"Refused allergy tests"

About: Broadgreen Hospital / Allergy Knowsley PCT

(as the patient),

Due to severe depression I was put on Fluoxetine in January. I've been on them before and they've worked well for me but this time they didn't seem to kick in as fast and so my dosage was increased to 40mg and that seemed to be working well for a week or so.

Then my skin began to itch all over, which I put down to prickly heat because of the May sunshine and heat. However, bright red blotches then appeared on my fingers and hands for about a week, then they began to appear all over me. The palms of my hands were also bright red. Then one morning I woke up and was covered in enormous hives. The ones on my legs were about 10 inches long by 5 inches wide and I had another large one which covered my whole neck and several more on my face and body.

I went to see my GP who said I'd had a severe allergic reaction to something and he prescribed a course of steroids and antihistamines. That was after I'd already had the problem for around 3 weeks.

One month later I still have the rash, fresh hives come up every day and I can't sleep for scratching and during the day the sun irritates my skin as if I have sunburn. I've been back to my GP - the one who initially prescribed Fluoxetine, and they advised me to stop taking them, which I have.

But the rash is still here, the itching is constant and gets worse during evening and nighttime and I've lost so much sleep at night that I'm falling asleep through exhaustion and sleeping all day, waking up at 4-5pm. I've been advised to keep taking the antihistamines, even though the rash is not responding and when I asked to be referred for allergy tests I was refused on the grounds that 'they only do them if the problem is life threatening'.

I was advised by the first GP I saw to go straight to hospital if my throat swelled up so I presume that would be life threatening. I've been told by several other NHS and non NHS professionals to 'keep going back to my GP and INSIST on allergy tests'. However, I'm sick and I'm tired and don't have the energy to 'keep going back' and nor do I feel I should have to.

It seems to me that NHS treatment is more like a political and financial game being played with people's health and lives than a genuine desire to heal, cure or alleviate anyone's condition.

On the surface we have every piece of 'technology' under the sun and we display it for all to see and tell everyone how good the NHS is - but beneath that shiny surface we have 'criteria to be met' such as 'life threatening' before we can even be referred for the use of the technology to assist us.

I'm loathe to use the word 'sham' but that's what I'm feeling the NHS has become. Who are gaining from the NHS? The pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession and the technology industry. Somewhere in there are 'the patients' who seem to be really 'patient' while they linger on waiting lists or are refused tests and treatment for one silly reason or another. Something needs to change there.

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Responses

Response from Stacy Smith, PALS Officer, NHS Knowsley

Hi Grace3

I am sorry to hear you are unhappy with the service regarding allergy tests.

Please email me at the below address with your GPs details and I will see if there is anything that can be done to help you with this problem.

pals@knowsley.nhs.uk

Thanks

Stacy Smith

PALS Officer

NHS Knowsley

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