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UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

This is not a leg-pull, not a bashing of the NHS but a question which interests me and might be of interest also to UK residents in France.

As I have been making multiple phone calls the last couple of days (anyone on here remember that I have the ultimate phone phobia?) to change a surgeon assigned to me to do an op in the near future, I came to think about this whole thing about changing your doctor if you are dissatisfied with the one/s you have.

I have indeed changed my MT 3 times, my oncologue once and have now succeeded readily changing the surgeon for the next op.

I seemed to remember that in the UK, changing GPs was just about doable, but changing a specialist, or even asking for a second opinion was not possible without a lot of you justifying your request and your specialist putting obstacles in your way.

Is my memory of this quite correct?  If so, does that situation still exist or have things changed since I left in 2007?

I also wonder whether the free- at- the point of use system or the pay- something- as- you- go- system has any bearing or influence in this matter?  Any opinions, insights, facts, please?

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

Look up NHS choices it may have the info that you require.
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

Pip24, that is a link that is indeed full of information.  How to find a GP, what to do in an emergency, how to get help from various sources.

But those things do not concern me greatly because I live in France.  No, what I am thinking about is how simple it is to change your doctor or specialist if you do not agree with his/her treatment plan for you or you simply cannot establish a mutually trusting relation with him or her.

As I have said, I have had some difficulty with some of the medical personnel I have seen and asking for a replacement only involved some phone calls, making appts with the new person etc.  I did not even have to give a reason for wanting to change though, in the latest case, I might have something to say about the surgeon I did not want!

Now, it's not only my physical health that is fragile, my mental and spiritual states are in many ways even more parlous.  But I do think it very fortunate that I have the right here in France to request another person.  It's also been pointed out to me by a rather assertive French lady that "il (the oncologue who was rude and unsympathetic) mange parce que vous le payez"!  That gave me the courage to go to the secretariat of the hospital and insisted on another oncologue.

Do you remember that King family who took their son with a brain tumour from a UK hospital to elsewhere?  Then the police chased this family to Spain and put the parents in custody!

Apparently, doctors in the UK (not speaking of ALL doctors) do not like being questioned and could be unhelpful if you expressed an opinion about having someone else look after you.  Then the new doctor you approach is apparently reluctant to take you on, citing professional conduct.  In other words, you like it or you lump it.

I am not sure I have the right information and it's just interesting for me, that's all.  I have no axe to grind and you could even call it mere curiosity on my part.  

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

NHS choices website does also go into detail about the procedure for seeing another GP/consultant or requesting a second opinion. It is all perfectly feasible. I think you'll find it more difficult to find anyone to speak from personal experience though. I can't comment, as I don't see a GP particularly often, and I've been lucky to find most of the GP's or consultants that I have seen to be perfectly "acceptable". Haven't really experienced a situation where I've felt the need to seek an alternative.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

Yes, I too, rarely had problems with doctors mainly because I was one of those people who rarely needed one!

Anyway, I am truly glad that it's perfectly feasible to change your doctor or specialist in the UK.



Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

Mrs T had some lady trouble and the first surgeon was one of those men who just want to fillet!

We insisted on a second opinion and via a fantastic web site and lady's help service we were able to get to see another NHS surgeon who treated the surgery in a completely different way with minimal intrusion.

My cancer surgery would have been conventional but being self employed I wanted key hole surgery so I could be up and working again soonest.  Via NHS choices I was able to choose which hospital I attended and fortunately the first surgeon was able to push things along having trained the second. The second had gone on to study key hole surgery.

I believe, please correct me, this is about the only good thing Tony B liar achieved for us.

Passivpool Energy "A++" rated Swimming Pools, the lowest running costs in the Universe.
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

I guess, mint, that a lot depends on the how and why. I think in the UK you'd have to have the stomach for it. Of course, it's much easier if you opt for private treatment which, IMO, is in any case the most realistic comparison with the French system. However, usually with private treatment your referring GP will give you a list of two or three potential consultants and leave the rest to you. In those circumstances it's a bit like sticking a pin in a map, as I don't think many people would have much clue about the consultant's capability/reputation/personality until they'd seen them. I'm not even sure that the GP's themselves always know much about the person they refer you to. I guess much depends on how common the illness they're referring you for.
In my very limited experience of French medical treatment, it always seems to me as though people mention seeing a certain doctor/surgeon or other medical professional, and everyone knows who they're talking about and has an opinion on them.
I haven't come across that here aside from at GP level.
Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: UK posters, help me out with a question about the NHS

Indeed, this confirms that it is possible to do these things:

https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/910.aspx

However, having read the link, it still appears to me that you are tacitly discouraged to go elsewhere.  Then the bit about maybe having to travel further or have a delay in your treatment, whilst perfectly factual, does not have the sort of tone that would give me confidence to pursue my objective.

I don't much like confrontation and I do think that anyone in an ill and vulnerable state might just indeed shut up rather than put up.

Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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