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NHS treatment to save life...Help!

NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Old Mar 19th 2010, 9:06 am
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by confusedgirl View Post
We are not claiming any kind of benefits in the US as as far as we are concerned we now live in the UK, my sister gave up her green card. We no longer have US health insurance either, we terminated everything in the US before we left.
Usually Cobra is only terminated when you miss a monthly payment or 18 months has passed which ever occurs first.

Generally most US private health insurance policies will pay for health care in any country. It might be worth it to make sure that the policy is really canceled.

Last edited by Michael; Mar 19th 2010 at 9:11 am.
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Old Mar 19th 2010, 12:10 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by Beedubya View Post
This was from when I was born (1953 ) and it was on the short birth certificate.
Here it is, it would seem it is issued at birth. All the time I lived in the UK, I was never asked for this number. Maybe times have changed.

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/897.aspx...CategoryID=162
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Old Mar 19th 2010, 12:37 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by johnh009 View Post
Here it is, it would seem it is issued at birth. All the time I lived in the UK, I was never asked for this number. Maybe times have changed.

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/897.aspx...CategoryID=162
Not really John, because if you think of it, you would have been registered at the docs by your mum as a baby, then when you moved around as an adult your records would follow you to wherever you lived in the UK.

But if you leave the UK, you just have to give your last address which I did (vaguely!) , they can find your records. I'm not sure how it works if you don't remember who your last doctor was, but once again your NHS number is given to you at birth.

I don't know where all these ideas come from that you have to prove residency and so on. Admittedly I haven't been to hospital here but the way the NHS works I can't see anybody asking for your "paper's" to prove you are British.

Where I work I have had reason to either call or have contact with paramedics or ambulance officers when the elderly residents here were in need, at least 10 times. Nobody has ever asked them if they were British, nor asked them in hospital because they have a NHS NUMBER!!!!!

And the reason I had a p.s. on my last email was to show that my daughter's boyfriend got free treatment on the NHS even though he is NOT British born.
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Old Mar 19th 2010, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by Beedubya View Post
Nobody has ever asked them if they were British, nor asked them in hospital because they have a NHS NUMBER!!!!!
I would think, that most of the time, the issue of whether you reside in the UK would not come up. Bit of flu, broken ankle, etc - those questions would not be asked.

But if doctors do need to ask if you have been, or lived abroad recently, ie, diseases, parasites, bloody great big scar from recent surgery, etc () etc. then one would have to say "well, yes, actually, I've lived in Australia or India (or wherever) for the past five years" - and then potentially be asked to provide proof that they now reside back in the UK.

We all still have our National Health numbers, no matter where we live now. It's not fair to turn up in the UK simply to blag some free treatment if we have no intention of living there. It's right that the questions are asked.

To the OP, my very best wishes to you and your sister
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Old Mar 19th 2010, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
I would think, that most of the time, the issue of whether you reside in the UK would not come up. Bit of flu, broken ankle, etc - those questions would not be asked.

But if doctors do need to ask if you have been, or lived abroad recently, ie, diseases, parasites, bloody great big scar from recent surgery, etc () etc. then one would have to say "well, yes, actually, I've lived in Australia or India (or wherever) for the past five years" - and then potentially be asked to provide proof that they now reside back in the UK.

We all still have our National Health numbers, no matter where we live now. It's not fair to turn up in the UK simply to blag some free treatment if we have no intention of living there. It's right that the questions are asked.

To the OP, my very best wishes to you and your sister
No doctor asked but I volunteered the information that I had resided in Australia for 26 years, but nobody in the medical field has asked whether I intend to reside here, to show any papers or took it any further. Nor asked any questions about diseases or parasites.

G.P.
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Those are my admittedly minor forays into the NHS.

My post was only intended to reassure the OP that she and her sister would be OK after her telling us the details of her sister's story not an advert to come to the UK for free treatment for all and sundry.

I am sure there are far worse cases of non-Brits coming here to score free treatments, in fact there was just such a story concerning Poland a few days ago. And yes Poland might have a reciprocal agreement with the UK because of the EU, but I bet there are more people coming this way for treatment than vice versa........
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Old Mar 20th 2010, 12:01 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

My Dad who's born and bred British has lived and worked abroad for the last 30 or so years. He runs a Deaf School and work placement project in Asia.

On a visit back to UK he contracted food poisoning from a local chippy! He'd been out visiting friends and sponsers for his project when he passed out in the town centre and suffered a heart attack. He came round just as he was being loaded into an ambulance declaring he was fine and not to fuss, before promptly passing out again. The ambulance crew found his mobile and called me to ask permission to take him to hospital as they weren't happy with his condition but he had been adamant he didn't need to go, I of course told them to definitely take him to hospital.

Five days in hospital and many tests later it was all put down to food poisoning. Because he'd had his passport on him the dr's had been able to deduce he'd been all over Asia and South America, everyone suspected a strange tropical disease, so he had been transfered to a private room in the infectious diseases ward. The whole time he was terrified he was going to be handed a enormous medical bill, as he is not normally resident in UK. To be honest I was a bit nervous myself, but just resolved that we would deal with the bill when it came - the main thing was for him to get better.

