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Topic: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK  (Read 2353 times)

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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2022, 01:59:28 PM »
And my FAVOURITE bit?  YOU NEVER HAVE TO WAIT.  The doctors actually run ON TIME here.  Your appointment is at 3pm?  Guess when you'll be called back.  3pm.  You'll be on your way by 3:15.  No paperwork.  In, out, on with life.  And we do NOT pay at the point of service.  And we don't have to wait.  It's amazing.

This is the most amazing thing! And no faffing with weighing you or any of that other garbage
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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2022, 02:18:38 PM »
This is the most amazing thing! And no faffing with weighing you or any of that other garbage

Yes!!!!  Not even when pregnant!!!!  Love not being weighed!!!!  I love that I don't ACTUALLY know how much I gained in pregnancy.  ;D


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2022, 02:25:15 PM »
Same as PB, my GP does most things in the office.  Prescriptions printed there and then to take away or sent electronically to my chosen pharmacy (I do repeat prescriptions through Pharmacy2u which is posted free to your door.  They do blood draws and all sorts of other things you would be used to in the office. 

Also BECAUSE of covid, nearly everything can be dealt with on video calls now.  SO CONVENIENT!  They will have you in if you have something that NEEDS to be seen in person, but the convenience of not having to go to the doctors office (called surgeries here) to say "all good, no change since last visit" is amazing.

And my FAVOURITE bit?  YOU NEVER HAVE TO WAIT.  The doctors actually run ON TIME here.  Your appointment is at 3pm?  Guess when you'll be called back.  3pm.  You'll be on your way by 3:15.  No paperwork.  In, out, on with life.  And we do NOT pay at the point of service.  And we don't have to wait.  It's amazing.

That's exactly how it works in my town as well.

In recent weeks I was concerned about my BP so I made a telephone appointment and spoke to the doctor who, after various questions, asked me to take my BP 3 times a day for a week and drop the results off to her at reception in the surgery, and meanwhile she told me to book appointments for a blood test and ekg.  I did so and shortly afterwards was contacted and asked to make an in-office appointment which I did.  Not only did she discuss my BP readings she kindly calibrated my home BP monitor which I had brought in - it measured almost exactly the same readings as her device, which was good to know. She then wrote a prescription for me for BP medication which I received in the mail from Pharmacy2U. A month afterwards I did the same week of BP monitoring at home and dropped off the results as before (BP was much improved and in range).  By coincidence I also got a text message to make an appointment for my annual heart check up with the practice nurse since I had atrial fibrillation which had been fixed by surgery (cryo-ablation) well over 3 years ago but I still go in each year for a check-up including blood tests and weight (exactly the same healthy weight as a year ago - yay!).  The nurse did not need to take blood this time and confirmed that the doctor did not need to see me since all was well.

Every appointment I have I am seen bang on time which is great.  Because of my past AFib I also had quite a few appointments at the cardiac unit at our hospital and have been impressed at how well they hit the appointment time. 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 02:27:52 PM by durhamlad »
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2022, 02:54:06 PM »
An area of fair interest for me is virtual medicine and virtual wards
https://www.england.nhs.uk/virtual-wards/
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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2022, 03:39:45 PM »
An area of fair interest for me is virtual medicine and virtual wards
https://www.england.nhs.uk/virtual-wards/

In March last year (2021) our son was hospitalized with Covid and was so very sick that he ended up in an induced coma on a ventilator. Once off the ventilator, and out of ICU into a Covid ward he was desperate to come home, and I’m sure he was also “bed blocking” while in hospital. He was far too weak to go home so he was released into our care and put into a “virtual ward”. He was given a pulse oximeter, a diary to keep, and detailed instructions on what to do each day, targets for walking, going up and down stairs etc. plus his prescription medication.  We also had to take him into hospital a couple of times for things like a liver function test and chest x-ray.  (The first visit he was still too weak to walk we had to push him in a wheelchair) A nurse called him every day and spent quite a few minutes interviewing him.

