How have we progressed to this?

#1
An elderly man has been refused NHS treatment which would save his sight - until he goes blind in one eye.

Ex-serviceman Leslie Howard, 76, from Acomb, York, was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in his right eye in November.

His local primary care trust (PCT) only pays for the £6,000-a-year treatment once he loses the sight in one eye and develops wet AMD in the other.

The Royal National Institute of the Blind was "outraged" by the decision.

Steve Winyard, head of campaigns at the RNIB, said: "This is a desperate situation for Mr Howard.

"His PCT is leaving him to go blind even though sight-saving treatments are available on the NHS.

[align=center]...[/align]

Mr Howard said: "I can't believe I'm being left to go blind in one eye.

"I've spent most of my working life devoted to public service - I was in the army, police and prison service and I've never failed to pay my dues.

"I've paid literally tens of thousands of pounds in taxes and to know that I will now lose my sight because I can't afford private treatment is diabolical.

"Has the government lost all sense of compassion as well as economics? Is there no way I can get help to save my sight?

"My wife and I have arthritis of the spine and if I lose my sight, we'll end up housebound, and that will destroy us."
Source.

I understand about the health trusts and I understand about budgets, but how on Earth have we arrived at a mentality that allows the funding of boob-jobs out of the public purse yet won't provide the funds to save this man's eye-sight?

:pissedoff:
 
#2
It would seem that loyalty is a one-way street in this country. What does hack me off is that we have no med sp for veterans in this country. Say what you like about the septics but their health care system for veterans is top notch. Mind you, the bill for that alone is $80bn a year - almost more than double our entire defence budget. Bloody hell!
 
#4
Dozy

I think you were doing all right garnering sympathy with your indignancy until you mentioned boob jobs. This being ARRSE, all the blokes are now wondering 'Hmm, now isn't it tricky setting medical priorities in a state-funded system based upon universal availability but limited funding in a time of ever-increasing and ever costly treatments? A tricky one, to be sure.'
 
#5
Dilfor said:
Dozy

I think you were doing all right garnering sympathy with your indignancy until you mentioned boob jobs. This being ARRSE, all the blokes are now wondering 'Hmm, now isn't it tricky setting medical priorities in a state-funded system based upon universal availability but limited funding in a time of ever-increasing and ever costly treatments? A tricky one, to be sure.'
Fair one! :D
 
#6
Unbelievable!!

We "progressed" to this thanks to a bankrupt and corrupt political philosophy that bleeds us dry of our taxes and our pensions then gives the cash away to people who have done nothing for this country.

We need to rise like lions after slumber and redress the balance in favour of those to whom we owe an eternal debt.

We need a coup.
 
#7
There seems to be a concerted campaign going on with regard to age-related wet macular degeneration and new treatments. At the end of the day it boils down to NICE being terrifically slow in approving a life-changing treatment. Value for money should not be an issue with drugs such as these which have been clinically proven.
 
#8
DozyBint said:
An elderly man has been refused NHS treatment which would save his sight - until he goes blind in one eye.

Ex-serviceman Leslie Howard, 76, from Acomb, York, was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in his right eye in November.

His local primary care trust (PCT) only pays for the £6,000-a-year treatment once he loses the sight in one eye and develops wet AMD in the other.

The Royal National Institute of the Blind was "outraged" by the decision.

Steve Winyard, head of campaigns at the RNIB, said: "This is a desperate situation for Mr Howard.

"His PCT is leaving him to go blind even though sight-saving treatments are available on the NHS.

[align=center]...[/align]

Mr Howard said: "I can't believe I'm being left to go blind in one eye.

"I've spent most of my working life devoted to public service - I was in the army, police and prison service and I've never failed to pay my dues.

"I've paid literally tens of thousands of pounds in taxes and to know that I will now lose my sight because I can't afford private treatment is diabolical.

"Has the government lost all sense of compassion as well as economics? Is there no way I can get help to save my sight?

