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-   -   Need some help/advice for my Mother (https://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/need-some-help-advice-my-mother-909674/)

davejh Feb 24th 2018 7:15 pm

Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Hello all,

This is my first post here and am after some advice, quite a lot of it, regarding a very difficult set of circumstances. I apologise if this is in the wrong place.

My mother is 68 years old and moved out to Alhaurin el Grande (province of Malaga) about 12 years ago. She became a resident of Spain and as suchshe has full access to health cover out there. She is receiving UK state pension. Her sister (my Auntie) also lives in the town, about a 15 min walk from my Mothers house.

Recently, for the last 3 months, she hasn't been feeling well and has been to her doctor several times. My Auntie called my sister and I last weekend to say my mother had lost a lot of weight and really wasn't well. We went out to Spain Wednesday and returned today. In between we went to a local medical center where they took a blood test. However, yesterday we were so concerned for her health that we took her to Malaga hospital.

To cut a long story short unfortunately my mother has Ovarian Cancer. It is a very large tumor. The doctor has all but ruled out chemotherapy etc and said surgery was a possibility, but they would need to do further tests. He want my mother in Monday to do a full body scan (guess they are looking to see if the cancer has spread) and then next Friday to discuss options.

He has said surgery is a possible option. Looking on the bright side, if my Mother has surgery and it is successful can anyone tell me what the 'aftercare' in Spain is like? Obviously in UK she would stay in hospital until she was better then go home. Is it the same in Spain?

Worse case is that it isn't operable, does anyone have any idea if an airline would fly her back to the UK? If she is going to have a terminal illness she wants to move back to the UK so my sister and I can be with her. How does she go about this?

Do we need a doctors certificate to fly?

What insurance companies could cover her?

Would she receive full NHS treatment when she got back - by that I mean would she be fully covered and would she need to do anything in Spain to enable this to happen?

I am sorry for so many questions, but honestly neither my sister or I know where to turn. I would appreciate any help that anyone can give.

Thanks, Dave.

Rosemary Feb 24th 2018 8:08 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst myself and BEVS moderate Europe. Please read the Site Rules Site Rules | British Expatriate Community adhere to them so that the site runs smoothly. Moderators are there to ensure that the rules of BE are maintained. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

Rosemary

rachelk Feb 24th 2018 10:07 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Dave, very sorry to read this. I don't know the answers to any of your questions asfortunately have had little need of health care here but didn't want to just read this and ignore it. I'm sure some other members will have more experience of the health service here and all that surrounds it and will be able to give you a bit of advice about your options.

Never has the the cut and paste welcome message looked so inadequate.

I really hope you and your mother get the help and support you need.

Edited to add:
PS There's a Citizens Advice place for spain, have a look here and maybe they will have some ideas of where you can go for info and support https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/

VFR Feb 24th 2018 11:10 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Hello Dave.
In your case I would look to be getting Mum home asap via road.
She is staying /living with you in the UK now (is she not) so will simply sign on a her (your) local GP and then access the N.H.S as normal.

Yes once she has a known condition like this a certificate to fly is needed (as far as I know)
Doubt she will get Ins-cover myself ?

Good luck mate.

Rosemary Feb 25th 2018 6:28 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
I agree with VFR about taking your mother home with you if this can be arranged because it would then be a less stressful time for you all due to being on hand rather than dealing with things from a distance or needing to keep on arranging to visit to deal with issues.

The Spanish health service is excellent so she would be very well cared for in hospital but even in hospital it is often down to the family to provide much of the general care. I do not know what is available in the area that she lives but in most areas there is a lack of aftercare because the family is expected to provide that aspect. In her area there may be far more help as there are more Brits therefore more support systems may have been set up. I am hoping that members living in that area will be able to provide you with an insight into availability.

So sorry to not be able to help with exact information.

Rosemary

lurchio Feb 25th 2018 8:48 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
As far as I am aware, as your Mum is over 65, she is currently fully entitled to NHS cover in the UK, with no 'strings' attached and notwithstanding she is an 'ex pat'. I do not believe you have worries there at all. Check the Department of Health website, you will find it there. You can also contact them to confirm if you like. On a separate note,I clearly remember the Govt pledging to help any OAP ex pat who returns and is seriously or terminally ill (I hope not the latter, and wish you the best in that case.)