It worked great all round, and I’m sure his recovery was much better for him in a home setting. He also had grupenfeurer Mom to make sure he did his daily breathing, and other exercises.
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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2022, 03:51:25 PM »
In March last year (2021) our son was hospitalized with Covid and was so very sick that he ended up in an induced coma on a ventilator. Once off the ventilator, and out of ICU into a Covid ward he was desperate to come home, and I’m sure he was also “bed blocking” while in hospital. He was far too weak to go home so he was released into our care and put into a “virtual ward”. He was given a pulse oximeter, a diary to keep, and detailed instructions on what to do each day, targets for walking, going up and down stairs etc. plus his prescription medication.  We also had to take him into hospital a couple of times for things like a liver function test and chest x-ray.  (The first visit he was still too weak to walk we had to push him in a wheelchair) A nurse called him every day and spent quite a few minutes interviewing him.

It worked great all round, and I’m sure his recovery was much better for him in a home setting. He also had grupenfeurer Mom to make sure he did his daily breathing, and other exercises.

I think of your son all the time.  I remember what a scary time that was - and I don't even ACTUALLY know you!  So grateful you had a happy ending!!


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2022, 03:58:44 PM »
That's amazing durhamlad. And I am so glad it all worked well and he recovered!
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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2022, 04:07:20 PM »
While I certainly have a few frustrations with the NHS here and there, overall, it's been a very good experience for me.

The only extended waiting times that are a bit unreasonable I have experienced are those due to COVID. I was urgently referred to rheumatology, and the wait time is 6 weeks (for an urgent referral - even my GP was like, What?!). This is longer than pre-pandemic times for my area, but mainly due to the pandemic collateral damage (e.g., catching up on the huge backlog of missed appointments during the pandemic, staff being ill and not permitted to work, staff who cannot come into work due to a family member having COVID symptoms even if testing negative, and so on).

My MIL was also urgently referred to rheumatology (in a totally different location in England), and her quoted wait time was 4 weeks. She looked into paying privately to move ahead in the queue, and for a couple hundred quid, they were only able to move her appointment forward about a week. If the difference was more significant, she would have paid, but since the difference was something like 5 days, she decided to save the money and attend her NHS appointment.

In regards to my GP surgery, I've found it actually functions better since the pandemic. The introduction of virtual appointments and remote monitoring of chronic conditions has been great. Nine times out of ten, I log onto the system in the morning, and am able to book a virtual appointment the same day. And in all instances where the doctor thought I needed to be examined in person, I was given a face-to-face appointment a few hours after the virtual one.

I order repeat prescriptions online, and within 48 hours (usually within 24), they are ready at my nominated pharmacy for collection. I haven't looked into delivery, but I know my local pharmacy offers their own service. But I like to pop into the pharmacy in person to have a chat with them; they are lovely people. And right next door to my GP surgery, so bonus points.

My GP surgery has a phlebotomy department upstairs, but if the opening times aren't convenient, you can book an appointment at any of the phlebotomy departments in any of the GP surgeries or hospitals in the area - they have varying opening times to be able to suit most anyone's schedule. Just book online, show up to your selected venue, and get it done. Pre-pandemic, almost everyone just did a walk-in system which was fine, but the queues could be long. Personally, I love the appointment system so much more. In, out, and done.

You can see NHS specialists outside your area, but you may need to be assertive about it. I have found that you need to be your own advocate here, more so than in the US. It was a bit awkward at first for me (because I'm a very non-confrontational person), but I've gotten a bit more used to the system. It's not that anyone's necessarily actively against you, but there's red tape, a lot of it, and it must be obeyed. So the default approach will be to send you to your closest hospital X for treatment, unless you specify you would like to go to Y hospital further away instead.

There are pathways for some rare/super specialized stuff as well. If you need that level of care, you'll likely be referred to a tertiary hospital that can offer those specialized services - even if that hospital is not local to you.

