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Registering with a new GP - refusing home visits

V

Verity

Guest
Hi,

I have moved home to a new area which took me several months to actually build up to and do with support. I suffer from panic disorder, agoraphobia & complex PTSD and have been pretty much housebound since 2011.

I have been getting repeat prescriptions (Escitalopram) from my old GP while I access a new GP in my new area. Accessing GP services is proving to be a nightmare as my local GP practice is stipulating that I need to visit the surgery to register. I have not been able to attend a GP or any other health service since 2011 or before this time due to PTSD issues. My health checks were always up to date previously.

My previous GP is now refusing to provide me with any further prescriptions without seeing me. I have 1 weeks medication supply left and I'm feeling very stressed about this situation. I am working to move forward with my mental health after a crisis earlier this year, but just feel that there are the same obstacles coming up over and over. If I could get to a surgery, I would, but I can't.

I was assessed by a CMH team 6 weeks ago at home. I raised this issue and requested a letter of support from the MH nurse who assessed me to support my request for home visits from my new GP. She said that she would be in touch after her annual leave, but I haven't heard anything, so I will have to call her tomorrow (I also struggle with phone calls now so this is causing me further stress).

Has anyone experienced these issues before and how did you negotiate them? Does a GP have a legal right to refuse home visits for those who cannot get to the surgery? If so, this excludes me from me receiving GP services. Surely this can't be right?

Apologies for the long post. I thought that background information would help and I'm getting increasingly anxious about this situation.

All replies will be very gratefully received.

Verity
 
Gajolene

Gajolene

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
7,826
Location
small town Ontario, Canada
Hi Verity was just wondering if you have any family/friend support?, maybe you could arrange to visit the office off hours when there are no other patients in the office. I know how difficult it is when panick is making you agorophobic, but the doctors will encourage you to get out of the house for these appointments, and to start reentering and interacting with society. Are you in any counselling or have you been relying solely on your pills?
 
V

Verity

Guest
Hi Gajolene,

The nearest GP surgery is a 15 minute bus ride and 10 minute walk or / 10 minutes by car. I do not have transport and have not used public transport since 2011.

I have had very little input from my GP, apart from anti depressant medication. She could not advise me on managing the symptoms of of depersonalisation during her last visit as she did not know what it was. The only thing that I have been advised to do as my mental health deteriorated was to increase my medication, which never helped.

I have been prescribed diazepam in the past (to manage the effects of a new antidepressant I was prescribed!) which I refused to take as my work in the past (social work) dealt with supporting people coming off diazepam after becoming dependent. I don't want to further complicate my recovery by adding this medication into the mix.

I managed my panic attacks successfully for 11 years with good diet, exercise & relaxation. During this period I was independent, travelled the world, alone on occasions and had a good quality of life. So, the loss of my freedom and independence is devastating for me and not something I am prepared to accept. However, with so many years of trauma it will take the time and effort on my part, with input from support services to repair my confidence and level of functioning.

****MAY TRIGGER****

My mental health deteriorated severely when I was raped in 2007 (in my own home which is a main reason for my move when I had the financial means to do so), which triggered traumatic memories of childhood sexual abuse and complex PTSD symptoms. I reported this, was further traumatised by the police investigation. I self referred for rape crisis counselling, which my employer made it difficult for me to attend as my employer viewed employees as resources as opposed to humans with needs. I held on to my career for the next 3 1/2 years until my symptoms prevented me from functioning.

I have been referred for psychotherapy with an approximate waiting time of 2 years. I am awaiting completion of my Community Mental Health assessment, referral for a support worker and CPN in the interim. I am considering short term use of beta blockers (still not sure) to help me with exposure therapy.

I don't think that a home visit is too much to ask for? I could probably get to the doctors if I medicated myself away, but why should I? This would only mask the real problem and add to my existing problems.

Their is still a massive failure to acknowledge the scope of mental distress and take it seriously, which is so damaging and impedes recovery. If I had a broken leg or back complaint there would be no issue with me requesting a home visit.

I am now left with the prospect of withdrawing from my anti depressants without tapering due to lack of supply because my mental health problem is inconvenient to the very services designed to help me. I can't tell you how distressed this whole situation makes me.

Thank you for taking the time to respond, Gajolene. I appreciate it.

Verity
 
coldwater00

coldwater00

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
3,380
Location
Yorkshire
That sounds dreadful.

I don't know what to suggest other than ringing the surgery up again and explaining your situation in detail, whilst adding how unfair it would be to push your mental health further over the edge by forcing you to withdraw from the antidepressant you are on.

I don't know if this would be possible without you being registered at another GP but could you get the medication delivered to your home from a pharmacy in the interim?
 
V

Verity

Guest
That sounds dreadful.

I don't know what to suggest other than ringing the surgery up again and explaining your situation in detail, whilst adding how unfair it would be to push your mental health further over the edge by forcing you to withdraw from the antidepressant you are on.

