"Difficulty in accessing NHS care after accident abroad"
About: London London
Posted by BlueSwan (as ),
My husband sustained an accident abroad (in EU country), was admitted to the public hospital there and had an operation to repair a ruptured quadriceps tendon.
He contained his GP while abroad in hospital to ask about follow up treatment in the UK. He is in a full length cast, and has a surgical wound that has staples/clips both of which will need to be removed at the appropriate times and needs advice about when to start weight bearing on his leg (not to mention physiotherapy in due course).
His GP told he that he would have to make an appointment to come in person to the GP's surgery - no home visit despite his very limited mobility - and that nothing could be arranged until he came in.
We hired a wheelchair for him and recruited the help of a friend and got him as far as the surgery door. However the surgery is not wheelchair accessible and doesn't have a disabled toilet. After waiting in the street outside for half an hour, with the help of the GP we did actually manage to get him into the surgery. The GP was helpful when he finally saw her and gave him at list of possible Choose and Book clinics. When we logged on we saw that many of these had long waiting times, but one (at a local private hospital) only had a wait of 9 days so we booked that.
However the evening before the appointment, the hospital phoned us up and told us they were not prepared to see my husband as they were only interested in patients requiring operations and were not prepared to see patients requiring followup care.
We were told to got back to the GP and start all over again. The loss of 9 days, plus the long wait for another appointment at an NHS means that my husband is a risk of complications or adverse outcomes that would be completely avoided by timely followup.
Given accidents abroad must happen to many UK residents, why is there no provision in the NHS system for followup when they return home?
Why are hospitals on the Choose and Book system allowed to turn away patients the day before their appointment?
Why do GPs require patients with very limited mobility to come into the surgery in person, but make no provision for disabled access?