The NHS and Bueracracy

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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2 thoughts on “The NHS and Bueracracy

  1. Hello! I am in a similar situation to you. Suffering almost monthly migraines since birth of my daughter. We've got private care through my husband's business, but it took until yesterday - seven weeks - to get my GP surgery to pass on my medical notes to the health care company. They even admitted after the first two that the request was still in its envelope and hadn't been touched.

    I was speaking to a friend who works within the NHS about it yesterday, she said that all the budget squeezing is taking admin support away, leaving drs and specialists to have to do it themselves. I think this, coupled with an archaic system, which seems badly organised at best, is what is bringing the NHS down - and taking us with it.

    My husband had to deal with a kidney stone a few weeks back. A&E were amazing, but his appointment with the NHS hospital for treatment, which at the time he was told would take 48h, still hasn't materialised. He went private and would've called to say he no longer needed the treatment through the NHS, but the whole system is so confusing, he wasn't even sure who to call to update them.

    The NHS is capable of many wonderful things, but unless there is a major shake-up of its support network, many patients will continue to be left high and dry unless they happen to be lucky enough to have access to private care.

    Wow, I've just left a massive rant of a comment, must drink tea and calm self down!!!

    Reply
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