Priority NHS treatment for military personnel/veterans

we used to have to arrive at the TAC on a Friday night then straight out into the field for the whole weekend.

you dont know what exhaustion is like until you've worked for two and a half days straight
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Few weeks ago I was given some notes from what my GP surgery had on me and was astonished to find that a lot of it could only have come from my RAF records. There was a mistake in one of the entries and I wrote to the practice manager to have it corrected. He is ex Forces (long service) and rang me, had a bit of a chat and whereas I just wanted it slightly corrected, he had a totally different slant, which was all to do with the potential to need treatment in the future (bear in mind that what happened was in 1977 and I didn't 'retire' until 2000). He has made sure that it is now flagged so that if I ever need treatment it'll ping up 'due to service'. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they've got on you.
It can't be any more than the Met Police do!
 
It can't be any more than the Met Police do!
Nearly 63 and have had zero interaction with the Babylon my whole life, squeaky as! :)
 
Under the NHS Patient's Charter, you have the right to be referred any NHS hospital in England of your choice. Your GP may not like that, as if there are extra costs associated with that referral (if you need ambulance transport, for example), it may have to be paid out of their budget, but unless they can prove there would be no benefit to you in you going to the wherever you chose, off you pop. I used that right myself a couple of years ago, insisting on referral to a specialist orthopaedic hospital instead of the nearest general hospital when I had knee issues.

Referrals for specialist care
Things like this are great to know.
 

Mr Tweedy

Old-Salt
I was injured in 2009 and suffered complex trauma. Loss of both legs, damage to hands (loss of both thumbs) genital injuries and other soft tissue damage. I was initially treated at Bastion before being flown back to the UK and treated at Selly Oak (later QEHB) The consultants who treated me there are the same ones who treated me when I was discharged in 2018. QEHB will hold all the information on my injuries and surgery, they also have the best facility in the country for dealing with injured veterans like myself.

My body is a mess, I want the confidence of having a surgeon who is experienced of dealing with such messes.

Personally I feel it a waste of time going to my GP (wait of at least 2 weeks) to ask for a referral (further delays) and possibly going thorough the awkward process of arguing my case to being referred to my preferred consultant.

It is far easier if I can call the consultants secretary to arrange an appointment. However, I ado not know if the internal politics/administration of the NHS will allow this.

I’m not expecting to jump queues or be put before someone of greater clinical need, I’m simply trying to be in a position where I am comfortable and confident in the care I receive.

I feel my proposed approach will save time and money and will not block a GP appointment that could better be used by someone else.

Am I being unreasonable?

I don't think what you are asking for is unreasonable. In fact a lot of Commissioners, in partnership with Acute providers (we are trialling it) are initiating what is called "Patient Initiated Follow Up" (PIFU), particularly for patients with long term conditions (as you may well be classed!).

Traditionally, after each episode of care, the patient would be discharged from the consultant back to the GP. This would then require, as you have described, a new referral to get "back on the books" of the consultant. Under PIFU, the patient is not formally discharged, and under certain conditions* can get direct access to the consultant, and book themselves in for a consultation. These pathways are ideal for long term, complex patients, who know heir own illness/injury well, and do not just apply to Injured veterans - but sounds like that is the sort of access you need.

I don't know if the consultants you have been cared for (or indeed the CCG/QEHB) have a PIFU process, but it may be worth discussing this with them, as I have come across this being set up individually for particularly complex patients.

*these vary by speciality, and may be agreed between the consultant and patient individually, or may be part of an agreed "care pathway".

Feel free to PM me if you want me to do some digging about policies in Birmingham.
 
I was injured in 2009 and suffered complex trauma. Loss of both legs, damage to hands (loss of both thumbs) genital injuries and other soft tissue damage. I was initially treated at Bastion before being flown back to the UK and treated at Selly Oak (later QEHB) The consultants who treated me there are the same ones who treated me when I was discharged in 2018. QEHB will hold all the information on my injuries and surgery, they also have the best facility in the country for dealing with injured veterans like myself.

My body is a mess, I want the confidence of having a surgeon who is experienced of dealing with such messes.

