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Where in UK to move to that treatment for RA could still be afforded by NHS

My husband and I both have RA. We have been subject to getting virtually all our treatment stopped here in Cambridgeshire and live in a constant state of fear and worry as we are now only both receiving a few opioid painkillers each a month, can't get any proper medication and we turn up for appointments to see Consultants only to find we are fobbed off with "Nurse Practitioners." The last one was so useless she grabbed at my husband's wrists and fingers first and finding huge growths from the arthritis hurriedly went on to feel his knees, which had us both in uproars of laughter as he had them replaced two years ago and they are metal! (She cannot obviously read hospital records!) She had nothing what-so-ever to offer for the three inch growths on my husband's wrists caused by his RA and didn't even send him for a blood test so we have bought a blood pressure monitor ourselves and he has found some old steroid tablets and taken them. He only receives one Hydroxychloroquine Tablet daily and a few Co-Codomol when his mean Doctor's receptionist, (who is his only doctor, as his real GP travels round a large area and very rarely visits our little rural town, so the receptionist now does everyone's care!) I had my decent Etoricoxib changed to Celecoxib, which cause terrible irritable bowel syndrome. The Etoricoxib were only £25 per month, but apparently our CCG cannot afford it. I now have to spend pounds on Imodium, which doesn't work. The Celecoxib works about half as well as the Etoricoxib. We tried to complain but they threatened us, meanwhile the Doctors and their employees have ever swankier cars parked outside the useless surgeries and clinics. My husband thinks we had better try to move down South, where all the Tories live, as there will be more services there, but for all I know, they have cut the NHS everywhere. We've bought bottles of the CBD Oil from Holland & Barrett, but it doesn't seem to help either of us in severe pain. All ideas and advice gratefully received.

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Think it will be to far scotland.there must be somewhere decent on England for care etc .some one on here will pass on details hopefully

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I’m in Cambs but can’t say that I’ve had any of these problems.

Clemmie

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I do too and I ha ent had any problems either.

I am sorry that your experience is to feel so under cared for when you are both struggling so much. I recommend you phone the NRAS helpline monday morning and see if they can point you in a helpful direction.

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I come from Cambridgeshire,but i left a long while ago. I live in the Midlands and the care i get is better than yours by the sound of things. I know our surgeries and hospitals are get more bigger and busier by the day sadly.xxxxxxx

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You complained and they threatened you, how did they threaten you? What was said? Are you both on any DMARDS and or biologics? You don’t mention any medication that you’re on other than steroid & anti inflammatory tabs. A lot of people are having medication changed to cheaper meds, it’s all about money now, there’s major funding problems now. If you feel you need to complain about your GP practice, then perhaps get your MP involved & also the CCG. Have you thought about transferring to another GP practice if possible?

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Hi calamityjane1971, my husband is on one Hydroxychloroquine a day which is the cheapest DMARD. I am really bad with stomach ulceration and have to have double the daily dose of Rabeprazole for it, or I cannot eat at all. In addition I have to wear a spinal support all the time for the 9 prolapsed discs in my spine, or I can't walk at all and it's not as if my husband could push me to the bathroom in a wheelchair, his hands are completely useless now because his RA has been neglected by the idiot Rheumatology Nurses we have forced on us, who never do anything about anything and don't know anything either! It is the CCG who made all the cuts so it wouldn't be any use complaining to them. Our Tory MP Steve Barclay, is the Assistant Minister of Health. He got promotion to the position for cutting all the NHS Services for the people of Fenland down to virtually nothing. I need three operations, one for arthritis in my feet, one for a prolapsed uterus and the back operation and have been told if I want them to pay a Private Agency £25 an hour for care when I come out of hospital, because my husband cannot even boil a kettle! I cancelled the operations, as they were only at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and that is a filthy dump now. Last time I went there for an examination only, I caught a superbug and nearly died. I wouldn't advice anyone interested in keeping alive to go there, not even as an out patient!

