Sun’s out – and I realise I have a couple of suspicious moles.
I need to get them checked out
If I were European, I would go to a local chemist or medical centre and there would be someone who would examine the moles – then tell me if they were/weren’t supicious.
Here, I phone my GP’s surgery, where the Receptionist, only too keen to fob me off, tells me I have to go to the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at my local hospital. Brilliant – I am going there today for a Physio appointment so can kill the proverbial two birds etc.
Transport leaves me very early at.the hospital, so I go to UCC – get myself checked in, wait, and just as I get up to go to my Physio appointment, my name is called. I explain – but the NHS doesn’t want explanations. I am told that I CAN’T go back in the queue when I have finished my Physio appointment. I will have to start all over again. check in and then wait. Doctor has come out by this time, and tells me to cancel my Physio appointment and re-book it!
What I dislike about the NHS is their contempt for other departments. Weird. This doctor’s suggestion is to waste the time of another medical professional, but I am not going to do this, and go off to Physio to keep my appointment. I like the honesty of the BBC2 TV programme “Hospital”, but why aren’t the crew there filmng when you would like to point out the stupidy of the current system? !!
I return, start again and this time I have a long, long wait. But, it was worth it as I get to see a Scandinavian doctor, living in London, who had training at the world-famous Karolinska Institute. She is surprised I know about them, but as a cancer patient I have greatest admiration for their marvellous research around cancer treatment. I explain what I want checked, and she is immediately on the ball.
Surprisingly the mole I was worried about didn’t worry her – but another, smaller one had her measuring and taking time over the examination. Then she said I needed to have this checked in a clinic, and we discussed options.
She was a realist, and didn’t need to be reminded that as a cancer patient, I am more likely to pick up skin cancer problems, but …….. NHS waiting times are getting longer and longer. In case I would find it difficuIt to get an appointment, I asked if she knew of a private clinic;
In Britain we have the incredible attitude that the NHS supposedly doesn’t want me to go out of the system – even though it would save money for someone else’s treatment. The doctor did remind me that I was entitled to be treated on the NHS, but realistically she realised how worrying it would be potentially to have a long wait for a biopsy, and gave me the name of an excellent private practitioner in case I needed it.
- My GP’s surgery has a Saturday clinic, and it is easy to get appointments; one is arranged for Saturday. When I turn up. Locum doctor is keen to pooh-pooh my fears, tries to tell me they don’t need checking – which I consider isn’t very complimentary to a colleague’s diagnosis. I would rather trust the Swedish doctor who has worked with cancer than a locum, so make a fuss and eventually am given an appointment to get them checked on NHS for Sept. 13th !!!! Bit late for summer !
- Go home and find out the doctor the Swedish UCC doctor recommended actually has a clinic near by. So make an appointment and will keep the the GP referral to be in the system in case I need follow-ups.
- Make a private appointment. Costs is less than a designer handbag, and my mind is put at rest. Simples! then if I am told I have to have more treatmment I am already in the system, and that much nearer to the top.
- Hopefully I won’t end up in a situation where I might have been told that I waited too long and it’s too late – papers are full of such stories today.
Result: Incidentally this works for other conditions and I find out that most NHS Consultants are now happy to ‘mix and match’ as we play the system
In the meantime, I will reminded the GP on Saturday that I needed another Anthelios prescription for anti-sun cream, which as I have had cancer will be free. If your GP doesn’t know this, it is in the BNF so they can check out there.
If you don’t qualify for free products, La Roche Posay currently have 20% off for all Anthelios products.