"My wife and I have arthritis of the spine and if I lose my sight, we'll end up housebound, and that will destroy us."
Source.

I understand about the health trusts and I understand about budgets, but how on Earth have we arrived at a mentality that allows the funding of boob-jobs out of the public purse yet won't provide the funds to save this man's eye-sight?

:pissedoff:
Certainly can't get boob jobs on the NHS in the PCT I'm work for (I sit on the panel that decides such things) or the one I used to work for. Only exception is for reconstructive surgery after mastectomy currently.

I'd be very surprised if any other PCT is different.

However, as usual with the press, the actual situation isn't quite as simple as they are making out. The PCT won't have refused him treatment outright.

The drug he needs, Licentis, if I've spelt it right, is very new indeed and still going through validation with NICE. It is possible to pre-empt NICE (and in the case of this particular medication it is extremely effective), but PCTs are always a little wary of doing this in case it turns out not to be effective or has nasty side-effects and that they've wasted their money or, more importantly, approved something that may cause harm to the patient.

We're certainly keeping a close watch over this drug as it does seem to make a difference and the NICE guidance is due very soon.
 
#9
The nice guidance will make it available in Scotland but not in England... as usual.
 
#11
psychobabble said:
DozyBint said:
An elderly man has been refused NHS treatment which would save his sight - until he goes blind in one eye.

Ex-serviceman Leslie Howard, 76, from Acomb, York, was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in his right eye in November.

His local primary care trust (PCT) only pays for the £6,000-a-year treatment once he loses the sight in one eye and develops wet AMD in the other.

The Royal National Institute of the Blind was "outraged" by the decision.

Steve Winyard, head of campaigns at the RNIB, said: "This is a desperate situation for Mr Howard.

"His PCT is leaving him to go blind even though sight-saving treatments are available on the NHS.

[align=center]...[/align]

Mr Howard said: "I can't believe I'm being left to go blind in one eye.

"I've spent most of my working life devoted to public service - I was in the army, police and prison service and I've never failed to pay my dues.

"I've paid literally tens of thousands of pounds in taxes and to know that I will now lose my sight because I can't afford private treatment is diabolical.

"Has the government lost all sense of compassion as well as economics? Is there no way I can get help to save my sight?

"My wife and I have arthritis of the spine and if I lose my sight, we'll end up housebound, and that will destroy us."
Source.

I understand about the health trusts and I understand about budgets, but how on Earth have we arrived at a mentality that allows the funding of boob-jobs out of the public purse yet won't provide the funds to save this man's eye-sight?

:pissedoff:
Certainly can't get boob jobs on the NHS in the PCT I'm work for (I sit on the panel that decides such things) or the one I used to work for. Only exception is for reconstructive surgery after mastectomy currently.

I'd be very surprised if any other PCT is different.

However, as usual with the press, the actual situation isn't quite as simple as they are making out. The PCT won't have refused him treatment outright.

The drug he needs, Licentis, if I've spelt it right, is very new indeed and still going through validation with NICE. It is possible to pre-empt NICE (and in the case of this particular medication it is extremely effective), but PCTs are always a little wary of doing this in case it turns out not to be effective or has nasty side-effects and that they've wasted their money or, more importantly, approved something that may cause harm to the patient.

We're certainly keeping a close watch over this drug as it does seem to make a difference and the NICE guidance is due very soon.
The question is, why do NICE guidelines take so long? As with any licenced pharmaceutical, Lucentis will have undergone multiple trials to prove it's efficacy, also it is likely that comparative trials have also been carried out. If EMEA and FDA have licenced a product then it is known to work.
NICE will know what the price is already so why the mucking around?
 
#12
Sky-Monkey said:
It would seem that loyalty is a one-way street in this country. What does hack me off is that we have no med sp for veterans in this country. Say what you like about the septics but their health care system for veterans is top notch. Mind you, the bill for that alone is $80bn a year - almost more than double our entire defence budget. Bloody hell!
That's slightly missing the point. A more correct way to look at the system in the US is one where you can only access the NHS if you're a veteran. They don't have a special system for vets it's basically their ONLY public health provision as there is only a relatively tiny public health care setup in the US. Everthing else is privately funded by insurance.