Oh, I forgot to say - they have threatened us by stating "Shut up, or else." Withdrawing all treatment is a threat. My husband went to Addenbrooke's where he was sent as an emergency by 111 and was rudely "balled-out" by one Dr and just left with a mess in his right eye, which is now too late to be fixed, (I think it was a retinal tear.) I checked and she had seen six patients ALL DAY - not exactly over worked if you ask me! I don't feel like shutting up, especially when the present government can afford to interfere in foreign wars that don't concern the UK, yet cannot afford to look after it's own citizens. We are thinking of publicly burning our medical cards. We want the Doctors stopped from having all that money for virtually no work - we attend at Addenbrooke's, Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough Hospitals. A few patients still get treatment at Peterborough Hospital, but the staff have been doing nothing at the other two hospitals for years and there are next to no patients attending - just mostly hospital staff and their relatives.

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You can spraying Colloidal silver for eye or ear infections sold at health shops

I’m sorry but Addenbrooke’s is our local hospital and I simply can’t believe what you are saying. I’ve just read your post out to my husband (also an Addenbrooke’s patient, his hip is now metal ) and he thinks you’re having us on!

They are always extremely busy and I’ve never know anyone involved in my treatment to be as you describe.

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Hi Fruitandnutcase, I think everyone is alright with the NHS until they have something done that goes wrong because of negligence. The Consultant Radiographer in 1988 failed to tell me there was iodine in the contrast medium he was instilling around my spinal cord, and if he had spoken up, I could have told him not to use that and that I was allergic. As soon as he put the contrast medium into the dural space, the backs of my eyes haemorrhaged and it started "snowing black stuff," which it has been doing ever since! At that time I was on the Ward with a woman whose husband was the manager at Stansted Airport, and another woman who was a well know charity worker. They both got expensive MRI Scans of their spines but I was only a prison officer's wife and mother of a child with cerebral palsy, so I got the cheap, cheerful and dangerous myelogram and had my eyesight ruined forever and a day. When I got home my five year old disabled lad really needed me, as did my husband who has very severe lung disease and had pneumonia, so I got on with life as a partially sighted person, (I was 35 years old.) We didn't have the money to sue Addenbrookes. They have refused to see me and my husband about anything we are referred there for since. My husband was referred there about a detached retina at Christmas 2016 and lost the eye after being brutally insulted and refused treatment by a woman Doctor working for Mr. Snead. I was referred there from a Rheumatology Clinic at Ely last December for possible surgery for my severe and excruciatingly painful spinal stenosis. I rang the Spinal Surgery Team, (Neurology) last week and was told they are not willing to see me! You and your husband must be posh and important but I'm a kind person and glad someone has got something out of Addenbrooke's, instead of just injuries like me and my husband! I hope they continue to successfully help you both. Kind regards,

No, we’re not posh at all. Or rich - wish we were but that’s not likely to happen, not important either and we don’t know anyone who is.

We’ve obviously just been lucky so far although husband’s hip was cancelled twice before it was done which was awful but that was just the luck of the draw other people were cancelled at the same time..

Have to say I take a list of the things I’ve got wrong with me and all the drugs I’m taking whenever I go to the doctor just to be on the safe side and nowadays I always question everything that I’m having done and ask for copies of my blood tests etc. but generally I’ve not had problems with Addenbrooke’s, they’ve always been OK.

The only thing I’ve found is that I never see the same person twice because it’s a teaching hospital so they seem to have a high turnover of staff.

Your family really have had some terrifibly bad times and it’s really not good enough that you seem to be left to get on with things. Well not only that, they won’t see you again.

It sounds like it’s too late for them to do anything about some of the things that have happened but they should still see you should you want to go back there.

Have you spoken to your MP about it all? You shouldn’t be left like this.

How awful for you both! I too am in Cambridgeshire and have no problem at all, In fact I have just been accepted for one of the biological drugs! I wonder if you moved surgery or try the West Suffolk Hospital in Suffolk or Norfolk might be beneficial to you. I agree with others and would definitely recommend you call NRAS for advice on this. Best wishes

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Hi blorie & thanks for the reply. For a few years Dr. Marcia Schofield at the West Suffolk Hospital kept my going with steroid injections into my spine, but then she said I needed an operation as my scans show severe spinal stenosis, but of course the GP wont pay for me to go, either to the local butchers shop at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, where the Orthopaedic Surgeon who does operations is extremely elderly, or Addenbrooke's Hospital. I did notice the care at the West Suffolk was ten times what I have received in my lifetime, in Cambridgeshire.

