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Different Treatment Across the UK

I was wondering (just out of curiosity really) if anyone else had moved house (particular South to North, city to country, etc. or vice versa) and experienced very different standards of treatment?

I've recently moved from central London to a field 'op North... I finally got to see a consultant yesterday, who happened to have been drafted in from a large city hospital as my local costa currently doesn't have a resp. cons... She was very good, but she said she'd found that this area is 20 - 30 years behind in terms of asthma knowledge / treatment and 'rather sleepy'. I have to say, I've found this to be the case, they don't know the meds I'm on (what's Omalizumab - I can't even pronounce that...), are very outdated in their approach, there's no patient involvement (to the extent they were shocked at me doing my own peak flow diary...), everything is at a totally 'clinical' level, there's no patient discussion or awareness of the role of psychological factors, the need for patients to feel in control, etc.

It took me 6 (yes 6) visits to the pharmacy for them to get my meds right (we've never prescribed these before...).

I was just wondering if others had experienced such differences across the country - I'm actually quite shocked and feel very lucky that I was in London when my asthma went so wonky - as I got the treatment that worked. It seems wrong to me that in a fairly small country there can be such disparity in treatment and the sharing of knowledge and good practice.

1 Reply

I used to live in Bucks and now live in Aberdeen (so I've moved quite far). Though I have moved to a place where they have a good reputation/interest in respiratory medicine.

I guess the difference could be down to lots of factors both of the medical staff and the patients as well. The thing I've noticed about Aberdeen is that they seem to have more fixed ideas of how 'things should be done'. I think it is partly because the doctors here have often gone to medical school in Aberdeen then done all their training in Aberdeen, where as that would be really unusual in London.

You probably can't attract such good staff if you are a hospital in a northern field either. When doing my PhD our lab moved up to Aberdeen and my PhD supervisor complained how much harder it was to attract good staff to Aberdeen as opposed to when we were in Nottingham!

The patients might be more demanding in London as well, and more used to being involved in their care.

More sharing of knowledge through things like secondments would be a great idea- might be hard to change the culture though. It would be nice if everyone could have great treatment everywhere.

Hope they can get you back on Xolair soon Ratty.


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