As regards returning, I don't see how you will get adequate insurance cover when you disclose her condition. To drive back may be too much for her, so essentially you are covered in Spain at the moment, will be covered in the UK when you arrive, so essentially you have a two / three hour 'gap' of a flight where there will possibly be no cover.

Its about risk versus reward on that one, but thats what it boils down to, 3 hours maximum.Even then she should have an EHIC card issued to her!

Each case is different, but in the circumstances, if I wanted her home and she was happy with that, I know what I would do.Just do it ASAP while your Mum can possibly travel okay, its not New Zealand.

Rosemary is right about the hospitals and expectations on family. Although a small ex pat area, I am one of a group of British in the area that are on 'rota' to help Ex pats hospitalised here where the family in the UK just cannot take over due to various reasons. Its not the same as the UK here at all. Things may be better in Malaga, hopefully someone can comment specifically on that area.

I am sorry I cannot help with the other parts of your post and feel for your situation, I wish you the very best and love to your Mum.

Alectryon Feb 25th 2018 9:34 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Dave, I wish your mother all the very best for a solution. As others have said the healthcare in Spain is excellent apart from all but medical only care when family are supposed to provide this, as your sister lives near to your mother then she would be able to do this.

Lurchio, I was told when I moved to Spain, that if I returned to the UK then I would have to wait 3 months to be re-admitted to NHS care. Albeit at the time I was under 65 years old, just. Have things changed now?

Fred James Feb 25th 2018 9:37 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
If you are a UK state pensioner and have transferred your healthcare to Spain under the S1 procedure you can go to the UK and get full NHS cover at once - no need to stay or prove the intention to stay. You could, in theory fly there for an op and come back a few days later.

Alectryon Feb 25th 2018 9:43 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 

Originally Posted by Fred James (Post 12450394)
If you are a UK state pensioner and have transferred your healthcare to Spain under the S1 procedure you can go to the UK and get full NHS cover at once - no need to stay or prove the intention to stay. You could, in theory fly there for an op and come back a few days later.

Thank you for that, one less thing to worry about.

davejh Feb 25th 2018 10:05 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Thanks all for the help so far.

I am going to try and contact a few insurance companies tomorrow to see if I can get here covered. Would it make any difference if we were to hire a private plane to fly her back, does anyone know? Would she still need insurance?

I am a little lucky in that my wife works for a private hospital here in the UK and has been in contact with specialists in the necessary field and they have been given us as much advice as possible.

Currently my Mother is in Spain, she will have the full body scan on Monday and then get results on Friday so we will know what we can do from there.

Again, thanks for all the advice, I do appreciate it all. It is so difficult to deal with these things in the UK (I know as unfortunately have already been through that once here) and even more so in, what is to my sister and I, a foreign country.

lurchio Feb 25th 2018 10:09 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
A private plane is the answer obviously, its just the huge cost. Travel Insurance is not mandatory but a personal choice / risk as far as I recall.

Pollyana Feb 25th 2018 10:21 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 

Originally Posted by davejh (Post 12450417)
Thanks all for the help so far.

I am going to try and contact a few insurance companies tomorrow to see if I can get here covered. Would it make any difference if we were to hire a private plane to fly her back, does anyone know? Would she still need insurance?

I am a little lucky in that my wife works for a private hospital here in the UK and has been in contact with specialists in the necessary field and they have been given us as much advice as possible.

Currently my Mother is in Spain, she will have the full body scan on Monday and then get results on Friday so we will know what we can do from there.

Again, thanks for all the advice, I do appreciate it all. It is so difficult to deal with these things in the UK (I know as unfortunately have already been through that once here) and even more so in, what is to my sister and I, a foreign country.

Are you talking of a private plane from a medical company - one that specialises in flying people home, usually paid for by insurance companies? Or just a private plane and pilot? The first would have a huge cost attached, the second, while cheaper, would be unlikely to have medical experts or equipment on hand unless you paid extra for these. Plus you would need to make the pilot aware of the medical situation as his/her own insurance may not allow a patient to be carried. Also any travel insurance you managed to get for your mother may not cover her on a private flight.