Eventually he was discharged with just a letter for his dr describing what happened, we asked for the bill and were told there was none. My Dad was amazed as he had spent a short time in the US during his stint in South America and said he'd heard stories there of the ambulance crew refusing to pick you up if you did not have insurance? All I can say is God Bless the NHS - they saved my Dad's life, he said the nurses there was caring and professional.

I'm fairly sure if this was my Dad's experience, you sister will be treated as any other UK citizen.
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Old Mar 20th 2010, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

I can't help worrying that because the sister has had sooo much treatment in the US and has now arrived back needing far more treatment, there could be issues with NHS. It's not like she's developed flu since she arrived back. She's moved back with the clear intention of using UK resources.

I hope my fears are groundless though. Sounds like a complete nightmare and I sincerely hope she makes a great recovery.
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Old Mar 20th 2010, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
I can't help worrying that because the sister has had sooo much treatment in the US and has now arrived back needing far more treatment, there could be issues with NHS. It's not like she's developed flu since she arrived back. She's moved back with the clear intention of using UK resources.

I hope my fears are groundless though. Sounds like a complete nightmare and I sincerely hope she makes a great recovery.
It seems from the original post that she had already applied to Uni here and had started making plans to join her UK family when this nightmare illness happened.

I could be wrong but it doesn't seem the OP's sister was coming back to the UK purely for medical reasons.

Sometimes sh*t happens and gets in the way of our best laid plans.
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Old Mar 20th 2010, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by Shandyclover View Post
My Dad who's born and bred British has lived and worked abroad for the last 30 or so years....

On a visit back to UK he contracted food poisoning ...

The whole time he was terrified he was going to be handed a enormous medical bill...

All I can say is God Bless the NHS - they saved my Dad's life, he said the nurses there was caring and professional.

I'm fairly sure if this was my Dad's experience, you sister will be treated as any other UK citizen.
I am delighted the NHS were able to treat and save your dad, and he must feel very lucky.

And notwithstanding my honestly held best wishes for you both, this is exactly the kind of situation where the NHS needs to get it's business head on

They should have charged your dad, who should have handed it over to his travel insurance company (which he did have in place, didn't he?!), and the NHS should have clawed back many thousands of pounds for treating a non-resident.

The biggest and proudest achievement in the NHS history is that is was never set up to be run like a business. It's biggest failure is that it was never set up to run like a business. The UK population simply cannot sustain the levels of fantastic care it offers without getting tough in some areas.

Your dad was subject to positive discrimination really - he was originally British and no further questions were asked. In the same situation, I would keep my head low and thank my lucky stars - but I don't know if I am principled enough to run after them saying "oh no, please do send an invoice".
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 3:24 am
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by Beedubya View Post
It seems from the original post that she had already applied to Uni here and had started making plans to join her UK family when this nightmare illness happened.

I could be wrong but it doesn't seem the OP's sister was coming back to the UK purely for medical reasons.

Sometimes sh*t happens and gets in the way of our best laid plans.
I didn't think she had come back just for treatment but because she was planning on coming back anyway. My worry was that the NHS might assume she was coming back for treatment.
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 8:52 am
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Hope your sister is ok and gets the treatment pronto, same thing happened to my daughter but we are in Aus and she had all her treatment here surgery, radiation and then chemo. She too had to learn to speak etc but fortunately her tumour was small enough to be all removed at surgery.

It took two years for all the treatment and now she is ok but will never be in remission.
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 9:05 am
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by Beedubya View Post
What is nonsence?

Your National Health number is on your birth certificate. Go and check.
An NHS number does not entitle you to medical treatment! It is residency that gives you the entitlement. If you are not resident you are not entitled - simple as that!
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by confusedgirl View Post
Hi all,
This will be a long post but I'd be really grateful if you'd bear with me and let me know of any advice you may have as I'm going out of my mind with stress right now. My question is not regarding me, but my sister, who's 23. We are both British citizens, born and bred, but when we were younger our dad moved to the US. We stayed in the UK with our mum. When we were in our late teens our dad applied for us to have green cards, even though we didn't want them. When I was 22 (in 2007) I went over after Uni, to check it out, stayed for 8 months and came home. I stayed in California and everyone thought I was crazy to come back but I love the UK. In 2008, after my sister finished Uni she went over to Cali with her bf (he'd go back and forth as he didn't have a visa/Green card). She decided to give it a year, to see if she liked it or not. She gave it a year and a bit and in the Autumn of 2009, she decided it wasn't for her. She was going to give in her notice at her job, and she applied to Uni in England, to study nursing. She applied through UCAS for deffered entry so she'd be resident again in the UK before she started in 2010. She was offered an interview in Dec 2009, and planned to return home in early November 2009.

