Author Topic: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?  (Read 557 times)

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Offline troutlaw

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Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« on: June 16, 2017, 05:20:02 AM »
Hey everybody.

I am moving the Scotland next month, and I’m looking for some insight on how it might go getting treatment set up for my ADHD. My husband called his GP to try and get info last time I was over but they couldn’t really tell me much. I have joined a facebook group for adults with ADHD in the UK, and have seen the difficulties a lot of people have getting diagnosed and stuff. I mean, my experience with it in the US has been really abysmal, but at least I know how to navigate this system. I know it’s going to be a different story when I move. My symptoms are pretty debilitating, so I wanna be as prepared as possible to help facilitate the process.

My main wonder is will my current diagnosis from the US stand or will I need to be rediagnosed? Should I bring medical records? I don’t have access to my initial diagnosis records, as it was 16 years ago, but I can get records from my old psychiatrist from about 9 years back showing I was being treated for it then. I already have records going back about 3 years, and I’d prefer to *not* bring the other ones but I will if it will help me.

I’m also curious to hear how it works with scripts and stuff over there. I was told that a GP will refer me to a specialist, and they can enter into a shared care agreement and then my GP can write my scripts. Does this sound right? How often will I need to see the specialist? How do refills work for amphetamine meds? Asking because there’s a really strict and specific protocol for it where I am now- Every month I have to call my dr, then go in person to pick up my script and show ID, and actually sit down with my doctor every 3rd month. What if I need to change the drug or dose- should I expect that to be a slow process?

Sorry if these sound like silly questions. I have some kind of issue nearly every time I go to get my meds. I’m used to jumping through hoops and I can deal, it just scares me to have no idea how it’s gonna work and what the hoops will even be. Like I said, it’s a big impairment for me and I wanna be ready so I can get treatment as quickly as possible (which I realize may not be all that quick lol).

Offline taraart

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 12:42:18 PM »
Hi troutlaw,
Not sure if you have already moved over here or not but I can tell you about my experiences. I initially moved to the UK 10 years ago and had an ADHD diagnosis along with depression. I took meds for both. Brought along my most recent health records. Went to GP, who perscribed my medications but also directed me to the specialist who did blood work to make sure it was safe for me to take the meds I was on? I was on Ritalin and it was completely unheard of, at that time, that an adult would be on Ritalin. They continued to prescribe it, but I got plenty of questioning from chemists. From what I remember from then on, I would call in to my surgery to get refills. The only other time I spoke to the specialist was when my husband and I started talking about babies and needed to update my meds for pregnancy.
We returned to the states for a few years and have now come back to England in the past few months. I am still on depression medications and have added anxiety meds as well in the past year. This time around I have not had to go to a specialist, only GP, to obtain my medications but two of the items that I took and had success with, are not used over here and I had to change medications. Refills I just call into my surgery. And I also didn't bring any medical records this time. Just my prescription bottles.

One thing that has changed in the past ten years is the UK's attitude about mental health, I've noticed there has been a big push to recognise it as a disease. 

Good luck! X

Offline troutlaw

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 02:39:29 PM »
Thank You taraart! My psychiatrist did say that it's only been more recently recognized as an adult disorder as well. Glad that there is progress being made!

Offline troutlaw

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 02:39:50 PM »

I haven't been on much recently but I wanted to come back and share my experience, to help anyone in the future who might have a similar question. This might be a little long, but I wanted to include the details because it did work a little different than back home, and thought it would be good for anyone who wants to know what to expect.

For background info, I have mostly taken Adderall but switched to Concerta (Methylphenidate, same as Ritalin but time release) when I was planning my move because I knew it was not easily available in the UK. I also take Wellbutrin, which is not available at all and I will continue to have provided for me by the physician in the US. I live in Scotland.


I did bring some of my records over, but only from 3 or 4 appointments going back a year or so. It documented that I was on Adderall and then switched to Concerta. I think I would've been OK without them as long as I could provide some proof I already took Concerta (like a pill bottle with my name), but it did help and my GP was happy that I brought them.

My GP said that he could continue to write my Concerta script no problem, but would have to send me to a specialist to see about switching. The Concerta wasn't working for me, so I did have them refer me to a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist already had my records, which my GP had scanned into the system. He said that people who don't do well on methylphenidate tend to respond better to dextroamphetamine (and vice versa)  so he offered to start me on that. He said he had to start me on the lowest typical dose (5mg) and then would see me back in two weeks and talk about adjusting it.
He said his secretary would send over a letter to my GP to write the script, but also gave me a letter to bring them so they could process it faster. When I brought them the letter I didn't say it was a prescription, which apparently I should have done. This delayed me a little bit but it was fine.
My husband picked up the script from the GP for me, but because it is a controlled substance wasn't able to fill it at the chemist for me. This is the opposite as in the US, so I thought that was funny.
When I did pick up the meds they needed me to show ID and sign for it. They said that it was not a common drug, but that they had a little in stock and if I stay on it they will make sure to order more.

