team
    This is a really awful story to read. I have had issues with administration staff at GP surgeries being unempathetic but this is worse than I've ever had to deal with. Can I ask if there has been any further contact or if the complaint was finalised?

    If so you could look at contacting the NHS England Ombudsman here Welcome to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman | Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) . Have you looked into any of the other options community members have already given?
    They/Them, however they are no wrong pronouns with me so whatever you feel most comfortable with
    Online Community Specialist

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  • hopeinmyheart
    hopeinmyheart Community member Posts: 2 Listener

    Thank you to the three of you for your kind and helpful responses. 

    As an update on the situation, the doctors has failed to respond to my request to be told why i wasn't re added. I think I am going to report it to the parliamentary ombudsman on monday. I will update any and all future results, just in the name of story closure. 

    On a personal level, I have found a GP who is out my catchment area who has taken me on, so I at least have a place for my hospital results to be sent to. 

  • Wilf60
    Wilf60 Community member Posts: 12 Connected

    Thank you to the three of you for your kind and helpful responses. 

    As an update on the situation, the doctors has failed to respond to my request to be told why i wasn't re added. I think I am going to report it to the parliamentary ombudsman on monday. I will update any and all future results, just in the name of story closure. 

    On a personal level, I have found a GP who is out my catchment area who has taken me on, so I at least have a place for my hospital results to be sent to. 

    Good for you buddy and well done for standing up to that awful GP practise. You are doing the right thing. There must be a way of escalating the compliant. Do everything in WRITING. That way there is a paper trail and the surgery can't get away with bu****itting its way out of the corner they seem to have got themselves into.

    Great news that you have found a new GP. At least that is one thing ticked off the list.

    Good luck keep us up dated.
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 5,879 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 19
    @hopeinmyheart I'm so glad you have a GP who has taken you on! :)

    Please do keep us updated!
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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