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Date: 27.12.2022
From: PeterMac

Subject: Referral to Rheumatologist

Hi all, can anyone advise me if there is an absolute right to be referred to a rheumatologist please. My wife was diagnosed with polyarthritis over 30 years ago aged 20 and was seen by a specialist for a number of years. Then, in 2007 following a blood test which showed no inflammatory markers, was discharged without notice from the clinic, although the symptoms persisted. There is now irreversible joint damage and we have sought an opinion privately, where she was told to seek a referral from her GP who in turn told her her they can't / won't refer her as there is no rheumatoid factor present in her bloods. (Been told by another professional that this may not always show). I suspect the real reason for non-referral is that the waiting times in our area are up to 44 weeks for 90% of patients. Meanwhile her condition is getting worse and we can't afford private treatment. Can anyone please advise how we can force a referral? Thanks so much and apologies for the long post
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Date: 28.12.2022
From: Daffodil

Subject: Re: Referral to Rheumatologist

I would go back to your doctor and keep going back until your wife is referred to determine the type of polyarthritis she has and receive the treatment she needs. Ask him to explain why your wife is in so much pain and getting worse. If it gets really bad, go to A&E or ER, depending where you live.
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