Independent Medical Opinion

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Uphill Struggle, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Uphill Struggle

    Uphill Struggle Registered User

    Apr 15, 2010
    2
    I live in Scotland and my mother has been going through a medical assessment, continuing care assessment and appeal against refusal of NHS Contiunuing Care for many months.
    The Doctors involved in the assessment and review are in our family's opinion ignoring and failing to document relevant evidence. This is of concern to us as from our research we believe that our mother is clearly suffering from a crossover between different types of dementia, but the doctors have completely failed to acknowledge this, speak to us, or suggest any methods whatsoever of approaching some of the resulting behavioural complications.
    We had been assured by the local NHS that the consultant appointed to review the initial assessment would be from a different NHS area and would be fully independent of the original local assessors. Since the review and the confirmation of refusal to fund care we have learned that the reviewing consultant, although from another NHS area, has long term previous professional association with one of the consultants who we have complained had acted unprofessionally in the initial assessment.
    We have tried to locate a truly independent medical assessor through a charity organisation specialising in this subject, based in Scotland, but have been informed that they do not have any information whatsoever on medical/mental health assessors who are genuinely independent.
    We also attempted to source an assessor through the private health care sector(although aware that many private consultants are also linked with the NHS). We initially received a positive response to our enquiry for independent testing from the private sector, but were informed a few hours later that the Consultant would no longer be available to offer an independent opinion.

    Does anyone know where I could source a genuinely independent Consultant Psychogeriatrician, free from any potential local Consultant network loyalties, who would be able to carry out an independent assesment and diagnosis in the West Central Scotland area?
     
  2. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi Uphill Struggle,

    I have to say your request is a bit unusual (but not unreasonable), so you may not get many people replying based on first-hand experience.

    Just to clarify the question - you are trying to get an independent opinion to both inform your mother's care and treatment and also to supply evidence for a NHS CC appeal?

    I can suggest that you might want to look into the Alzheimer's Society's volunteer network that assists with NHS CC appeals:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?categoryID=200310&documentID=398

    Also, as you're in Scotland, you might want to contact the Alzheimer's Scotland Helpline as they may know of more local resources:

    http://www.alzscot.org/pages/helpline.htm

    Take care,
     
  3. Uphill Struggle

    Uphill Struggle Registered User

    Apr 15, 2010
    2
    Sandy,
    Thanks for your reply. The position we are at now is that detailed written submissions we have made to date expressing serious concerns regarding our mother's medical condition and care needs have been not been discussed with us and were disregarded at the initial continuing care assessment and at the subsequent review following out appeal against the decision to refuse NHS Continuing care.
    A key part of our concern is that in our opinion (based on our research of a variety of professional medical guidelines)some of the assessing medical staff have completely disregarded or acted contrary to significant elements of their own professional guidelines on how they should investigate and evidence any medical or mental health diagnosis and any resulting Continuing Care Assessment.
    We are now at the stage where we are preparing to lodge a complaint through the NHS complaints procedure and, with a view to providing best evidence of perceived shortcomings in the processes, would like to obtain a genuinely independent informed medical opinion of our mother's circumstances. Unfortunately we do not consider the initial assessment or the subsequent review of our appeal against that decision to be professional or objective as, in our opinion, the relevant consultant's reports seems to completely disregard corroborated evidence and also important elements of the qualifying criteria contained in the Scottish Guidelines.
    We also have concerns about the practice of a consultant investigating allegations of poor practice and procedures by a fellow consultant who we believe he/she has a previous professional relationship with.
    We have also heard anecdotal and unconfirmed allegations that the network of consultants in out area is so parochial that none of them will be prepared to find against a senior colleague.
    What we do know having made enquiries with our GP, the private sector and Alzheimer's Scotland is that none of them could suggest an independent consultant in our area who would be prepared to even carry out something a basic as a MMSE test.

    Your link to the Alzheimer's Society's volunteer network that assists with NHS CC appeals is appreciated and I will follow that up.
     
  4. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    82
    Hi Uphill Struggle

    I've just seen your post today and have sent you a PM.
     

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