Late October, I had a phonecall back here to say that my sister had collapsed, and was having seizures. She was taken to hospital and an MRI scan showed a brain tumour. She was stable but days later she relapsed and suffered intracranial pressure/swelling, she had emergency life saving surgery to remove the bone skull on the left side to allow for the swelling. A biopsy showed that her tumour was cancerous, and would need surgery as it was a very large tumour. After she came around from the surgery, she had no memory, couldn't speak properly or swallow, had aphasia (where she mixed up words, eg calling chocolate chicken) right side weakness, and had to learn to walk, talk and do everything from scratch. She had severely impaired cognitive function too so couldn't really think or cope by herself.

She needed surgery but as the tumour was pressing on her speech site, they had to perform the surgery while she was awake, so the surgeon knew what to cut away and what not to touch. Her speech would have to be at an adequate level, for her to communicate well enough with the surgeons during the surgery. She was already desperate to go back to England (she remembered being younger in the UK but had no memory of the last 3-4 years so was scared and confused to be away from home). But we were told that with no bone skull she couldn't fly, so we had to wait for her to have speech therapy and physical therapy in the US, have her surgery, then go home.

I flew over in Nov for a week, then went back in Jan for 2 months. I was only 24 at the time and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.....juggle my sister's medical bills, navigate the crazy US health system, sort out my sisters insurance, cobra etc, whilst also being a full time carer for my sister (with no financial support etc as I'm not a US resident) and trying to reassure my family and friends back in the UK. My sister also had regular seizures, and was frequently rushed to hospital during the months before her operation. I didn't sleep properly for two months as I'd lie awake to watch her breathing/in case she had a seizure. The American hospital discharged her long before she was ready (I think for the benefit of the insurance company), so basically I had to care 100% for her, I was literally all she had.

She finally had her operation in Feb. We were told we could go home at the end of Feb. She was discharged from hospital 3 days after having a 12 hour operation on her brain whilst being awake througout. We'd only been home a few hours when she had a massive seizure and was taken back to hospital and put in the ICU, as she got trapped in a 'seizure loop'...the seizures were continous and she had to be sedated to bring her out of it.

When she came round she had again relapsed with her speech and function and would need more physical and speech therapy. We were also told, 5/6 months after the initial illness, that the tumour was not a grade 2 but a grade 3 more aggressive tumour, and that she'd need chemo and radiotherapy asap. By now I just couldn't take any more I was physically and mentally drained and we were so desperate to get home that as soon as she was medically stable we were on a plane. We landed 4 days ago and thank the lord my sister was ok on the flight. But now we have another obstacle to face...

We are not claiming any kind of benefits in the US as as far as we are concerned we now live in the UK, my sister gave up her green card. We no longer have US health insurance either, we terminated everything in the US before we left. But as I understand, as my sister was away she can't claim anything in the UK either. I am not really worried about that as I will support her but there is a big problem with the NHS treatment...I'm not sure, is she entitled to treatment?

She needs chemo asap and medication etc that I assumed she could get on the NHS but now, after researching the net I'm not sure she will be able to get it. Can the NHS refuse to treat her? If they charge her for the treatment, we will be in trouble...my mum dosen't have a lot of money and my savings were wiped out on flights back and forth and supporting me and my sis in the US. I'm really really scared now about what's going to happen and if it's going to be my fault for bringing her back here. So my question is,
does anyone know if we can get treatment on the NHS, and also, if my sis is eligible for any kind of financial support/help. Will we have to pay for NHS treatment? Has anyone else been in this situation? Before we left America I assumed we'd be treated in the UK for free as when I was a student there was always a myriad of people from around the world using the GP's services etc free of chrage. So to read we may not be treated was a shock. My sis is still a British citizen, has a UK passport, lived in the UK for 21.5 of her 23 years and is now resident in the UK again. Please anyone with prior exp on this issue /any knowledge share your advice

Thanks SO much for reading sorry this post is sooooo long!
Sorry to jump in here, but this all seems confusing. Where was your dad in all this craziness? Since your sister is British, and certainly she hasn't been out of the country that long, why wouldn't she just be able to go back into the care of the NHS? I didn't know that green cards could be applied for children that lived outside the US? Or would just sit dormant for a few years time?

Sorry, for all your troubles, I hope your sister gets better. But I would bet she could just slot back into the NHS system with little problem. Especially since she's only been gone for such a very short time.
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by moneypenny20 View Post
I can't help worrying that because the sister has had sooo much treatment in the US and has now arrived back needing far more treatment, there could be issues with NHS. It's not like she's developed flu since she arrived back. She's moved back with the clear intention of using UK resources.

I hope my fears are groundless though. Sounds like a complete nightmare and I sincerely hope she makes a great recovery.
Yes, but she's a British citizen who really hasn't been out of the country that long. I would think she wouldn't be refused treatment, would she? That sounds really bizarre.
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: NHS treatment to save life...Help!

Originally Posted by Bijilo123 View Post
By saying that she intends to stay and shows the documents I described. This is exactly what happened to me when I arrived from Gambia and ended up in Addenbrookes a couple of weeks ago. You don't need a qualifying period of residence - just the intention to reside.
Trust me, I used to work at Addenbrookes and I know for a fact that new patients are asked if they have lived outside of the UK in the last 12 months hence my comment to the OP.
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