Hello again, I wonder why it’s up to your gp who has the say so, as for me it’s my RA consultant who decides. I would highly recoomend an appointment with Mr O Riley at the West Suffolk, am sure he could help the situation.

I live in Birmingham and the care I receive from my gp and consultants is second to none. The only cutback I have had so far is my biological, Enbrel, changed to Benepali. So far it works the same as the Enbrel. I also have asthma, for whivh I’m on the maximum dose of four inhalers, and three times the recommended dose af antihistamine as well as other drugs. I discussed with both my gp and lung consultant the possibility of reducing the number of puffs on the inhalers, and cutting the antihistamines. They both said no, even though this would be a saving on the NHS budget!

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Hi helenlw7, and many thanks for your reply. My husband has bronchiectasis and only one third of functioning lung tissue and is dependant on inhalers, yet they keep refusing them and strictly limit him to one every 28 days, even if he has run out. Some months there are no Co-Codamol Tablets, some months he has no Flo-Max, (a drug for prostate problems,) and has to go to hospital in an ambulance because of urine retention. I too have bad allergies and have been told that even though I have lost a lot of my sight through allergy, (Addenbrooke's hospital put radio-opaque dye into my spinal canal for an X-Ray in the 1980's and burst all the blood vessels in the backs of my eyes and I haven't been able to see without distortion since - the dye was full of iodine and they neglected to tell me first, even though I would have told them I am allergic had they told me the dye was iodine - I am a patient of Moorefields Eye Hospital in London now,) they will be stopping my Olopatadine Eye Drops and Flixonase Nasal Spray. I cannot afford to buy them myself, as I am a Pensioner. I shall soon not bother with a GP at all - so far as I can see they consider anyone with chronic health problems, even problems the NHS caused themselves, like my eyesight, a scrounger yet their own surgeries and cars get ever fancier! Ny husband and I are getting so we cannot stand to be in the same room as them as they are such hippocrites!

Oh my goodness! Change surgery a.s.a.p. for crying out loud! You don't have to state any reason at either end. Good luck. There can be better days ahead, in better treatment. I feel so lucky: Have aggressive RA, after a year not yet controlled and extremely painful & limiting at times, but my Consultant & my GP are doing their darnedest for me. What with blood + other tests, podiatry, Rheumatology incl. NRAS, chest & neurology clinics, and a FAB GP, I could not complain about the NHS...

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I live in Berkshire and have very good care biological infusions every 6mths and see good RA nurses at hospital outpatients appointments. My meds are on repeat prescription from GP.sorry to hear about your experience x

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I'm not altogether surprised.

You do not have to move to be treated at a hospital outside your region. You can be referred anywhere you like though I appreciate it will be difficult to travel and there is the cost. You could go to any London hospital - some of them are very good and have been recommended on here. I went to a Central London hospital and I also went to a hospital near Gatwick to get my bunions done by minimally invasive surgery. I had a fight with the GPs though as they wanted to send me locally but I stood my ground.

I do think there is a programme of cutting costs everywhere but I also feel there is a lot of prejudice and discriminatory treatment of certain groups, and one of these in based on age .

I notice that older people are kept waiting far longer for a first rheumatology appt. I also notice that those who are seen urgently at the hospital are always young but it is then found that there is nothing wrong with them. I would like to think that the reason you are not on the drugs you need is on account of the side effects at your age - but this is clearly not the case as you have been switched to a cheaper drug with worse side effects. Usually, they have to ask you if you mind taking a generic drug which is cheaper.

There is a procedure for complaining about GP surgeries, which seems your first port of call. You need to look on their website to find out the procedure. Otherwise, write to the practice manager setting out your complaint - if there isn't a practice manager, just address it to "Practice Manager/Managing Partner". If this is difficult, try going to the local library and either use their computers or ask them to find out for you. Also ask at the library for a list of other GP surgeries and try to register with a big one which has better facilities. It is hard to change at your age though as nobody wants to take older people on.