If they had a system like the NHS there's no way they'd have the Vets hospitals as they simply wouldn't be able to afford it!
 
#13
psychobabble said:
Certainly can't get boob jobs on the NHS in the PCT I'm work for (I sit on the panel that decides such things) or the one I used to work for. Only exception is for reconstructive surgery after mastectomy currently.

I'd be very surprised if any other PCT is different.
Thanks for that, psychobabble, if this is now the case then the worm has turned a little, but a few years ago there was a hoo-ha about it (I've found a Telegraph article from the time).

Ref your comments about the drug, I'll certainly not argue with you about it, but what I don't understand (with regard to your "PCTs are always a little wary of doing this in case it turns out not to be effective or has nasty side-effects and that they've wasted their money or, more importantly, approved something that may cause harm to the patient.") is this bit:

His local primary care trust (PCT) only pays for the £6,000-a-year treatment once he loses the sight in one eye and develops wet AMD in the other.
Does that mean that his PCT will be willing to take the above-mentioned risks after he's lost the sight in one of his two eyes?
 
#14
Several cancer patients in England are being denied treatement which is funded in Scotland (by the English taxpayer).

N.I.C.E should be renamed nasty.
 
#15
radioactiveman said:
psychobabble said:
DozyBint said:
An elderly man has been refused NHS treatment which would save his sight - until he goes blind in one eye.

Ex-serviceman Leslie Howard, 76, from Acomb, York, was diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in his right eye in November.

His local primary care trust (PCT) only pays for the £6,000-a-year treatment once he loses the sight in one eye and develops wet AMD in the other.

The Royal National Institute of the Blind was "outraged" by the decision.

Steve Winyard, head of campaigns at the RNIB, said: "This is a desperate situation for Mr Howard.

"His PCT is leaving him to go blind even though sight-saving treatments are available on the NHS.

[align=center]...[/align]

Mr Howard said: "I can't believe I'm being left to go blind in one eye.

"I've spent most of my working life devoted to public service - I was in the army, police and prison service and I've never failed to pay my dues.

"I've paid literally tens of thousands of pounds in taxes and to know that I will now lose my sight because I can't afford private treatment is diabolical.

"Has the government lost all sense of compassion as well as economics? Is there no way I can get help to save my sight?

"My wife and I have arthritis of the spine and if I lose my sight, we'll end up housebound, and that will destroy us."
Source.

I understand about the health trusts and I understand about budgets, but how on Earth have we arrived at a mentality that allows the funding of boob-jobs out of the public purse yet won't provide the funds to save this man's eye-sight?

:pissedoff:
Certainly can't get boob jobs on the NHS in the PCT I'm work for (I sit on the panel that decides such things) or the one I used to work for. Only exception is for reconstructive surgery after mastectomy currently.

I'd be very surprised if any other PCT is different.

However, as usual with the press, the actual situation isn't quite as simple as they are making out. The PCT won't have refused him treatment outright.

The drug he needs, Licentis, if I've spelt it right, is very new indeed and still going through validation with NICE. It is possible to pre-empt NICE (and in the case of this particular medication it is extremely effective), but PCTs are always a little wary of doing this in case it turns out not to be effective or has nasty side-effects and that they've wasted their money or, more importantly, approved something that may cause harm to the patient.

We're certainly keeping a close watch over this drug as it does seem to make a difference and the NICE guidance is due very soon.
The question is, why do NICE guidelines take so long? As with any licenced pharmaceutical, Lucentis will have undergone multiple trials to prove it's efficacy, also it is likely that comparative trials have also been carried out. If EMEA and FDA have licenced a product then it is known to work.
NICE will know what the price is already so why the mucking around?
A very good point, well made and I have absolutely no idea of the answer to your question!!

