"Kiwi Moniker - unable to get referred to NHS hospitals"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

Useful site but it could be extended to feedback from those who cannot get referrals to hospital clinics by GPs (eg are not even told these exist) apparently because of worry about local NHS finances. This has happened to me and I find it unacceptable. I've been working in the UK over the past 2 years, have an NHS card, but the GPs don't want to know about anyone from outside the area having accidents even though my country (New Zealand) provides excellent service to visitors having accidents and apparently has a reciprocal agreement with the UK. When I finally got a referral to the Addenbrooke's Back Clinic 6 months after a bike fall August 2006 I had also sprained my right ankle on a domestic staircase but was told this could not be considered because the referral was for the left leg only.

No doctor in sight; the assessment is by a physio. It took 3 weeks after the bike fall to see a GP. When I complained recently the Practice Manager suggested that I should have gone to Addenbooke's Emergency. Yet a GP said at the time that diagnostic services were not available to me and to “go private.” Another GP said that NHS physiotherapy had a waiting time of 12 months and advised me to "go private". I would be happy to "go private" but with the current exchange rates it is simply exorbitant for NZers to do so even if they want to - I'm setting up a business here and just can't afford it. What really annoys me is that my research business in NZ paid around $350 last year to the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation (www.acc.co.nz) last year so that British tourists suffering a similar accident in New Zealand get free GP assessment, Xrays, MRIs, orthopaedic assessment and physiotherapy. Fast!”

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