This all feels so sad - I am so sorry for you guys... I wish you the best of luck in getting it straight

I dont know that moving south would help. As others have said I would suggest complaining in writing. We live in the north east and have noticed cutbacks, but are well treated and well looked after. We do have to be more proactive but I dont mind that to a certain extent. We have more problems with receptionists and pharmacies than anything else. My husband also has severe copd. I wish you all the best in your quest for better treatment.

Hi, Ruth12345, & many thanks for your reply. We are looking at our savings and thinking of buying a little flat or something in Southern Spain. We go with this holiday club for disabled people, and over the years everyone has forgotten or run out of some medication or other, even heart pills. We were able to buy anything we needed for a few euros. My husbands drugs which his English GP insists are "Very expensive," were 2.70 euros! I spend literally all my holidays in and out of Spanish Pharmacies, getting the drugs friends and family can no longer get here, or which are very expensive here. We are all being lied to about the NHS.

Hi I feel so sad that things have came to this in this day and age.It's just a disgrace when you can't get proper health care you should find out about self referral so you can see a specialist or rheumatologist,I think you must be at least entitled to that I have PSA and here in Scotland I see my rheumy every 5or 6 months ,in between if I have a flare or have a query I can go and see my rheumy nurse ,they're so good always sort you out with a steroid injection if you can't cope.I feel so bad for you Come live up here good care and amazing scenery ,the Clyde is beautiful😁if I didn't have PSA I'd be up Ben Nevis like a rat up a drainpipe 😂😂😂😂😂😂I can only look I'm afraid but it's great just the same ,😄hope you get some help soon ,take care 😁

Hi Magymay & thanks for reply. For years I worked with a lady from Edinburgh. She had a lovely little boy but he grew up fond of motorbikes and was seriously injured in a road smash. He was left quadriplegic. My friend struggled with the limited help down here and in the end, she gave it up and returned to Edinburgh, with her disabled youngster. She always said the care was much better in Scotland. You are lucky if you can see your Consultant every 5 to six months. My husband has only seen his three times in four years, and then only for perhaps two minutes. Usually it is some Nurse who hasn't read the medical records again. The last one we saw looked as if she had slept in her uniform and one time we went for me to another Clinic, and the Nurse was actually high on cocaine, (my husband was a prison service employee and trained to spot the signs of drug abuse.) The only place I have been in Scotland is Edinburgh, to visit my friend, but it was absolutely beautiful. We went to visit the Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia and had a bit of a ride round the lovely countryside.

You're probably not going to like this one little bit but you need to take some pro-active steps to improve your situation. Getting bitter about doctors and Tories is only going to make you even more ill.

You say "I now have to spend pounds on Imodium, which doesn't work" So why are you spending pounds on it then, if it is no use whatsoever?

First thing tomorrow, make an appointment with your GP. Your medication is causing you bowel problems and an OTC remedy isn't helping. So what if you can't get a non-urgent appointment for another three weeks. That's the reality for most of us and you just have to put up with it. We are all in the same boat, from tiny babies to 101 year old women. Whether you've got athletes foot or angina, you're still going to have to wait. It's either that or just sit there miserable, with uncontrolled IBS.

Secondly, you say "his mean Doctor's receptionist, (who is his only doctor, as his real GP travels round a large area and very rarely visits our little rural town, so the receptionist now does everyone's care!)". Do you mean to say that if I was to turn up at your surgery with, say, a UTI, the receptionist would see me, take a urine sample from me and prescribe me some antibiotics? If I needed a coil fitted, would the receptionist do it?

If the receptionist really is seeing patients and prescribing new medications to them etc then why on earth are you still with this surgery? Especially as you say "we are now only both receiving a few opioid painkillers each a month" So you don't get even 28 painkillers each, every four weeks? You're literally getting prescriptions for like 5-10 at a time? if this is true then you really must change surgeries.

