1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

How do you work with GPs who aren't being helpful!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Mrs Grumpy, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Mrs Grumpy

    Mrs Grumpy Registered User

    Nov 17, 2015
    My parents live at a distance. Father has physical health problems and will go to see the GPS but then forgets what is said. For example he was diagnosed with diabetes but can no longer remember this and hence is not following a low sugar diet. He will not let anyone mio to the GPs with him. We have asked the GP to write down what they discuss, not so that we can read it, but to help him remember. The GP says this is not possible. I can't see how it is different from a consultant sending you a letter. Has anyone any ideas of ways round this?
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    Does the practice have a diabetic clinic?
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    Does the practice have a practice nurse? if so it would be worth phoning or going in to speak to her and asking for her help in finding a way around this. If she is not helpful then you need to go to the Practice Manager who will be well aware of their responsibilities. Do you have power of attorney? They do have a duty to help carers and patients through this and they need to get their act together. Sadly making them do this is likely to sit with you! Such a shame they are not more helpful - it would take him two minutes to help someone keep their independence - we don't ask much of people
    If they are still uncooperative I would be inclined to tell them that you will report them to the CQC as they are not helping either your father or his carers (you) and should you need to do that here is the link
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Do you happen to have health & welfare LPA? Then you could ask the surgery to send you a printout of his medical records. I got one for my OH (needed it for a holiday company) even without that, but then they know I'm his carer and I go to appointments with him.

    I agree though that he ought to be referred to the diabetes clinic as it's not just about a "low sugar diet". The advice about change in lifestyle and eating habits can be quite detailed and I am not sure he would take it all in by himself. Could you print out some info for him from Diabetes UK? Does he get medication he needs help with taking? It might be time to ask social services for some input because if he is jeopardising his health he is definitely "vulnerable" and "at risk". Those are good buzz words to mention, along with "you have duty of care!"
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    All of the above, I actually think it's quite irresponsible of the doctors to diagnose someone who has issues without putting in place some mechanism to ensure their treatment is followed through. You could get a POA for health but if your Dad won't let anyone go to the GP with him then it may be a problem getting him to agree.
  6. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    Speak to the local adults social services dept. They may be linked with the community pharmacist who can advise him about his medication so instead of the GP changing how he approaches your dad it is just a new person working with him with a different way of working.

    The GP could also do this but may not do as I always feel it is a bit like undermining the GP but the pharmacist will have better knowledge around medication even if the GP won't admit it! And they'll be used to supporting people who have difficulties with their meds.

    Living each moment life throws at me as a social worker and with a dad with younger onset dementia.
  7. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    Also, if he only has care needs around
    medication needs it would be the responsibility of the district nurses to provide that support, you wouldn't be likely to get a local authority care package only for medication prompting.

    Living each moment life throws at me as a social worker and with a dad with younger onset dementia.
  8. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    I've also experienced problems with my mother's doctor. These even pre-date any signs of dementia on her part. The practice overall is not bad, and not uncaring, but it has poor administration and record keeping (IMO), and makes no allowances for the particular problems of the elderly.

    At mum's social worker's suggestion, we now try to make sure that either I or my brother accompany mum to the doctor. That way, we can make sure that she tells the doctor what the problem is -- sometimes she forgets why she made the appointment -- and we know what the doctor advised.

    To give an example of how the surgery's poor procedures don't help: The last time I attended with mum, she had a cough. The doctor prescribed some antibiotics and told us that if mum still had the cough in a week's time she should go to the hospital for an x-ray. The doctor said that the x-ray department operated a walk-in clinic and all we'd need is a form which we could pick up from the receptionist on the way out.

    But when we asked the receptionist for the form, she said it would not be available until the following week, which meant an extra trip to the practice to pick up the form before we went to the hospital.

    Then two days later, an appointment for an x-ray arrived in the post, which effectively contradicted what the doctor had said and what the receptionist had said.

    This would have totally confused mum, if she was dealing with it on her own, and she probably would not have attended for the x-ray.
  9. Moorcroft

    Moorcroft Registered User

    Nov 4, 2015
    My mother's medication reminders were set up on referral. by the social services department. Maybe it depends on what area you live in?
  10. little shettie

    little shettie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2009
    I would write a letter to the GP and copy in the local mental health team or social worker, whichever is relevant. Explain how difficult the situation is caring long distance and while you understand about patient confidentiality, at some point if Dad can't remember what he should do and is not taking the right meds/diet for his illness then they have a duty of care to ensure he gets help. I have had so many issues with doctors on this dementia journey with mum I do sometimes wonder where common sense went to!!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.