Today I went back to my psychiatrist, and he told me he did some research and found a document published by the NHS on switching from Adderall to a UK-available drug. It recommended dextroamphetamine, and said that the doses were equivalent. So if I was taking 10mg of Adderall, I would probably be on 10mg of dextroamphetamine.
He upped my dose to 10mg and said to just double up on the 5mg ones for now. He said he would send another letter to my GP letting them know, and for me to call next week and ask if they could just start writing me the new dose or would like me to come in for an appointment first.
He also said it was good to try and always go to the same pharmacy because it is a controlled substance and, echoing the chemist, that way they would know to keep ordering it for me.
He said I would also need to see him once every 6 months, and that I would get a letter with my appointment. But if I had any issues with my new dose or anything before then to just call and they would see me no problem.

Additionally, he asked that I get my blood pressure and weight checked at my GP once a year. He also said that once a year I am to take a "vacation" from the meds to make sure I still need them. Basically I tell people around me I'm going off the meds and then stop taking them for a week and see how I do.


So that was that! Overall pretty painless, and it only took about 2 months from start to finish. I'd be stuck waiting way longer than that in the US just for a new patient appointment with a GP, so I'm pretty pleased.

Offline larrabee

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 05:28:52 PM »
Thanks for sharing troutlaw, happy it's working out so well for you.  :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline phatbeetle

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 09:06:45 AM »
Glad it's worked well troutlaw!
I've never gotten food on my underpants!
Work permit (2007) to British Citizen (2014)
You're stuck with me!

Offline missially

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 04:22:42 PM »
Thank you so much Troutlaw for sharing your experience! I have a similar situation. I was wondering how long it took from arriving in the UK to get everything set up. I guess I mean did you use a supplemental insurance ( travel insurance) or did you wait until you were approved and paid the NHS charge on the visa. I am terrified on any lapse. I will arrive in Edinburgh Dec 3rd and we plan to marry in early Feb. I should have enough medicine to get me thru till March 1st. I take kolonipin, cymbalta and Hydrocodone ( Norco) which I understand is not available there. Any of these meds could cause severe withdrawal if I were to stop ( I finally have meds that work for my severe anxiety and advanced arthritis. How long did it take to get on the NHS? I am so so stressed on this issue! Any insight you may have would ease my nerves! xx

Offline ksand24

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Re: Moving with an ADHD diagnosis?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 04:31:56 PM »
I'll answer a couple of these:

I guess I mean did you use a supplemental insurance ( travel insurance) or did you wait until you were approved and paid the NHS charge on the visa.

You will need to take out health insurance anyway while you are on your fiance visa, because if you do need to use the NHS at all before you get your FLR(M), you will be charged more if you do not have insurance.

- If you use the NHS on your fiance visa and you have insurance, you will be charged 100% of the cost of the treatment/prescriptions (that's the full cost, not the NHS subsidised cost)

- If you use the NHS on your fiance visa and you DO NOT have insurance, you will be charged 150% of the cost of the treatment/prescriptions

So, it will cost you 1.5 times more for treatment without insurance AND you will have to pay it all out of pocket and won't be able to claim it back through insurance.

Quote
How long did it take to get on the NHS? I am so so stressed on this issue! Any insight you may have would ease my nerves! xx

Please don't stress... it's not as scary as it seems.

To register with the NHS, you just go into a local surgery and ask for a form to register. You fill it out, providing evidence of your UK address (i.e. a utility bill) and your visa, and they will put you into the system and issue you with an NHS number.

It normally takes about a week from registering to being able to book an appointment to see a doctor.

What I would advise is:

- bring your medical records/evidence of current prescriptions with you from the US
- register with the NHS as soon as you can after arriving in the UK in December (i.e. once you have some mail in your name)
- make an appointment to see the doctor, to inform them of your ADHD, to explain what medicines you currently take and to find out if they can be prescribed for you in the UK (I don't think you should be charged for a regular GP appointment)
- then, when you do need to get new prescriptions, you'll be all set up with the GP and they'll know what to prescribe you... which will save some time later on