Second opinion

Posted on behalf of Amore Dulcie:
I have asked my doctor for a 2nd opinion at the Royal Marsden…i am in Cheshire…she has told me she has asked for PCT funding for this? and if she doen’t get it …I will HAVE to pay for it? surely this cannot be true? Or is it possible she has not had to do this before? I have a rare breast cancer that is now in the lungs and ALL treatment has been delayed due to infected mx…possibly caused by being drained 3 times …drain removed to soon? or being tatooed on an already ‘inflamed’ wound? Dulcie


Hi Dulcie,
i am sorry i can’t help you with your question but just wanted to send you a big hug as you sound pretty desperate. Hopefully someone will be along soon who can advise you on this.
Hang in there

Thank you Carolihne …xx Bless you!
Thank you to moderator too!
Dulcie xxxx

My understanding is that your are ‘entitled’ to a second opinion and there is no funding required your doc is wrong in that she says she needs funding. see below which outlines how to go about it. I am surprised that she isn’t aware of the process but as you say perhaps no one has every asked her before. Hope this helps.

How to get a second opinion

After thinking carefully, if you still want to see another doctor you can ask your specialist or GP to arrange it. They will refer you to another NHS doctor who specialises in treating your condition. You can also ask for a second opinion from a private doctor.
Having a second opinion doesn’t mean the second doctor will take over your care. But if you decide you want the new doctor to treat you, this has to be formally arranged between the doctors or hospitals.
If you want to see a different GP, and are in a group GP practice, you can ask for an appointment with one of the other doctors. Or you can ask your GP to refer you to different doctor. Some people may consider changing their GP or GP practice. But this is only possible if another GP is able to take you on.
Your current doctor or specialist should send the new doctor any relevant information, such as previous treatments, test results and information about the drugs you are having. This will give them as clear a picture as possible about your case.
If you are having difficulty getting referred for a second opinion, the Patient advice and liaison service (PALS) in your hospital, or local citizen advice service (CAB) may be able to offer advice.

Sorry to hear that - I was under the impression that everyone was entiled to treatment at the Marsden. I hope you get the funding.

A bit of a personal question - but if you had the funds to pay for an initial private consultation you’d be seen really quickly and they’d be able to give you an idea of how they would envisage your treatment plans etc. Maybe it might not be any different to your local treatment, in which case it is nicer to have treatment at home rather than having to travel miles. If the second opinion tallied with that of your local team maybe you’d regain a bit more confidence in them. Also, if you had an initial consultation they might be able to speed up seeing them on the NHS.

Good luck. X

Hi Dulcie,

Why do you have to pay for a second opinion?.
I started my treatment at Charing Cross Hospital, I wasn’t happy and I asked to be refered to the RMH, now I am under their care.
I hope this can help.

Thank you ladies x i am with a very well known cancer hospital at the moment!
BUT i had the audacity to go ‘private’ for initial consultation last year! The consultant …after paying him! …told me that i did not have any cancer…when he in fact ‘burst’ the cyst containing the cancer and unbeknown to me…possibly caused a spread…another doc was involved also… and because i have complained…this now follows me wherever i go…i can’t say anymore on here sorry…but i have a very rare breast cancer …
Plus i ask too many questions…how dare i…it has been like a terrible 'farce’all the way through…so far.
Dulcie xxxx

Sounds like you’ve had a very traumatic and upsetting time of it and it must be awful to have your treatment on hold. But you deserve to have a team you have faith in - and are entitled to ask as many questions as you want to know the answers to. Your body, your life, and you’re an important part of your treatment team too.

I truly hope that you get referred to a specialist that you trust - and quickly too.


Hi Dulcie
There are several ladies on here who have had referrals to the Royal Marsden from all parts of the country.I asked fro a second opinion and my gp arranged it for me and i now have all my treatment there.As I live in Sussex I go to Sutton.If you go onto the RM website there is a link to asking for a second opinion and it details how to go about it.
It sounds like you have quite a few problems so don’t need your gp adding to them.
Good luck.

Dulcie, I think what your GP has told you about having to get PCT agreement/funding in order to refer you to the Royal Marsden is wrong. The rules about this kind of thing is outlined in the NHS constitution, and this clearly states that patients have a right to choose which GP or hospital they are treated at - see link below:
The following suggestion is important Dulcie. You must put your request to your GP in writing, because this will make things formal, and put the onus on them to reply in writing (and they are unlikely to give you incorrect information in writing). If they say in writing that they have to apply to the PCT in order to refer you, you should take the letter, and the NHS advice above to your local PALS group, and they will be able to intervene on your behalf. The link I have provided explains how you do this.
All the best LG

Thank you for that Lemongrove … i will write …i rang the Royal Marsden just! Not very helpul…but did say the waiting time is the same wether GP referral or Oncologist1

Dulcie xxxx

Dulcie I don’t think ringing the Marsden will help - you’ll just meet with confused admin people. You need to go through the proper channels, so referral should come from your GP or Consultant. Look at the link I provided, so that you know your rights, and then write to your GP and ask them to refer you. If they continue to be difficult, contact PALS, as explained in the link above.

Happynipple, I’ve just been diagnosed with BC and am currently with Charing Cross.
I’m not happy for various reasons and want to be transferred to the Royal Marsden. Could you let me know how you managed this?-i’m not sure whether to approach my GP or ask Charing Cross staff directly to ask for a referral.


Thank you …i have written a brief letter to my GP asking for a referral…but it was good to know it doesn’t make any difference about time…which of the two referr me! Gp or onc…

Dulcie xxxx

Very intersting reading. I am just a “lurker” bit hope yu get your referral soon Dulcie. Wishing you all the best. Val

Good morning Val xx thank you…

Dulcie xxxx

Hi Dulcie, Thanks for your message. I went to my GP this am as I’d been told that all referrals to other treatment centres have to be done via PCT (ie GP). He was happy in principle to refer me to RM but was very clear that it would probably delay treatment by some time. I’m lucky as I live in central (ish) London so travel isn’t an issue.
However I’m really recently diagnosed and due to embark on treatment in the next few weeks so on balance decided not to change at this point. On reflection I think a lot of my unhappiness was caused by feeling v scared and not in control after my diagnosis. The fact that I have a supportive GP leaves that door open if I change my mind in future.
I wish you loads of luck and hope it works out for you-I have a friend at the RM and hes pretty happy there. Please let us know how you get on x

Hi Sukiem…i am so pleased you have a good GP…mine is telling me that where i live… the PCT has over spent on it’s funding…so things are not looking to brilliant at the moment! I should know by next week…
I believe it should only take 3 weeks to transfer over …if you ever had the need to!
Good luck with your treatment! x
I will post and let you know what happens…
Dulcie xxxx

Hi again Dulcie-I work for the NHS and the only advice I can offer is to be really (really!) persistent and well thought out in your reasoning (referring to all the great advice from LemonGrove)-from your posts I’m pretty sure thats how you are anyway! I know its not easy when you might be feeling at a low ebb.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you and thanks for your advice re: waiting times too. Lots of luck and hope to hear from you soon xx