I recommend to reach out to relevant charities if you run into problems or have any questions. Here are a selection suggested by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists: https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/patients/charities/

Also, it may be helpful to have your current doctor write a letter regarding your condition to give to your new doctor in the UK (e.g., what tests you've already had done, the results of said tests, any future tests you may need and why and when, your current treatment plan, details of previous treatment plans if they didn't work and why, and so on). I've found that some doctors in the UK like to start from scratch (do their own testing), and having a letter from your current doctor might help with that.


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2022, 04:08:18 PM »
I think of your son all the time.  I remember what a scary time that was - and I don't even ACTUALLY know you!  So grateful you had a happy ending!!

Ditto!


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2022, 04:33:44 PM »
Thanks folks. Our son’s recovery has been remarkable and he is very much a changed person since his brush with death. He has done major renovations to his house and is overall much more positive and upbeat these days.

And with his sister talking about moving back to this very town (where she was born) then our family may be together in the same place for the first time since 1999 when our daughter left for college in another State.
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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2022, 04:38:26 PM »
Thanks folks. Our son’s recovery has been remarkable and he is very much a changed person since his brush with death. He has done major renovations to his house and is overall much more positive and upbeat these days.

And with his sister talking about moving back to this very town (where she was born) then our family may be together in the same place for the first time since 1999 when our daughter left for college in another State.

Wonderful!  :)


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2022, 04:45:25 PM »
It worked great all round, and I’m sure his recovery was much better for him in a home setting. He also had grupenfeurer Mom to make sure he did his daily breathing, and other exercises.

I'm sure it was.  :)


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2022, 07:18:37 PM »
Thanks folks. Our son’s recovery has been remarkable and he is very much a changed person since his brush with death. He has done major renovations to his house and is overall much more positive and upbeat these days.

And with his sister talking about moving back to this very town (where she was born) then our family may be together in the same place for the first time since 1999 when our daughter left for college in another State.

Love everything about this!  I think this is my biggest “fear” with dual citizenship children. WHAT IF THEY MOVE?!?!  ;D

I mean, I don’t need them to live with me forever but maybe not on a different continent?  Pretty rich coming from me (sorry parents! THIS wasn’t the plan.)


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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2022, 08:37:10 PM »
Love everything about this!  I think this is my biggest “fear” with dual citizenship children. WHAT IF THEY MOVE?!?!  ;D

I mean, I don’t need them to live with me forever but maybe not on a different continent?  Pretty rich coming from me (sorry parents! THIS wasn’t the plan.)

She and her brother get on really well, play games over the internet almost every night and she did say that being a continent way is becoming really hard. If he had died last year she may not even have been able to come for his funeral as both countries were in lockdown. Similarly with me, I had a heart operation done 3 years ago and she wasn’t there for that either. She said she really wants to spend time with us while we are still healthy enough to go on vacations and stuff together. The conversation on Sunday was actually very moving, as well as being quite exciting. It won’t happen for some months yet because of work considerations plus her partner, an Australian American, also wants to move over as well.

The 3 weeks we spent together here and in Spain in February/March this year I think helped cement her desire to move.
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Re: Dealing with Glaucoma in UK
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2022, 01:02:41 AM »
She and her brother get on really well, play games over the internet almost every night and she did say that being a continent way is becoming really hard. If he had died last year she may not even have been able to come for his funeral as both countries were in lockdown. Similarly with me, I had a heart operation done 3 years ago and she wasn’t there for that either. She said she really wants to spend time with us while we are still healthy enough to go on vacations and stuff together. The conversation on Sunday was actually very moving, as well as being quite exciting. It won’t happen for some months yet because of work considerations plus her partner, an Australian American, also wants to move over as well.

The 3 weeks we spent together here and in Spain in February/March this year I think helped cement her desire to move.

@durhamlad such amazing story this, very happy for you and your family. What your daughther said about spending time with parents while they are healthy enough resonated so well with me, this is one strong reason for our move as well.



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