Let me start by saying this is NOT in any way, shape or form an attack on the wonderful NHS system that we have. Without the NHS I would probably not be as reasonably healthy as I am, putting my own complaints aside to save a few pennies (or a lot of pounds) just in case H needed treatment for something.
I have always suffered from various headaches and migraines since I can remember, getting worse through my teens and then again when I stopped taking the contraceptive pill. This was put down to "just one of those things". After H was born they got significantly worse again and it seemed barely a month would pass before I needed the husband to take time off work to look after H or I couldn't go to work myself. When H was about 14 months old, after a total of several weeks off sick from work, I finally put my foot down and demanded a referral from my GP. At that time I was lucky enough to have private medical insurance through the American Investment bank that I worked for, so I used that and was seen at the local Nuffield hospital within a week. A CT scan followed a week later and then a MRI. A couple of weeks later I had seen a neurologist and a couple of weeks after that a neurosurgeon.
It was established that I have had the conditions since birth as a result of a very traumatic labour, that at this moment in time surgery isn't worth the risk and instead, I required a full brain and spinal MRI and the conditions would be monitored.
Then I was made redundant, thus losing my private medical insurance and we moved 200 miles.
This is where it gets messy. I informed the private secretary that I was no longer insured so she said I would be referred to the NHS, under the same surgeon. Before we'd moved (about four weeks later) I still hadn't heard anything so contacted her again. My notes were still with her but I was assured they would be transferred and my address changed.
Three weeks ago I received a phone call from his NHS secretary. My old address was still on the system. I explained I had moved but that to keep things progressing I would prefer to travel for appointments so I was advised the MRI department would be in touch.
I chased the appointment today. A note has been placed on my notes for a referral to a more local neurosurgeon except that still hasn't been requested!
Everything under the private insurance happened within a matter of 8 weeks. It is now almost 4 months since I advised that I needed to be seen under the NHS and I still haven't been seen.
As I said, this isn't actually meant to be a rant (and I for one am not looking forward to what the new Health and Social Care Bill means for me) but surely in this modern age there are more efficient ways of instructing referrals than such a manual and seemingly arduous process?
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