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Urgent MRI scans

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this is a bit of a long one.

after an excessive amount of migraines, sickness and declining vision with light sensitivity and constant blurring

I was referred to a neurologist at gloucester hospital.


I had this appointment a week after referral as my doctor was quite alarmed at my symptoms.


The neurologist said I have pressure being applied to the optical nerves from within the brain (papilleodema).


They don't know what's causing the pressure so he stressed I urgently need an MRI scan,

stating that I should be ready to drop everything and rush in for the scan.


I was then sent to the imaging department of the hospital with the referral form which had clearly been marked urgent ,

the word urgent circled multiple times accompanied by arrows pointing to it.


The receptionist first complained that she was unable to read the dr's hand writing

and then told me "we don't have any urgent appointments"

before taking my phone number and walking off.


I am completely confused at what's happening.


I know the standard wait for an MRI is 3 months


I'm worried that they are just going to put me to the bottom of the pile.


does anyone know how long the wait is for an urgent case

or what I should do for the best now to make sure they see me as soon as possible.


Has anyone had anything like this happen to them?

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Contact the hospital and ask to speak to the neurologists secretary. Explain what's been said and ask if he can do anything to hurry it along as he'd said how urgent it is.


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Contact the hospital and ask to speak to the neurologists secretary. Explain what's been said and ask if he can do anything to hurry it along as he'd said how urgent it is.


Absolutely. If need be, other lines to approach are "do I need to be admitted, if the only way to get an urgent MRI is as an in-patient?" and "I spoke to a receptionist rather than anyone else, do you" [the neurologist's secretary] "need to speak to the radiology secretary, or the neurologist to one of the radiologists directly?".


It is a shame when one has to "play the system' to get action : One of my relatives was waiting for an urgent orthopaedic appointment at a major hospital near us, referred by another hospital near us. Each time we phoned we got told "you have to speak to the booking office".... each time we spoke to the booking office we got asked "who is dealing with it"... we had to reply "we don;t know, because we've not heard anything yet", to be told "ahh, we can't do anything until we know which clerk is dealing with it!".

After going back to the first hospital and getting the referral re-sent, twice, in desperation the 1st hospital agreed to give me copies of my relative's notes (with my relatives permission).


The next call to to the referral hospital was along a different tack ..... "When does Mr Blogs, the Clinical Director for Orthopaedics, have an all day operating list?"

"Wednesday" (the day after tomorrow) ... "OK, I'll be taking a day off work, and asking to see them during their lunch break / when they come out from theatre .... they may be a bit surprised, and I'll apologise profusely, but explain why I thought they ought to know what is going on with the system being impossible to get to whoever should be dealing with it, and I'll take a copy of the notes so they can see we are running out of time that the appointment has to be within before harm results"

"You can't do that!".

"Really, why not?".

"Because you can't!"

"But, why not?. Ohh, you mean because he'll be furious at the situation, and ask me who I spoke to thinking I'm making it up or some sort of nutter, and I'll give him the list of who we called, when, how many times, and your name will be last on the list as the last person I called......"

"Hang on, someone will call you back!"


and they did, within an hour, with an appointment the next day. The key is to find the right pressure point, and the right lever to apply, and to be insistent and firm (but always polite and reasonable).


Bear in mind, it isn't the neurologist's fault, not their secretary's fault, and their secretary may well be your greatest asset / ally in applying the lever to the pressure point!.

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In my hospital "urgent" means within 4 weeks of date of referral. If a consultant requests "2 week wait" the appointment will be within 2 weeks. A routine appointment generally means within 6 weeks, but we always get patients in before that time.

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  • 3 months later...

I don't think you should wait on the NHS for this matter..an MRI on private insurance cost 300pds...also email the PALS department of the hospital and call them aswell to complain...the secretary was rude and unprofessional and she does not have the clinical knowledge to prevent you from getting a scan that could potentially save your life.

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