"No funding for my wife's treatment"

About: Bradford Royal Infirmary / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as other),

I've been trailing the internet to see if there is an association or group that I could contact and I came across your story. We do not live in your area. We live in Yorkshire. I'm really writing this on behalf of my wife, who has been in severe pain since March this year. After various visits to her GP and hospital appointments, we received the news on Monday 6th December that Janet is suffering from Femoral Acetabular Impingement. As you're aware, the good news is that the condition is treatable. The bad news is that she cannot have the operation. Now this is not down to her health, or because she is not eligible, or because of any legal issue. The reason why my wife cannot have the operation, as stated by the junior consultant who gave us the news, is because NICE (The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) has ruled that these operations cannot be funded, anywhere in the UK. So we are in a situation where my wife’s condition can be cured by operation, that the hospital has the expertise to do it, but the money cannot be spared to do it. The junior consultant who spoke to us said that they used to perform two to three operations a week. Now, the only operations that are performed of this type are ones where a GP has made an application and special approval has been given. As a result, the senior consultant is leaving the hospital we went to. This is our next course of action. The junior consultant is writing to our GP to advise them to submit an application for approval for the operation. We have an appointment with our GP next week to ensure that they have received the request and to find out what the application process is. If this application is not successful, then my wife will have to wait until NICE decide that money can be used to fund these operations. And this will not happen until after UK hospitals submit research that show the benefits of this type of operation. The hospital we went to is taking part in submitting some research, and they are looking to demonstrate the success rate of the operation, as well as attempting to prove that there is a link between Femoral Acetabular Impingement at a younger age, leading to arthritis at an older age. We are certain that My wife is not the only person in our area that is suffering from this condition. She has endured the cortisone injection, which did not reduce the pain as much as we hoped. On the day she had her injection, there was a total of six patients going in as day patients to have the same cortisone injection. So there are others that are feeling the same pain as my wife. The injection took some edge off the pain, but ultimately, it did not work and my wife continues to suffer. All she can do to try and manage the pain is to take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen up to three times a day. I appreciate that we currently live in austere times and I’m sure that there are people suffering with more serious ailments and illnesses that cannot have treatment. I also understand that everyone in a similar predicament will say the same thing as I will now – that my wife has worked nearly all of her adult life and has paid her National Insurance contributions, and when she needs the NHS to help, someone says no. But when people say that the NHS is there for everyone and yet they refuse to help then you can’t help feeling that this is not the case. When I married my wife 13 years ago, I promised to love, honour and protect her. I now find myself in a position where I cannot protect her from this pain she is suffering and it is killing me seeing her like this. I would be interested in hearing from anyone else in the same predicament.
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