I don't know if this would be possible without you being registered at another GP but could you get the medication delivered to your home from a pharmacy in the interim?
Hi Coldwater,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it :)

I think my only option right now is to request that the CMH nurse who is currently assessing me liaises with the GP surgery I am trying to register with for the very reasons you stated.

Best wishes

Verity
 
apple

apple

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2014
Messages
707
hi Verity,

I'm sorry to hear of the situation that you are in. Have you tried contacting an advocate through Mind? Sometimes if an advocate is involved, it can make all the difference in how doctors respond - as I found from experience when I had one when in hospital.

Also, Rethink's advice line might be of some help. I am wondering if your GP not being willing to come out to you could be considered discrimination?

Best wishes,

apple xx
 
V

Verity

Guest
hi Verity,

I'm sorry to hear of the situation that you are in. Have you tried contacting an advocate through Mind? Sometimes if an advocate is involved, it can make all the difference in how doctors respond - as I found from experience when I had one when in hospital.

Also, Rethink's advice line might be of some help. I am wondering if your GP not being willing to come out to you could be considered discrimination?

Best wishes,

apple xx
Hi apple :)

Lovely to hear from you as always!

Thank you for your advice. I had not considered these options. I will call on Monday along with calling my CMH nurse.

I'm sure that a GP refusing to attend in my circumstances is discrimination, from what I have read, so I will pursue this.

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

I hope that you are well and being kind to yourself :hug:

Verity x
 
cherish

cherish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
357
Location
uk
Hi verity,my GP is not very understanding about mental health problems at all so i'm thinking of trying another GP which is very scary but i think finding the right doctor is so important ,someone who you can trust and be honest with. I hope you have someone who can help you arrange appointments as i know how nervous speaking on the phone can be.
I think some doctors believe if you just go out more you will get better, which isn't true, this is why agoraphobia and social anxiety is so hard to treat because you have to interact with what scares you most ( people )to even start to get help.You have survived a lot in your life and i admire your determination to get better, it is just a shame that people are making getting help so hard for you.
Best of luck :hug5:
 
V

Verity

Guest
Hi verity,my GP is not very understanding about mental health problems at all so i'm thinking of trying another GP which is very scary but i think finding the right doctor is so important ,someone who you can trust and be honest with. I hope you have someone who can help you arrange appointments as i know how nervous speaking on the phone can be.
I think some doctors believe if you just go out more you will get better, which isn't true, this is why agoraphobia and social anxiety is so hard to treat because you have to interact with what scares you most ( people )to even start to get help.You have survived a lot in your life and i admire your determination to get better, it is just a shame that people are making getting help so hard for you.
Best of luck :hug5:
Bless your heart, Cherish. You are such a lovely woman :hug:

A good GP is essential but very hard to find, I agree.

I have one person in my life who I love very much and sees me for me, we love & help each other, so I am very fortunate in that sense.

Overcoming agoraphobia takes so much effort and undoing of the hurts and fears that made agoraphobia develop in the first place. It is too simplistic and shows a lack of understanding to just tell someone to go out and deal with those fears without the correct input.

I feel like such a failure at times for being unable to carry out basic functions of day to day life. Messages like yours give me hope. Thank you.

I admire your spirit, warmth and compassion for others when you have your own struggles to contend with.

Be kind to yourself as much as you are to others.

Huge hugs :hug5:

Verity x
 
C

caringer472

Active member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
26
Location
UK
I have just registered with a new GP practice as I have moved to England. My GP practice in Scotland was rather good and understanding of my anxiety, but not sure about what this practice will be like. I run out of citalopram in 4 days and just newly registered and won't get an appointment in that time. I'm too anxious to phone and explain that I need an urgent prescription. I would love if a GP came out to see me because I detest waiting rooms and people even glancing at me is enough to freak me out and make me anxious.
I would change practice if I were you. Health professionals and the whole general public need to realise anxiety conditions are just as disabling as psychical health problems, sometimes even worse.
 
V

Verity

Guest
Hi Andrew,

I absolutely agree. I never experienced a problem getting a home visit when I had sciatica and could not walk. I feel that my agoraphobia is much more disabling, yet I have to fight for a home visit.

Please do not withdraw without support from your SSRI. Please call or get someone else to call the out of hours GP as your situation is classed as a medical emergency and you have every right to a home visit.

Let me know how you get on.

Huge hugs :hug:

Verity x
 
V

Verity

Guest
After my partner calling my current GP and community mental health nurse every day since I last posted without reply from either, I cut my medication by 50% as a short term measure to ensure that I had at least some medication to keep me going.

I am now very much in withdrawal and experiencing horrid side effects including heightened anxiety, severe depression, dysthymia, tearfulness, poor concentration & co ordination, lethargy, poor quality sleep, dizziness & depersonalisation.

