Pernicious Anaemia Society
15,819 members11,095 posts

The fortunate ones

I have had a long weary and upsetting battle to get the correct treatment and am now self injecting and seeing great improvement so its frustrating to see how differently private patients are treated in UK.My B12 was 72 at its worst and I had to fight ,with minimal success, to get proper treatment but a very close friend was offered excellent treatment as he has private medical cover.

He had went to private doctor regarding an unrelated problem and they checked his B12 along with a long list of other tests.His B12 was 217 and he was told that this was low so they were starting him on every other day injections for 6 weeks.He had no symptoms at all and was surprised as he knows what I've been through with severe symptoms.He has also been offered 3 monthly injections as a precaution.I'm obviously happy for him that hes been treated so well but it's further proof that cost cutting is damaging to NHS patients and it's all so unfair.We deserve to have our health restored but aren't being allowed . I was humiliated and made to feel like a pest for asking for more frequent injections as I was struggling to cope.Money talks even where health is concerned.

9 Replies
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I pay £8.60 per injection through nhs and with how much national insurance I’ve paid in the past cannot believe how much of a difference it makes to go private. Would probably work out cheaper to be private if you get the treatment you actually need!

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I offered to pay and was told no. I'm now happy buying the B12 from Germany and taking my wellbeing into my own hands.

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I’m pleased that everything is working out for you now. It’s a sorry situation that people have to take their treatment into their own hands. Everyone should get what they need to live the healthiest lives they can . I wish you well .

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Please note that this might actually be a testament to the private consultant that your friend saw as many people have been down the private route and had exactly the same problems as you have experienced with the NHS

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And some people have had very good help from the NHS.

It all depends on which doctor you get. I'll bet there are as many private doctors that stick to the letter of the recommendations as there are in the NHS.

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I think he was lucky as having private medical care he was seen by a consultant immediately this is rare on NHS.

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What seems to hold up the whole NHS system is GPs being hamstrung when it comes to referrals. If they can only pursue one avenue of investigation at a time, no matter how many symptoms/ possibilities present themselves, then wait until results and advice have been returned and discussed before exploring another area of consultancy, this elongates the time it takes to discover cause/s and treat the problem.

"Prevarication through fear of being wrong" (is there a word for that?) is another huge problem; are we really that litigious ? I don't know anyone who has sued anyone, even when they should have.

For very busy consultants, paperwork is more easily ignored than patients in the waiting-room who have already waited 5 or 6 months for an appointment, -which delays results further. The targets set for NHS often mean that initial consultation is just a paperwork exercise in order to meet the first deadline. Information on smoking, drinking, eating, weight, height etc. ? - all just insurance questions (data recorded for future reference). Then it's a matter of waiting another 2 or 3 months for the real consultation.

While the entire process is frustrating, I don't believe that the expertise of consultants or quality of care alters, because they are the same experts either way. Perhaps what needs to change is the pecking order (number-crunchers multiply themselves at the expense of medical staff) and the rigid adherence to systems that clearly aren't working. We should not have to pay extra to swerve this unsolved problem.

Isn't this also what happened to midwives, teachers, etc. etc? After overworking, underpaying and pushing them all out of these professions in droves without redundancy packages, they now find themselves short of experts with any experience worth passing on or any time to do so. Be careful what you throw away: it only takes one generation to lose hands-on skills and time-served knowledge, and will require more than a you-tube video to retain it ( ...and REAL information can disappear from the internet faster than you can burn an encyclopaedia! )

Fine, got that off my chest !

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Private consultants can make recommendations that NHS GPs can ignore. Also, by and large, insurance covers referrals and investigations, depending on the package, but it almost never covers the cost of prescription items.

I agree with the others, the quality of private referrals varies with the individual consultant or therapist.

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I have several doctors on my family and I know that they try their very best but the NHS is being starved of money so although its the same consultants you see going private they are not under the same pressure.Lack of funding and staff has put huge restraints on hospitals.I would gladly pay more in taxes so that we all could get treatment faster no matter whether rich or poor.Im not against people going private but with the right support from the government we wouldn't need to.Also most GPs in Scotland where I live are self employed they ate given targets with certain clinics so these areas are given priority.The nurse told me that giving B12 injections was taking nurses away from the other targeted clinics and the GPs found it a nuisance.Therefore we have to fight for correct treatment.I am self injecting so wont be an annoyance any more.I have had cancer and am so grateful for the life saving treatment but it took me a year to get referred which wasn't great.Once referred the treatment was fantastic.

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