Personally I feel it a waste of time going to my GP (wait of at least 2 weeks) to ask for a referral (further delays) and possibly going thorough the awkward process of arguing my case to being referred to my preferred consultant.

It is far easier if I can call the consultants secretary to arrange an appointment. However, I ado not know if the internal politics/administration of the NHS will allow this.

I’m not expecting to jump queues or be put before someone of greater clinical need, I’m simply trying to be in a position where I am comfortable and confident in the care I receive.

I feel my proposed approach will save time and money and will not block a GP appointment that could better be used by someone else.

Am I being unreasonable?
Surgeon = Rod Dunn by any chance?
 

sore knees

Clanker
Thanks for putting that succinctly. I can't quite grasp how "one day's service" can be comparable to someone who has served in the regs for many years, and perhaps has medical conditions directly related to that service.

There's enough people taking the piss out of the beleaguered NHS as it is, without even more trying it on.

I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday and one of the questions I'll be asking is - do any of you buggers practice privately, alongside your NHS work?
The answer will be - - we all do.
 
I don't think what you are asking for is unreasonable. In fact a lot of Commissioners, in partnership with Acute providers (we are trialling it) are initiating what is called "Patient Initiated Follow Up" (PIFU), particularly for patients with long term conditions (as you may well be classed!).

Traditionally, after each episode of care, the patient would be discharged from the consultant back to the GP. This would then require, as you have described, a new referral to get "back on the books" of the consultant. Under PIFU, the patient is not formally discharged, and under certain conditions* can get direct access to the consultant, and book themselves in for a consultation. These pathways are ideal for long term, complex patients, who know heir own illness/injury well, and do not just apply to Injured veterans - but sounds like that is the sort of access you need.

I don't know if the consultants you have been cared for (or indeed the CCG/QEHB) have a PIFU process, but it may be worth discussing this with them, as I have come across this being set up individually for particularly complex patients.

*these vary by speciality, and may be agreed between the consultant and patient individually, or may be part of an agreed "care pathway".

Feel free to PM me if you want me to do some digging about policies in Birmingham.
The Trusts would love that, would certainly cut down on the 18 week pathway if they didn't have to try and shoehorn a new patient in to a clinic by 12 weeks. Unfortunately in some specialities, and two I'm thinking of in particular are Cardiology and Ophthalmology, that wouldn't benefit the patient much. Speaking of the Cardio department I work in, our current new patient appointment wait is about 16 weeks (yes, we're breaching left, right an centre) but the follow ups are even worse, some patients are 6 months overdue their follow up appointment but they are being pushed aside in favour of getting new patients seen quicker.
 
Surgeon = Rod Dunn by any chance?
No, but I know who you mean, he’s Salisbury, a few guys have been treated by him. He’s very highly regarded.

Im not going to Salisbury, I had to hand in my respirator on discharge.
 

Mr Tweedy

Old-Salt
The Trusts would love that, would certainly cut down on the 18 week pathway if they didn't have to try and shoehorn a new patient in to a clinic by 12 weeks. Unfortunately in some specialities, and two I'm thinking of in particular are Cardiology and Ophthalmology, that wouldn't benefit the patient much. Speaking of the Cardio department I work in, our current new patient appointment wait is about 16 weeks (yes, we're breaching left, right an centre) but the follow ups are even worse, some patients are 6 months overdue their follow up appointment but they are being pushed aside in favour of getting new patients seen quicker.
Yep. I quite agree - some of the specialities are more amenable than others to PIFU. Some cardiology it works quite well (stable HF), but it is particularly suited to long term patients with chronic problems that they largely self (or Community) manage, such as Rheumatology and chronic pain. If introduced properly it is quite a good way of managing OP demand - In some areas we have reduced Follow Up appointments by 70%, releasing a huge number of appointments for new patients, and thereby bringing the waiting times down to tolerable levels (prior to this 16 weeks would have been considered fairly good for some of ours - at one point we were over 24 weeks........ and some specialities still are).

The biggest issue is getting the consultants to take the risk on PIFU - It largely means an end to routine follow up appointments, and the risk is in the hands of the patients (where it should be IMHO), which can feel scary if you are a consultant (or Nurse specialist) used to the comfort blanket of "I'll see you in six months".
 