My partner has had to get a train this afternoon to the previous city I lived in to speak personally to my current GP and attempt to renew my prescription. He was reluctant to leave me alone as my current mood is hugely concerning to him. I tried to reassure him to alleviate the stress that this experience is causing him. But in all truth, I feel like a nutter! (I would never use that term to describe anyone else, but this term encapsulates how I honestly feel right now)

I have completely lost my spark, positivity & all evidence of my former personality in the last week.

I feel very ill.

I feel very angry.

I feel very let down.

If GP's insist on prescribing psychoactive drugs, do not withdraw them prematurely only to leave people in a worse state than the state that they started from. This affects individuals and family units to an extent you obviously don't give a f**k about.

I was / am an intelligent, articulate woman who is now looking, feeling and acting no better than your common & garden drug addict in need of a fix.

How dare you medicalise my legitimate feelings & distress and refuse to address these needs other than medicate them away as the cheapest / most convenient option.

To my GP, you have let me down hugely on multiple occasions over 14 years. To my community mental health nurse / team who empowers recovery. Bullsh*t! You visited me once and do not have the courtesy to return calls stating that I am in crisis due to my medication being withheld due to a move of address.

Brace yourselves. I am crying now and barely getting through each day. When I recover, I will hold you all accountable for your failings. You are paid very well for a piss poor service that risks lives.

I apologise for my expletives in this post. I am furious at being let down by health services that I have paid into all of my life, that are putting my life at risk and causing huge distress to my partner.
 
cherish

cherish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
357
Location
uk
It's ok to be angry it sounds like apart from your partner you have not had much support from the people who's very job is to support you. I 'm going through something very similar myself, a doctor that really doesn't understand or have any sympathy for mental health problems, my antidepressants seem to be making me worse and yet i don't feel like i can go to my doctor and ask for help and they never have my medication there when i have run out which means every month i have to go a couple of days without and i think that really messes with me.
I think it's a smart idea that you take half your medication instead of going without any but you shouldn't even have to do that, i'm sorry it sounds like your having an awful time of it right now , it will pass ( that's what i keep telling myself )and hopefully then you can start to put in place a better support system:flowers:
Your partner sounds lovely and very supportive and remember you can always come here and even if it's only a :hug1: or if you just want somewhere to vent your anger :mad: remember your not alone.
ps I'm a nutter too xxx
 
Davey Blueeyes

Davey Blueeyes

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Messages
756
Location
Isle of Wight
Oh Verity, I'm so sorry about all this, it must be awful. I'm so glad you have someone there supporting you, I can't believe this is happening.

Okay, here's what you do. Get your partner to call up the local Adult Safeguarding team and get them to report you at risk, which you are as a vulnerable adult and see if that helps. It flipping should!

Plus you are right to be angry and it's healthy to be angry about this, you need to be able to express yourself right now
Davey x
 
V

Verity

Guest
It's ok to be angry it sounds like apart from your partner you have not had much support from the people who's very job is to support you. I 'm going through something very similar myself, a doctor that really doesn't understand or have any sympathy for mental health problems, my antidepressants seem to be making me worse and yet i don't feel like i can go to my doctor and ask for help and they never have my medication there when i have run out which means every month i have to go a couple of days without and i think that really messes with me.
I think it's a smart idea that you take half your medication instead of going without any but you shouldn't even have to do that, i'm sorry it sounds like your having an awful time of it right now , it will pass ( that's what i keep telling myself )and hopefully then you can start to put in place a better support system:flowers:
Your partner sounds lovely and very supportive and remember you can always come here and even if it's only a :hug1: or if you just want somewhere to vent your anger :mad: remember your not alone.
ps I'm a nutter too xxx
Oh Cherish,

Firstly, I am so glad to hear from you. You are a beautiful person and I consider you as a friend :hug:

My partner does not live with me as he is a carer for his Mum, I can't tell you how many times they have messed up my prescription, caused him to lose money on pre booked train tickets over to me. More importantly, they have caused him huge stress as he suffers from depression himself as a result of childhood experiences and his current caring role.

My partner is lovely. We support each other greatly, but I do not want his health to suffer just to get my medication.

Do you know, my GP has f**ked up a huge part of my recovery plan. It is my birthday on Sunday. Me and my partner had planned to go out cycling this week, short distances, to get me used to going out again (after not going out for almost 4 months) We booked a local hotel for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. I am struggling to get out of bed and sit up straight right now due to side effects.

I really do appreciate having a safe place here to visit. I feel like I am losing a mind. My own GP made me an addict. I never used recreational drugs in my life, but I am suffering all of the downs without ever experiencing the ups!

You are not a nutter.

You are a shining star. Shine on my lovely! :hug:

Much love to you as always, Cherish.

Verity xxx
 
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