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General medicine

Expert diagnosis and management of multiple and complex medical conditions

General Medicine is the branch of medicine involved with the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and long-term medical conditions and symptoms. It is an incredibly broad speciality with strict criteria for training. A doctor who specialises in this field is known as a Consultant Physician

Many of the people who visit our General Physician at Bishops Wood Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex have one or more complicated health problems that are not being successfully managed with their current treatment plan.  

Others may have been referred to us by another consultant or their GP, who is struggling to determine the precise cause (or causes) of their symptoms.

The highly experienced Consultants working here would be delighted to meet with you and to help you to get the support you need. 

While many health problems can often be diagnosed fairly quickly and easily, others will require a lot more investigation, often involving multiple medical specialities. 

Modern medicine involves many different specialities, such as orthopaedics, cardiology, neurology, rheumatology, and dermatology. This can be helpful if you have a specific problem, as it means you can get the help you need from the most qualified and appropriate specialist.  

However, if you have overlapping symptoms, with multiple possible causes, you will often benefit from a Consultant Physician overseeing, arranging, and coordinating any investigations and treatments. 

Common reasons people visit our Consultant Physician for help include: 

  • Headaches 
  • Post-operative complications 
  • Electrolyte imbalances 
  • Diabetes 
  • Pneumonia  
  • Unexplained falls 
  • Memory loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue 
  • Weight loss 
  • Breathlessness 
  • Movement disorders – such as those caused by Parkinson’s Disease or Restless Legs Syndrome 
  • Tremors 
  • Loss of consciousness (syncope) 
  • Dizziness 
  • Loss of mobility 
  • Incontinence 

This is just a partial list of symptoms, which shows just how broad a field General Medicine is! 

A private General Medicine appointment can help you get clarity about the best approach to take going forward to treat your symptoms and improve your health. Our Consultants are experts in managing multiple complex conditions and will help determine what investigations you may need, and the order they should be done in.  

Taking a holistic approach, they will work closely with your GP, social worker, family members, and anyone who is involved in looking after you, to make sure you have the support you need at every stage.  

On-site at Bishops Wood Hospital, we offer fast access to a number of medical specialities, including: 

  • Orthopaedics (bones) 
  • Oncology (cancer) 
  • Haematology (blood) 
  • Cardiology (heart and blood vessels) 
  • Dermatology (skin)  
  • Neurology (nervous system) 

Your Consultant can arrange investigation and treatment from any of these specialities and others, including dieticians, speech and language therapists and physiotherapists, where required.  

When you first meet with your Consultant at Bishops Wood Hospital, they will talk with you in detail about your symptoms, your general health and about any concerns or worries you may have.  

A number of conditions seen by a General Physician will often involve ongoing review of treatment, rather than a one-time “fix.” Treatment for multiple or complex conditions will often benefit most from shared decision-making.  

For this reason, it can be helpful to have another person come with you to your appointment. This may be a husband, wife, partner, family member, or close friend. They can help make sure you don’t forget to mention any symptoms or concerns, and will often remember things said by your Consultant that you may have missed. 

Having discussed your symptoms, your Consultant will carry out a physical examination. They may also carry out tests to measure your memory. 

They will then discuss the next steps with you. This may involve adjusting your current treatment (e.g. changing dose, frequency or the medication used) or referring you for further investigations. 

Common investigations include: 

  • Blood tests 
  • Chest X-ray 
  • Urine examination 
  • CT or MRI scan of the brain, chest, abdomen, or pelvis 
  • Lung function test 
  • 24-hour heart monitor (Holter monitor) 
  • Colonoscopy – to examine your bowels 
  • Balance assessment 

While many of these can be carried out on-site, some may be arranged at another site. 

Once any results are back, your Consultant will talk through them with you and discuss their recommended treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns, they will be very happy to explore these with you.

Many of the people we help are local to Northwood, although excellent travel links mean we also see people from further afield, including Slough and Birmingham.   

When you choose Bishops Wood Hospital, you will benefit from: 

  • Help from an expert – If you are suffering with multiple medical conditions, you will probably be quite fed up being passed between different doctors in different specialities while they try to work out how best to treat you. By having one person overseeing your care, it makes things much simpler and more efficient.  
  • No waiting lists – We can arrange a private appointment for you with an experienced Consultant Physician quickly and easily, so you can access the support you need without delay. 
  • Continuity of care – Your Consultant Physician will work closely with you as you adjust to any changes and challenges caused by health issues. Treatment options will always be discussed with you so that you can make an informed choice about treatment. If you ever have a concern or query, it is very easy to get in touch with your Consultant by phoning their secretary directly. 
  • Remote appointments available – General Medicine appointments are usually carried out in person at Bishops Wood Hospital, but we can also provide remote consultations by telephone or video call when required and where clinically appropriate.   
  • Bespoke treatment – For anyone with multiple complex health conditions, it is important that treatment is tailored to their circumstances and needs. Treatment should also be reviewed regularly to ensure it is still providing appropriate symptom relief. 
  • Teamwork – Bishops Wood Hospital offers quick, easy access to specialists in other fields, including neurology, orthopaedics, radiology, cardiology, and physiotherapy. This team approach means you will also see the most appropriate person for your specific needs, no matter how complex your health needs. (Your Consultant Physician will continue to oversee your care.) 
  • A friendly welcome – Unlike many large modern hospitals, which can often feel quite impersonal (and can sometimes be easy to get lost in due to their size!), Bishops Wood Hospital is a smaller hospital offering a warm welcome and friendly staff.  
  • Location – Bishops Wood Hospital is east to travel to, located in the grounds of Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood. Middlesex. (We suggest using the ‘Gate 3' entrance of Mount Vernon Hospital and then following the signs for Bishops Wood Hospital.) 

If you would appreciate meeting with an experienced Consultants to discuss your particular needs or to review your current treatment plan, why not book a private General Medicine appointment today? We very much look forward to welcoming you to Bishops Wood Hospital and helping you to get the support you need without delay.