I notice that in a later post, you say your husband often runs out of meds, you need to make arrangements for these to be put on a repeat prescription. Have this prescription sent straight to the pharmacy. This ensures they can order it in for you if they don't have it in stock, so you never run out.

Lastly, what on earth did they threaten you with? They can't sue you for complaining can they? If you are dissatisfied then you have every right to make a complaint, do not let anyone tell you any different.

Honestly, you need to take the bull by the horns and take steps towards positive action. Nobody will do a thing for you in this life, doesn't matter if you've worked all your life, paid all your taxes, whatever. The only way things get sorted out is if you sort them out yourself. Sorting out the smaller worries gives you more mental energy to deal with the bigger worries more effectively.

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Well said. Inferring that the receptionist , does everything at the surgery would surely have meant that it to be closed, complaints and possibly GP struck off? It is up to them to order the repeat medication, they can choose where to go for their treatment. Unfortunately, the NHS is in crisis, we can not expect 5 star service with the continued 3 star funding.

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Just to say, a receptionist can not prescribe medication. The only people that can prescribe are, a doctor or a nurse practitioner-specialist who has done training to be able to prescribe certain medication.

The speculum is rinsed under the tap to warm it up so it makes it more comfortable for you. It’s very common to do that. They would not risk using a dirty already used speculum on another patient. Why would they? I certainly wouldn’t risk my job over that & getting struck off.

If you and your husband are so poorly & it certainly sounds as though you are, please do not anything hasty like withdrawing from the NHS GP service or cutting up your medical cards. This will not help you, you need to complain as others have advised you so you can get better treatment from elsewhere. You could be risking your own lives if you withdraw from all services.

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We have complained - we got nowhere - they hate older people and want us dead so that we don't cost anything. The Private Gynaecologist I was forced to pay for after the NHS infected me at Doddington Hospital says it is very rare these days that anything other than a disposable speculum is used, but of course they are still used here, where it is so terribly poor. My Doctors Receptionist prescribed me an Italian antibiotic called Monuril and arranged the repeat MSU afterwards to make sure I was free of the mucky, resistant strain of e-coli I had caught at the hospital. The Doctor is never there, complete with his Saville Row suits and recent hair transplant - he wouldn't want to touch any dirty people however much you paid him. My husband litterally cries at his rudeness, as he sits with his back to you, doesn't look at you, only mumbles and never examines anyone! I bought the Doctor's receptionist a box of chocolates for Christmas and think we would be better off with her instead of the expensive and useless Doctors and Nurse Practitioners. Last time I was in hospital at Hinchingbrooke 20 years ago, I had had nothing to eat for 36 hours following surgery. I asked a Nurse to make me a milky coffee at 5a.m. because I was in pain with my back and all my painkillers have to be taken after food. She threw it at me stating:- "Do you think L got a University Degree to make you coffee!!!! Luckily it was only moderately hot and didn't scald me much. I struggled to put my clothes on and left. Whilst visiting elderly relative in hospital in London, I have seen three serious assaults on elderly patients by nurses and one actual murder. Very bad people who care about no one and are hard hearted and vain work for the NHS. I should know, I worked for it too!

Yes I know Monuril, I've had it for urine infections. You witnessed a murder! Goodness me, that must have been traumatic for you to see & having to give a police statement. Did it go to trial?

