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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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paul@plan-a

Amputee fraud in the UK

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It was happening when I was a patient there in 2004 (under RSL) and it was happening there again in 2007 when I was sent there, as a private patient, for a prosthetic report for the defence in my PI case (I think it was opcare by then).

I found it really frustrating being treated on the same ward as private patients. I was being told that I was getting the "best prosthesis available" and then had to sit and watch other people recieve preimum prosthetics and get priority treatment by the same staff during the same treatment hours.

I know that these patients pay for the treatment that they recieve but it should not be during regular NHS hours and NHS patients should not have it rubbed in their faces.

I don't have a problem with the hospital recieving private patients, it helps to keep good prosthetists within the NHS but i do think that there should either be some form of segregation or equality of treatment

OK I know that the prescriptions will be different but the physio and associated care should be equal. When I was there in 2004 I was discharged as soon as I was able to walk with 2 walking sticks and told to come back if I had any problems but that this was the standard they expected me to achieve (at the age of 24), meanwhile private patients were given longer contact time and encouraged to reach a higher standard of rehabilitation.

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As am American I should not jump into the fray on this, but I can tell you I have visted many opcare run limb centers on my bike tours and found them all to be focused soley on NHS client care. I have met and sat with the ceo and the general managers and personally knew their first responsibilty was to creat the best care they could and to help the NHS save money and provide better service and better prosthetics. Frankly compared to sevices here in America the level of educated staff and training, I think the UK system is better. I deal every day with people that cannot afford to pay, have no insurence and must live without a leg.

But I really think the NHS is doing all it can in these times to provide the best service for all. In America you will find it very difficult to get a leg covered. It is too expensive often and yet in the UK it is a standard benefit. I do even as an American understand the mindset of minding the queue, my father was from Fife.

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As am American I should not jump into the fray on this, but I can tell you I have visted many opcare run limb centers on my bike tours and found them all to be focused soley on NHS client care. I have met and sat with the ceo and the general managers and personally knew their first responsibilty was to creat the best care they could and to help the NHS save money and provide better service and better prosthetics. Frankly compared to sevices here in America the level of educated staff and training, I think the UK system is better. I deal every day with people that cannot afford to pay, have no insurence and must live without a leg.

But I really think the NHS is doing all it can in these times to provide the best service for all. In America you will find it very difficult to get a leg covered. It is too expensive often and yet in the UK it is a standard benefit. I do even as an American understand the mindset of minding the queue, my father was from Fife.

Sorry but it is not a "standard benefit" I've been a patient of my local limb centre since October 2004, when I left roehampton becasue they'd been unable to produce me a leg within 6 months. In that time they have failed to make a single prosthesis that is useable. Over the years I've been given various reasons for them being unable to provide me a limb ranging from "there's no more money left in the budget, we're not issueing any more legs this financial year" (in June), "your needs are to demanding, there just aren't any limbs available that can do what you need them to do" (walk, sit, and wear for 12 hours a day) and the latest one was "we don't have the skills required to make your prosthesis so we're going to look in to funding one privately".

I'm only continuing to try and get a limb from them because a member of staff has asked me to highlight to management the poor service the centre provides. If it weren't for the private limb I have I'd be un-employed, overweight, seriously depressed and to be quite honest I'd probably have topped myself by now. I'm not saying that the american system is better but believ me the NHS is nowhere near as good as they like to make out.

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Grum

Couldn't agree with you more m8. Your post sums my position up to a T. I thought a change of limb centres after a good few years might even be worth a try, but I'm now thinking I have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

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Believe me, if I can be fitted with comfortable prostheses 'on the NHS', then there's no reason why either of you shouldn't also be fitted with a comfortable prosthesis.

If you're unhappy and/or frustrated with your treatment, then you need to start lobbying your MP and the Chief Executive Officer of your local PCT. The more people who voice their upset, the more likely something will be done about it.

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That's why I'm continuing, so far I've had the head of RSL come to look at me and evalute my situation but since then nothing but that was only November so I'm not expecting anythng just yet. I know so many people from my centre that think that it is acceptable and because they don't have access to anything else they just shut up in case they offend somebody.

I, on the other hand, don't care who I offend all I care about is making sure that the service is improved for everybody rather than them just shipping off the "difficult" ones to get private treatment. The centre staff are so scared of me talking to other patients that as soon as I arrive I'm taken off to a private room rather than sitting in the regular fitting room or even the waiting area in reception.

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That's why I'm continuing, so far I've had the head of RSL come to look at me and evalute my situation but since then nothing but that was only November so I'm not expecting anythng just yet. I know so many people from my centre that think that it is acceptable and because they don't have access to anything else they just shut up in case they offend somebody.

I, on the other hand, don't care who I offend all I care about is making sure that the service is improved for everybody rather than them just shipping off the "difficult" ones to get private treatment. The centre staff are so scared of me talking to other patients that as soon as I arrive I'm taken off to a private room rather than sitting in the regular fitting room or even the waiting area in reception.

I'm sorry to hear that you're having problems, Grum, but making the centre staff 'concerned' about you doesn't really achieve much, don't you agree? :unsure: After all, you need someone to listen to you in order for them to take you seriously, don't you? :smile:

What exactly are your problems?

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