Maybe discuss with individual airlines - and I would start with the likes of BA, rather than Easyjet.

davejh Feb 25th 2018 11:56 am

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
No not a medical plane, just hire a private plane, pilot etc, from somewhere like fly victor dot com (can't post link)

Yeah, we did kind of think BA/Virgin etc if we bought her back on a commercial airline. I just thought perhaps on a private she might be more comfortable and it might be easier for her if she is unwell (she is having sickness and diarrhea) and more dignified.

jonboy Feb 25th 2018 1:25 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
I wonder what eventuality you would be hoping to insure your mother against?

davejh Feb 25th 2018 2:55 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Well, I guess our biggest fear is that she took a turn for the worse on the plane and it had it divert to an airport on route. I am not sure the airline would be happy with that and that if she were insured my mother could be covered in whatever country we were diverted to (most likely France?).

lurchio Feb 25th 2018 3:57 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 

Originally Posted by davejh (Post 12450580)
Well, I guess our biggest fear is that she took a turn for the worse on the plane and it had it divert to an airport on route. I am not sure the airline would be happy with that and that if she were insured my mother could be covered in whatever country we were diverted to (most likely France?).

Oh I see, best to ask the Insurers then.Thats a hell of a 'risk' for them to cover in the event.

Your Mum should have an EHIC card when she had her S1 processed, she would be covered in France, but only really for Emergency treatment under EHIC I believe.

Good luck with the Insurers tomorrow, you never know until you ask, even if you can negotiate a big excess or they can get the risk underwritten,it may come through for you.

:fingerscrossed:

VFR Feb 25th 2018 5:07 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 

Originally Posted by davejh (Post 12450580)
Well, I guess our biggest fear is that she took a turn for the worse on the plane and it had it divert to an airport on route. I am not sure the airline would be happy with that and that if she were insured my mother could be covered in whatever country we were diverted to (most likely France?).

Well you can clearly afford it so just hire a private ambulance (loads of them via Google) who are staffed with nurses/doctors/x2 drivers.
No need for insurance as it will be all in.

In fact if it was me (and could afford it) I would not be wasting anymore time on forums & the ambulacev would be picking mum up in the morning.

davejh Feb 25th 2018 5:40 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
Believe me I can't afford it. My step Mum has offered to advance my Mum's life insurance to my sister and I should we need it to get her home.

bobd22 Feb 25th 2018 6:03 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
I would speak with the airlines as has been suggested. As for insurance in case the plane diverts? Surely if airline accept your mum as passenger that is their risk not hers, in fact i doubt travel insurance covers for that? I may be wrong. Heres a link for air ambulance you may already have this?

https://www.iasmedical.com/page/44/b...iation-service

rspltd Feb 25th 2018 6:36 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
I suspect you will find that the airlines' only responsibility is to get someone from place A to place B and in an emergency wll only be concerned in getting someone off the place and to somewhere where medical authorities can take over.

jonboy Feb 25th 2018 10:10 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
As the plane will be on its way to UK it would be unlikely to detour if a passenger became unwell. We can all suffer emergencies at anytime, most people on the plane will have pre-existing conditions and active issues.

Go to airport by taxi, Have a VIP lounge pass for all concerned, Pre-book the best seats available, Have assistance to the plane also pre-booked, have her escorted by a mature person with health care experience and a family member for reassurance. Everyone should cross their fingers and have adequate food and drink available, then stagger off at the other end.

BritInParis Feb 25th 2018 10:55 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
This might prove helpful if you wish to fly your mother home on a commercial airline.

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...-and-pregnancy

jonboy Feb 25th 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
I forgot to add that your mother may have her own thoughts about all this and of course should be consulted, as it is her life and decision after all.

MikeJ Feb 26th 2018 12:52 pm

Re: Need some help/advice for my Mother
 
If your Mother presents as unwell then airlines will invariably refuse to board her without a doctor's letter. My doctor wouldn't give me a letter and so I have to fly at my own risk.
If I were you I would wait until you have had the upcoming consultation with the medics. If they advise that surgery is possible and that it has a good chance of success then I would say get the surgery done in Spain. Their clinical competence is every bit as good as the NHS, if not better. After surgery she will need some convalescence but I am sure that between her sister and yourself, you can cover this. If she was fit and well before then her recovery should not take that long. Then you can decide if you need to bring her home for adjuvant treatment or not. I would be guided by the medical experts. I myself was able to fly 3 weeks after I had major surgery. it wasn't very comfortable but I was safe and well at the end of the 3 hour flight.


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