We were summoned to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, where my father had been one of the Pensioners for years. He had become unable to walk due to emphysema. The Army gave up the decent Military Hospital, (the Queen Elizabeth at Woolwich,) in the late 1990's. My dad had had good treatment at the Queen Elizabeth under Army Medics and Queen Alexandra's Nurses. But as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was closed my Dad was put in the NHS run part of the Royal Hospital, where care was minimal. They were phoning me to go morning noon and night to him stating "he was dying." When I got there, (which I must have made about 40 such trips from Cambridgeshire,) my Dad was just fine, needing to be nursed in bed due to needing oxygen and being too short of breath to walk. I was not happy with their negative attitude and the fact my Dad said they kept trying to persuade him to take a large dose of Rohypnol. I asked for a copy of my Dad's medical records and took it to the Sue Ryder Hospice at Thorpe Hall, Peterborough. A Dr. Summerville looked at my Dad's records, and said he would take him into Thorpe Hall, but "he isn't terminal and you will have to find another Old People's Home locally for him once we have rehabilitated him." I went uninvited and unexpected a few days later to Chelsea, during the time the ward was closed for the Old Men to rest. However, suspicious, I went in, as did my prison service employee husband. We saw them forcing my Dad to drink Morphine Syrup from a cup. He was putting up quite a fight. We did stop them but it was too late and he died whilst we sat there, within two hours. I immediately had his body removed for private burial and refused to tell the Royal Hospital where I was taking my Dad. Subsequent enquiries revealed he had been poisoned with a Morphine overdose. My sister is a retired Nurse, married to a GP and she got the Solicitor to enquire into it all. My brother, sister and I buried Dad but we were very very angry with the Royal Hospital, who I personally saw did this on a regular basis as to keep them happy, I was obliged to work there intermittently as a voluntary helper. They kept on and on about Nursing shortages, but the cruelty I witnessed was not excused by that in my book. I saw one senile old man pulled out of bed by a disgruntled nurse, by his arm. He fell on the floor and broke the arm and had to be taken in an ambulance to St. Thomas's. My Dad would keep on "don't tell them De, for Godsake don't say anything, they'll only take it out on me." It was very difficult and sad. My brother and sister are older than me and none of us wanted the scandal of a Court case, but needless to say, we wont be going in anywhere for Old People! Nurses aren't supervised properly in hospitals.

Nobody has said you need to stay up, that's blowing things out of proportion, that is. Virtually everybody who has RA has to account for "de-stiffening" when getting up in the morning and the trick is to plan your get-up so you're fully functional when you need to be. Personally, I need to add at least an hour to my morning routine if I've got to be somewhere early and I do this by getting up earlier.

I'm sorry to say this but being elderly/pensioner does not entitle you to special treatment. Virtually EVERYBODY has to go through the palaver of calling the docs, it isn't just you. I have to dial the number over and over too, we all do. Your telephone usage skills did not shut down the moment you reached a pensionable age did they? The only person stopping you from making these calls is you.

As for the doctor, you do realise that he is at the surgery two mornings a week is because that what the practise have employed him to do? He doesn't make the decision about when he is needed, the surgery manager does. And what on earth does the fact he is Indian have to do with anything? How is it pertinent? Overall, you'd be much better off changing surgeries, but I must warn you, there will probably be Indian doctors there too.

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We cannot book a routine appointment three weeks in advance like everyone everywhere else - it's all those ringing between 7.30a.m. and 9.00a.m. If you are partially sighted like me, it's very difficult to keep dialling and dialling. My husband has no function in his hands now due to RA so how is he supposed to dial then? He's very deaf anyway and doesn't use the phone because he can't hear what anyone on the other end says! I'm supposed to just leave my husband while I dial and dial twits then am I? Leave him not washed or dressed, with no tea or breakfast? The doctor is the rudest pig on the planet. It's not just us who feels this. He sits with his back to patients, not looking round at them when he speaks, or they speak. He never examines anyone. His suits are Saville Row, top of the market. He recently had a hair transplant. He isn't caring in any way what-so-ever in his attitude to others. He's like a lot of medical people, superior and with an "entitled" attitude. He should do the job he trained for, (and which our taxation money helped to pay to train him for,) which he definitely does not! My brother-in-law is a doctor and he is quite rude, but he had a certain amount of care for some of his patients, especially those who did him "favours on the side," (bikes at cost price for the kids, home improvements that sort of thing!) My son, who is Quaker educated and very open minded, often says Indians are very offhand in their manner. We are not bothering with the stupid rubbish of GP's anymore and will do our own treatment with begged and borrowed drugs. The NHS have been lying to the public for years about the cost of drugs anyway. Have you ever tried to buy any of your prescriptions abroad and found out how cheap they are? I'm glad you feel you get good value out of the NHS, but I'm 65 now and have never had any successful treatment from them. A normal delivery they forced on me, left me with a child with cerebral palsy, a myelogram ruined my eyesight and an operation for fibroids left me with drastic haemorrhaging and a prolapsed womb.