Yep. I quite agree - some of the specialities are more amenable than others to PIFU. Some cardiology it works quite well (stable HF), but it is particularly suited to long term patients with chronic problems that they largely self (or Community) manage, such as Rheumatology and chronic pain. If introduced properly it is quite a good way of managing OP demand - In some areas we have reduced Follow Up appointments by 70%, releasing a huge number of appointments for new patients, and thereby bringing the waiting times down to tolerable levels (prior to this 16 weeks would have been considered fairly good for some of ours - at one point we were over 24 weeks........ and some specialities still are).

The biggest issue is getting the consultants to take the risk on PIFU - It largely means an end to routine follow up appointments, and the risk is in the hands of the patients (where it should be IMHO), which can feel scary if you are a consultant (or Nurse specialist) used to the comfort blanket of "I'll see you in six months".
Do you not then have the worry of the older generation with the mindset of "I didn't want to bother anyone" not getting in contact?
 
No, but I know who you mean, he’s Salisbury, a few guys have been treated by him. He’s very highly regarded.

Im not going to Salisbury, I had to hand in my respirator on discharge.
I've had the pleasure of working on his list, hence the question. I may have put you to sleepy-bye-byes

He's amazing to watch though. Defo a marmite bloke. Some hated being in his theatre probably because he was strict, ran a tight ship and hated throbbers. Me? Loved it and would have very happily worked his list permanently.

Hope you're doing well mukka.
 
I've had the pleasure of working on his list, hence the question. I may have put you to sleepy-bye-byes

He's amazing to watch though. Defo a marmite bloke. Some hated being in his theatre probably because he was strict, ran a tight ship and hated throbbers. Me? Loved it and would have very happily worked his list permanently.

Hope you're doing well mukka.
Puts me in mind of my urologist - PA - Great bloke, doesn’t suffer fools and is all about the patient. He even came and wheeled me down to surgery once when the porters were delayed.
 
NHS management and clinicians hate paper trails from service users.
If you have an issue and it not resolved then get it put in writing and send it to them, surprisingly services that are denied access to verbally, are often not denied access to in their written response.

Paper trails can be laborious but often get better outcomes for the service user, and if again you are not satisfied with outcome, then documented evidence makes taking issue to a higher level that much better, i'm sure old Jonny Mercer likes such evidence.

Life long health issues due to service like Dingerrs are bad enough, without the added fear, concern and stress of not being able to access the best care with ease both now and in the future,

No doubt Dingerr is on the case with such matters like documenting though.
 
I'm not sure if my GP has my Mil med records, is there anywhere I could get a copy to give to him?
This probably won't help you but I had to phone HMS Drake Sickbay and speak to their legal/historical dept to allow my consultant to have my RN med records. After a phonecall it was sorted pretty sharpish...well I suppose the bits that were in pixels were anyway.
I've no idea what the Army equiv of HMS Drake Sickbay is.



Mos Eisley?
 
This probably won't help you but I had to phone HMS Drake Sickbay and speak to their legal/historical dept to allow my consultant to have my RN med records. After a phonecall it was sorted pretty sharpish...well I suppose the bits that were in pixels were anyway.
I've no idea what the Army equiv of HMS Drake Sickbay is.



Mos Eisley?
It used to be Kentigern House in Glasgow. Times like these is when we miss Sluggy's input :(

@Legs can you advise?

ETA: from the NHS website: Veterans: health FAQs
 
Thanks for putting that succinctly. I can't quite grasp how "one day's service" can be comparable to someone who has served in the regs for many years, and perhaps has medical conditions directly related to that service.

There's enough people taking the piss out of the beleaguered NHS as it is, without even more trying it on.

I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday and one of the questions I'll be asking is - do any of you buggers practice privately, alongside your NHS work?
If it’s a GP appt then they all practise privately.... it’s just that the client for most of it is the NHS.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
It used to be Kentigern House in Glasgow. Times like these is when we miss Sluggy's input :(

@Legs can you advise?

ETA: from the NHS website: Veterans: health FAQs
I didn't need to chase mine up. A really great Practice Manager at the Redford Barracks Med Centre took the initiative and dropped my whole record onto a CD for me to give to my GP.
 

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