Why is there no continuity of care?

I have just left my fifth – and apparently, final – physio appointment.  After some neck manipulation, I was told that “nothing seems to be working” and that I was not able to make a further appointment.  I was shocked – I assumed that we would keep going.. keep trying.. until things started to get better..

I’ve had a total of 5 sessions over 7 weeks – the first one of an hour and then the rest of 20 minutes each.  Each session was different – discussing posture and lifestyle, teaching me some exercises, neck massage, neck and shoulder massage, manipulation… nothing was tried twice.  I did not expect that something would be tried once and then given up on.  I certainly didn’t expect to have one short massage – does it ever take one massage to fix an 8-month long problem? I assumed it would be a course of treatment..

I feel like a failure. Maybe if I had been more positive about the results, said the right things… but then, I only gave totally honest reports of how I’d been during the week / how my neck seem to have responded to treatment, with the idea that honesty was what was needed to progress….

I’m angry. I can’t believe another medical professional has given up on me (yeah, yeah, I know that medics can only do what they can do, I’m not expecting a miracle worker) but more than that, I’m angry that he seemed more than happy to let me leave the room having no suggestion of where I should go next.  I had to stay seated, stand my ground and continue the conversation despite all signals that the appointment was “over”.

“So where do you think I should go next? What would you do, given your experience?”

“I’d probably see a chiropractor or an osteopath.”

“Are those things available on the NHS at all?”

“No.”

“So, unfortunately, those options aren’t available to me.”

(…)

“What about acupuncture? Do you think that might be useful?”

“Maybe.”

(…)

“Is that available on the NHS?”

“I’m not sure if you’d find one locally.”

(…)

“So how do I find out?  Do I need to go back and see my GP?  Could you refer me?”

“I’ll write a letter to your GP.”

(…)

“So.. what do I do?  Do I need to make an appointment to see her?”

“Yeah, give it a week or two and then make an appointment.”

“A week or two”? Why?? Why not now? Why not somebody try and help me now??

My physiotherapist seems like a nice person.  He even apologised, as I was leaving the room, for not being able to help.  I didn’t need an apology from him.  I needed his expertise and advice, for him to see my treatment through – if not with him, then with whoever he advised me to see next.

I can’t understand why, out of all of the NHS professionals I’ve seen, not one has wanted to see my case through or ensure that I’m going ahead on the right path.  They have all seemed perfectly happy to see me leave their care unhelped and unadvised.

I’m tired.  I don’t feel like I can keep fighting for help all the time.

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4 thoughts on “Why is there no continuity of care?

  1. naturalbalance95 says:

    I hear this so much from my clients when they first start coming to me. I don’t understand it as I have helped so many who apparently there is nothing they can do for them!
    I work for myself so maybe I have more care? I’ve been doing it for a long time so have more experience? I’ve experienced the same pain so know what deep despair it can cause? (and I’m sorry everything has its place so charge me that much for Physio again and deliver me Reiki , I don’t think so)
    If i’m out here then there are others!

  2. wingslikeeagles23 says:

    I am not sure what a physio, but I am thinking the European equivalent of our American Physical Therapists (PT) ? It sounded more like you were describing a massage therapist though so I am confused. And what is NHS? If it is a PT, I think you might just need a different one with a different attitude. You might do well with craniosacral therapy too which here both PTs/OTs and massage therapists can do.

  3. emaedra says:

    I know all about this. Mostly I got passed on time and again (for about 2 years) until I found a physio who at least recommended exercise therapy for pain management and more body awareness. I went to that physio for 2.5 years, because I was given proper treatment time (an hour most days) and because I got a variety of treatment suggestions – from exercise therapy to acupuncture, IMS, massage, tens, ultrasound etc. When it comes to long term pain, it is about assembling a pain management team, which you are the head of, and that includes people who will listen to you, understand, and make new recommendations when something isn’t working. And people with a variety of tools in their toolbox (not just one exercise or treatment they think should work on everyone). I hope you find someone who understands and gives you better recommendations!

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