GP's are gate keepers putting delays in patients cancer journey
I’m not sure if this is the right place to share my story but here goes; I had a malignant melanoma three years ago. I knew the ‘mole’ on my lower left leg was not right and looked to me like a melanoma so i went to my GP. GP’A’ told me it was nothing to worry about. I wasnt convinced so paid for a private consultation with a dermatology consultant. This consultant told me to go back to my GP and ask for a fast track referral as in his opinion the ‘mole’ needed to be investigated further. The ‘mole’ turned out to be a melanoma and i had this removed first by a punch biopsy and then with a wide local excision. I was told to keep an eye on my body and go back to see the NHS consultatnt if i had any problems in the future. Three weeks ago i noticed a red area under my left eyelid and went to a different GP ‘B’ who laughed me off and said to come back in 2-3 weeks if it was still there. Three weeks later I could not get an appointment just like that with any GP so I phoned the practice manager and she organised a GP appointment for me for the monday just gone. He (GP ‘C’) said he would discuss my case with the fast track office and get back to me if he was going to make a fast track referral. I received a phone call on tuesday saying he has referred me via fast track. I am now waiting for an appointment to see a consultant. i will keep pebl up to date with what happens next for me. One question I have is why do we have to have GENERAL Practitioners (GP) as gate keepers to prevent us seeing hospital consultants who are SPECIALISTS when often we patients know we need to see a particular Consultant and just find we are blocked by GPs. GPs put a delay in patient journeys is my experience.