I can't say I've ever tried to bring prescription drugs back into the country, no. I believe Customes and Excise don't take too kindly to that. Racist hate speech is illegal too and I'm afraid that "My son, who is Quaker educated and very open minded, often says Indians are very offhand in their manner" counts as such. And I'm grammar school educated, as well as being very open minded.

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Don't talk rubbish. We go on holiday with a disabled group and have done for many years. One or other of the group are always forgetting something, one member even forgot their heart tablets, one year. It is no problem what so ever buying prescription drugs abroad - for a start we have the strictest prescription laws in the world and half the medication you have to have a prescription for here, you can just buy abroad. I have never been asked about any medication I have with me by Customs and Excise and I don't think it would be a problem, since I always travel with a copy of important medical letters and past prescriptions and would advise anyone to do the same. When was the last time you went abroad? You don't really come on here to offer helpful tips to anyone do you - you simply like having a go at people. The NHS has totally run out where we live and I asked if anyone knew if it was any better down in the South of the Country. My son has a degree in politics and international relations and works with people from all over the world and I am sure he didn't mean his comment in a racist manner as he went to an international Quaker School with pupils from 50 different Countries. He trains people from abroad and complains the ones from India do not make it clear what they are thinking and are dismissive. I think he was trying to help his absolutely distraught dad, who has a rude and arrogant GP who doesn't like the job. My 71 year old, extremely frail husband doesn't deserve the treatment he gets from his GP. You wouldn't want to talk to the back of someone's head like we do, (he never turns round so that you see his face.) My very deaf husband cannot hear a word the GP says and I have to go with him, if he goes at all, which he no longer will, so I will have to look after him myself, as best I may. If anyone was racist, I would say it was my husband's GP. Apparently Indian people living here don't have any problems with him - just the English. No matter how nice and polite we have been to the GP on the four occasions we have seen him in the last four years, he has not responded or even said "Goodbye" when we have called it out on leaving the consulting room, which we do pretty quickly because of the frosty reception! He thought my husband had a different lung complaint than the one he has, because he hasn't even read a word on his records.

"When was the last time you went abroad?"

Three months ago. We went to the Algarve. I remember the posters up in the airport regarding drug smuggling.

"You don't really come on here to offer helpful tips to anyone do you - you simply like having a go at people"

Read back and you'll see I've offered you plenty of tips to try and improve your situation. Each one was rebutted because, at the grand age of 65, why should you have to do it? 65 isn't elderly, for crying out loud. Numerous people have advised you to change surgeries - have you looked into this yet? The only help you get in this life is the help you get yourself. You have choices, can't you see this? And yes, I will always speak out against racism. Always.

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There aren't any other surgeries in a tiny Fenland town! Don't contact me again.

To give yourselves treatment with begged and borrowed medication could be potentially unlawful for those who give you their medication. It could also make you or your husband very ill. This is actually a selfish strategy to put you, your Husband at risk and those who give your medication. I’m guessing you’ll be going private for all your treatment from now on if you can’t trust the NHS? To infer that medical professionals are superior and have an entitled manner Indian or otherwise is offensive and can be seen as racist speech. You cannot just tar everyone with the same brush, irrespective of their nationality, there are very hard working and dedicated NHS workers out there.

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My husband has had pneumonia five times in the 44 years I have looked after him. He has very severe lung disease with only one third healthy lung tissue left, as well as the RA. I only ever managed to get a GP out once for an attack of pneumonia and that was about 32 years ago!!! If I didn't help my husband, he would have died years ago. You are so lucky to be so well. My husband has seen that doctor four times in four years. My husband is very deaf and because the doctor wont turn round and look at him, he has no idea what he says. My husband now refuses all contact with his doctor and is so upset, has refused to register with another, so I've no option but to do my best. The doctor is unaware what lung condition my husband suffers from, as he hasn't read the notes. My husband's NHS Chest Physician is a brilliantly gifted doctor, who sees him once a year and intercedes on my husband's behalf with his disinterested GP but she has many patients and is spread too thin. I have actually heard her shout at my husband's GP on the phone! She's Indian too as it happens, but she cares about her job and her patients. I was born abroad, in a Germany, so perhaps you would like to call me a Nazi for mentioning someone is difficult to understand, if they wont look you in the face when they are speaking to you and have heavily accented speech! You can call me anything you like. Being from another race or culture doesn't give my husband's doctor the right to refuse to do his job and that would be the same wherever he was from. I've a duty to my husband, and I do it.

