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If we move to a new health authority do we start all over again from scratch?

Sorry folks but got another question hanging over me now. This business with the rheumy waiting list has got me a bit unhinged and depressed. We have been thinking about relocating anyway so want to start planning this now as it's a bit deal after 24 years here. Hubby's priority is easy access to care homes so he can work as well as good gardening territory - mine is to try and easily visited by friends up here but also be nearer to our families wherever they may be - so it wouldn't make sense to move all the way down to the South of England for instance despite the better climate.

Then I panicked and thought what if I have to go back into limbo and be rediagnosed/ start again from scratch in a new health authority. Does anyone know how it works please? TTx

9 Replies

What should happen is the new team send for your notes etc from your old team, and take it from there. Same as when you change your GP.

They can get to all your files and X rays etc.

As far as moving elsewhere, the only part of Scotland that I know (and love) is Dumfries and Galloway. The climate is amazing and they grow palm trees and tropical plants. But who knows where the best RA team is?

Try to be really excited about the changes, and the anxiety will get squashed!


Hi Tilda, many of my friends with Ankylosing Spondylitis (another of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases), live down South. Their care and choice of medications seems to be much better than ours in the North.

I think the only real problem will be when you first move, it takes time for records to follow suit (it shouldn't but it does). There's no reason why your current consultant can't refer you to a consultant in the new PCT area and prescribe enough meds until everything smooths out. The only real problem is for people on biologic drugs who have to apply to the new NHS trust to continue funding for their medication.

Plus... the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease is down there in Bath, many of my friends have been referred there for assessment, they travel from all over the country even Scotland.

The offer courses for coping with chronic pain, also have an inpatient course with assessment followed by intense physio. My friends rate it second to none, often telling me to ask my consultant for a referral, but the travelling puts me off.

Good luck, hope everything works out.

Beth xx


Tilda, where ever you decide to move to start the wheels in motion ASAP.

Speak to one of your rheumy team and get them to refer you or even your present GP.

Try to stay positive, you will be getting other opinions.

Good Luck



Thanks so much all. I posted this question and then my GP friend came over and spent the afternoon here with us for son's birthday lunch (she bought a pavlova!). I asked her and she explained exactly what you have - that I wouldn't need to be re-diagnosed but that it may all take time to set up because of the way the NHS works.

We can't think about moving until our sons have finished school because both the younger ones are at the exam stages and also hubby has a contracted job and we couldn't move until we knew he had another down south - and I would look for part time work too so there are many factors. But we both want to start thinking about this well in advance of any actual move so it's good to know how things are done.

I was scared at the idea of going back into some kind of sero-neg limbo I admit but my friend explained that it's the same with rheumies as it would be with GPs in terms of info being passed on so I would already be regarded as having a diagnosis. I only worry because I have read on here and elsewhere of people moving and then the new rheumy deciding they haven't got RA but have something else or questioning the diagnosis and being not very positive in blood terms the thought of being cast off a list with a new rheumy is more than a little daunting and would put me off making the move I admit. Sometimes it's a case of better the devil you know?! TTx


Hi i too am sero neg and have recently moved from Essex to Norfolk so had to change authorities and had everything changed over drs and consultants/ hospitals etc and we did it all in about 2 months so it was a very quick move in the end. All i can advise you is think positive, get copies of your notes yourself you are entitled to copies, so if theirs dont get across for a while you will have copies to show the new consultants and nurses. Ensure that you register straight away with a new doctors practice which we did and they were brilliant. They set me up with my medicines straight away as i gave them a copy of my repeat prescription and a letter from gp with a brief history (she just printed it off when i went to see her to advise her we were moving) so i had my medicines set up straight away, and they then wrote to the local hospital to set me up with a consultant there, who then contacted my existing one who then sent across all my notes and set up funding for my injections i have. Only one hitch when i got a phone call from the Humira people who said they were standing outside my house with my injections and they were in Essex! So obviously it hadnt been tied up at that end but that was the only thing that went astray everything else went well and i would definitely say are a lot better here in Norfolk!! I get all my treatments and appoints for the GP, drugs and see the nurse and OT at the one place 5 mins down the road I couldnt ask for more!!

Hope it all goes well for you Sue xx


That is really good to know Sue - so pleased it's all gone smoothly for you.

I'm a few years off making such a move I think but it's good to have something to look forward to and that gives me plenty of time to do my research too. TTx


Hello! The only advice I'd give is to stay in Scotland because of all the changes south of the border. When we moved from Oxford to Edinburgh three years ago the transition was seamless I was already on anti- tnf and they accepted the existing protocol which differed I think from the way they do it here. But I was stable and in remission which probably helped.

I hope you come to near me! Xx cathie


Hi Cathie - yes I think on the whole that's the plan - especially because it will be nice to have you being able to point the way to lots of RAer things and art stuff too!

Only downside of Edinburgh is that my husband wants to move somewhere warmer than Orkney if possible and I admit I've started to crave warmth myself a lot since the RA. But on the other hand our son lives in Edinburgh and so does my uncle and we have some really good friends there so it's a known quantity - also a beautiful city that is easy to navigate so it has a lot in its favour. Bath is nice but OH's sis lives there and that in itself is very off -putting I have to say! It wouldn't be so far to go from Edinburgh as it is from Orkney though re the hospital you mention Beth. I don't think I'm going to need too much for my RA (famous last words!) but just don't like the uncertainty or lack of specialist advice up here you know? TTx


My mum went to the bath hospital in the late 50s and it was incredible then. Very disciplined and they used to let the patients have hydrotherapy sessions in the spa. But tilda, its v exciting to hear that you're considering our part of the world. I can't think of anywhere id rather be for all sorts of reasons. And it's obvious that the health service is coming under more strain in England. Our gps are very well organised and while i have gripes they do keep an eye on you. We must talk anout all this in july. We were in London yesterday and I can't believe the crowds. Saw Nicholson/Mondrian at the courtauld. Today at my fathers who will soon be 101. Don't think I'll make that age and it's hard going. Xx c


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