Frustrated with medical care.

My dad has Parkinsons Disease. He has always been so independent but over the last two weeks he has suddenly suffered with very low blood pressure which has left him unable to stand for more than a couple of minutes. He’s on medication for this which has made no difference and he appears to be getting worse. His Parkinsons nurse is currently off sick; there is only one in our area and his consultant can’t see him for another three weeks. This has really set him back and he’s so fed up. I am thinking of paying for a private consultation, any advice would be appreciated.

Hi Claire

We do sympathise as even in areas with a basically “good” PD specialist neurologist and service there is often a delay in appointments - e.g. my husband was due to be seen again by his consultant 4 months after his last appointment but 9 months later was still waiting for an appointment along with everyone else who should have been seen. NHS services are simply under-resourced and I don’t think questions in the Parkinson’s UK annual survey really capture this adequately. Because of the delay and stress caused, we are now seeing my husband’s very good NHS neurologist privately, and appointments happen as planned and on time.

A wait of 3 weeks isn’t very long in the scheme of things though and you may find your father needs to wait that long for a private appointment. If he needs to be seen urgently, his GP may be able to expedite his NHS appointment but at this time of year may be difficult with people away on holiday. Our GP wrote to the consultant to ask for his advice when my husband had blood pressure problems.

PD is hard enough without the added stress of difficulty in receiving expert help & advice. Best wishes to you and your father and I hope you get the help you need soon.

Hi Clare, Have you got the email address of your dad’s neurologist? If you have you could explain the problem to him and say it’s an emergency because high or low blood pressure is serious whether you have PD or not. If there’s no way of contacting the neurologist as mountainair says you could go down the GP appointment route emphasising it’s an emergency or even A&E. I hate it when you phone up & the receptionist asks why you’re phoning as they’re not trained paramedics & seem to try every trick in the book to keep you or the person you’re trying to get an appointment for away from seeing the Dr. Sorry about the rant but I really sympathise with you & your dad and hope he sees his neurologist very soon.