I’m pleased that you do get some excellent NHS treatment, you now must press on and sort out your new GP practice. Yes, you may have to travel, but that is the situation. It’s a case of pulling up your socks and getting on with it. Not ideal of course, but to help you get better care, you have no option? Your assumption of that I’m so well, where you got that from I’ll never know, I’m in a wheelchair with my husband as my carer, have been for several years so no, I’m not well. Why would I call you a N*** because you were born in Germany? Doesn’t matter where you’re born, we are all the same, maybe your arrogant GP needs to hear that. Good luck in your search for better care.

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Both of us are bad here but my husband has no use of his hands now because of the medical neglect of his RA and he lost his right eye after being thrown out of Addenbrooke's Eye Clinic in 2016. In addition he is completely deaf (has hearing aids but they don't help him as he has constant tinnitus,) and has about a third of his lung tissue that is still alive, according to the MRI. He's been constantly on antibiotics for the last 20 years. I've got nine discs prolapsed in my spine, partial sight, and my hands are gone with arthritis. I'm in a wheelchair too, but have no one to push me in it and there is so little in our filthy Fen town that it is not worth the cost of a buggy or electric wheelchair the shops are too far away in a buggy anyway. I am uninsurable to drive but do go out on the roads sometimes on a big electric trike, but I only go in an emergency, shopping on the internet. No one cares for either of us as we would not pay anyone £25 an hour if we were dying tomorrow, (which we possibly might be, on principle,) because you shouldn't have to. Our only son has cerebral palsy due to medical negligence at his delivery. We let him go free because he has limitations and he lives and works in London, training people from all over the world to design computer software. He was unmarriageable due to disability and there are no grandchildren. We haven't seen any friends or family for over a year now. No one would drive us to a Doctor's surgery miles away really. We'd have to pay as usual! Apart from the woman from the Fenland Society for the Blind, I don't even receive a birthday card on my birthday, as my son had no handwriting due to the stroke he suffered at birth when the midwife left us on our own for over an hour in the second stage of labour. We've not had a penny piece in compensation from the NHS. I do feel it my duty to warn people that their drugs might be cut down to nothing like ours soon. Our M.P. for Fenland is Steven Barclay, who is the Assistant Minister for Health for the Tories and he agrees with all these changes so I have no reason to believe other people wont get cut back soon as it has been going on here since 2010. There are lots of nice people on this site and I want to warn them to look after their tablets, and look into alternative means of medical care, as I think the cuts they have made here, will bite everywhere else soon. People ought to have a Plan B, if you see what I mean.

I am considering re-locating to N. Norfolk. Can anyone tell me about the quality & strength of RA patient care in that area, please?

My husband's cousin in the Chaplain at the Norwich & Norfolk and has quite a bit of treatment at that hospital herself. She says it is quite good but she doesn't have RA. She had severe problems with her eyes and they fixed her. It's lovely over there though, and a nice quiet place to live. Norfolk is the only County left without major motorways. Good luck if you move.

Thank you so much for your reply. Although I'm interested predominantly in R.A.

Interesting post, I attend a hospital in Cambridgeshire. After following others' advice above, there's always the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman as a last resort.

Thanks for reply. I hope you get some decent care somewhere in Cambridgeshire - we never have. I wondered if people down South where all the money is got better care, but none of them have sent me any messages! I fancied a bungalow in Dorset or Devon. But we find it much easier to get medical help in Spain and the weather is a lot better, if you suffer from arthritis.

In the interests of maintaining the harmony of this site I am switching off replies to this thread. It has become overly aggressive and people are perhaps posting some comments which they may regret later.

Beverley (NRAS Admin)

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Many thanks.

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