A big thank you to my GP #ad #BigThanksLeeds

The past year has been challenging for me. I started having problems with my right hip around eighteen months ago. It randomly clicked when I exercised, and then progressed to click every time I took a step. It was annoying. It impacted on me more than I would have thought, because at the time I was exercising regularly and this was really limiting what I could and couldn't do.

I left it about six months before I went to see my GP. I thought it might just go away, but it got continually worse and it was time to go and get it seen. I have been with my GP surgery for over 15 years now and they know me well. My GP is fantastic. He knows when I really need help with something. In that initial appointment, he didn't dismiss me once. Never mentioned that I was slightly overweight. In fact, I left that appointment with a referral for an ultrasound, a referral for physiotherapy, a referral for an x-ray and the reassurance that I needed that I was being dealt with in a professional manner.

I was offered an x-ray the very same day that I called up to book an appointment. It was too short notice, so I opted for the next day! I thought this was astounding as I had only been referred the day before. My appointment was at 9.30am. I arrived at 8.20, and by 9.30 I had already had my x-ray and was walking back to the car! Huge respect for the wonderful women working that day who were keen to have everyone seen on time.

When I went for the ultrasound, I was surprised that it was for my womb, rather than my hip or pelvis that had been hurting. On discussion with the doctor, he was wary that I'd had previous problems with my ovaries before, and he wanted to rule anything out. The ultrasound was clear, so he referred me for a further one on my pelvis. The concern being that I might have a sports hernia, which is unusual in a woman, but not impossible.

Time passed on. The physio was unsure what was wrong. I was then referred to the local musculoskeletal team to see if they could be of any further assistance. Again, I received my appointment quickly. There was a special clinic at my GP surgery, so I didn't have to travel far to see the specialist. He was a bit flummoxed! My hip has very limited movement, but I am able to walk relatively normally. He referred me for an MRI scan, to see the parts that an ultrasound and x-ray cannot. I had my MRI scan at the nearest large hospital and was seen at 7am in the morning. The team there start work at 6am in order to get through the long waiting list in time. It was amazing to be seen quickly. An MRI scan isn't the most enjoyable experience, in fact I filmed a video on what to expect, which I'll leave here if you want to have a watch.

I'm awaiting the results, and have an appointment the day I get back from holiday to find out what they are. I wanted to say a huge thank you to my GP, and to the NHS as a whole for the absolutely impeccable service I have received. We hear the bad side of the NHS far too often, and it's time to shout about the good side too. I am so grateful that I do not have to pay for my care and that the process so far has been fantastic.

The The Big Thank You campaign aims to raise morale of staff from across the NHS, Leeds City Council and also community and voluntary organisations who often work over and above to get the job done by showing them how thankful the people of Leeds are for the work they do. The campaign has two elements. Firstly, it gives people the opportunity to say a Big Thank You to someone special who helped them throughout the year or over the winter period. 

Secondly, the campaign encourages individuals to pledge to become a Winter Hero. Making the Winter Hero pledge couldn't be simpler, and includes simple steps like looking after yourself, loved ones and neighbours and being prepared for changing weather conditions. There must be so many people who we take for granted who regularly deserve a huge thank you for going above and beyond in their jobs. Who is your local NHS hero? If you're local to Leeds, make sure you nominate your hero, by visiting this website.

Disclosure: This is a paid for post, in partnership with NHS Leeds. All opinion is my own.