Having said that, the FDA approved Xanax in the US, causing enormous problems and Novartis (I think!) have never been able to get it approved in the UK, so NICE does have it's uses!

I stress this is only a personal opinion, but I think the only one eye criteria is ludicrous and I really don't understand where that came from (having said that I've seen some bizarre commissioning policies in my time, some of them even devised by medics!). We get more requests for Macugen (cheaper and some might say less effective) currently, but this may change when the guidance (eventually) appears.

Cad, although that's certainly true for some drugs like herceptin (though be a little careful with this as the big hoo-ha for funding it in England was for a stage in the disease where the evidence does not back its use. Again it's more complicated than the press made it out to be.), we've really no idea what will happen with AMD meds, though I'd be very surprised if they aren't approved.
 
#16
An unhappy case but nothing new. This sort of thing has been going on for years with all sorts of conditions and clinical decisions are clearly being influenced by funding.

Trouble is that the NHS is a money pit the country cannot afford. The BMA told them this years ago and that some form of health insurance was inevitable.

This Government chose to ignore that and has tended to throw money at difficult and ill defined problems and never really got to grips with the real issues, made a huge fuss about "highest ever funding/more than the Conservatives ever did" and then acts all surprised when they discover it was all to little good effect. It did not have to be like this.

And do not even get me started about the abomination that is their mega IT system doomed for huge overspend and in the view of many ultimately a disaster that will become a textbook example of how not to do it. GRRR!
 
#17
Blogg said:
An unhappy case but nothing new. This sort of thing has been going on for years with all sorts of conditions and clinical decisions are clearly being influenced by funding.

Trouble is that the NHS is a money pit the country cannot afford. The BMA told them this years ago and that some form of health insurance was inevitable.

This Government chose to ignore that and has tended to throw money at difficult and ill defined problems and never really got to grips with the real issues, made a huge fuss about "highest ever funding/more than the Conservatives ever did" and then acts all surprised when they discover it was all to little good effect. It did not have to be like this.

And do not even get me started about the abomination that is their mega IT system doomed for huge overspend and in the view of many ultimately a disaster that will become a textbook example of how not to do it. GRRR![/quote]

Oh come on, we've only wasted £30bn on it!! 8O
 
#18
Is anyone surprised by this ?

Under the overall 'control' of 'President Elect' Bliar and the daily fiddling by the awful Hewitt (Labour's answer to Virginia Bottomley in the 'open your mouth and lose hundreds of votes' stakes), I am only slightly surprised that the poor old fellow is not 'obliged' to be blind in both eyes to qualify.

I GUARANTEE THAT A BEAN-COUNTING PRAT HAS MADE THIS DECISION following the direction of 'Irma' Hewitt.
 
#19
I must say I am quite surprised. Mrs Hewitt said that the NHS has never had it so good. :x Still I sleep easy knowing that money has been well spent on interpreting NHS pamphlets so that immigrants can read them and thus feel that their needs are met. What's one old soldier to New Labour when they couldn't care less about the thousands currently serving?
 
#20
The_Cad[b] said:
Unbelievable!![/b]
We "progressed" to this thanks to a bankrupt and corrupt political philosophy that bleeds us dry of our taxes and our pensions then gives the cash away to people who have done nothing for this country.

We need to rise like lions after slumber and redress the balance in favour of those to whom we owe an eternal debt.

We need a coup.
Unfortunately you don't think its unbelievable any more than I do :(

The NHS is a complete drag on the finances of this country and needs sorting out from top to bottom. Medical insurance for those who can afford to - I can afford it and do pay it, despite my address - and a proper safety net for those who cannot. If you are gender/race/equality manager re-skilling fast is a must for you - or you are gone.

There are managers who manage the managers who manage - WTF. The entire organisation needs digging out with a G1098 shovel.

When we have done with that its the Social Security appartchicks next on the list - and before Sven gets on his bleeding heart kick, I'm talking Systems here, not some spotty oik or Doris putting the cash across the table.
 
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