Queen of Sleep

Living with narcolepsy: a personal journey

Posts Tagged ‘administration

Rate your local GP on NHS Choices website

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I have not been writing for a while as I have been busy moving from London into the English countryside. It’s all in the name of improving my health, reducing my stress levels and oh yeah, for love! Today I am looking to register with a new local GP. How do you know if your nearest GP, or any GP’s in the neighbourhood have any experience of treating patients with neurological conditions? There should be a list online of the GP’s strengths (weaknesses too but that might be too controversal and not very conducive. I have registered on recommendation in the past and unfortunately it didn’t work out very well (I had to diagnose myself before the GP would refer me to a neurologist). It feels as if it will be a lottery – I wonder what my odds of finding a good match will be?  My last GP recommended me to shop around for a GP until I had found a good one. I have also found a rating GP site on the NHS Choices website – just insert your postcode and you will be able to read and rate GP’s in your area. If we all wrote reviews – it would/could save a lot of time for new patients looking for a good local GP.


Written by Queen of Sleep

October 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

Scrap NHS reforms, doctors tell Lords | Society | The Guardian

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More than 400 senior doctors and public health experts are calling on the House of Lords to throw out the government’s health and social care bill, saying it will do “irreparable harm to the NHS, to individual patients and to society as a whole”.

via Scrap NHS reforms, doctors tell Lords | Society | The Guardian.

Help by signing the 38 Degrees NHS petition!

It has already been signed by over 43 million! One of the ugliest words of the 20th century is Deregulation! The Tories love it and use it everyday! Anyone in doubt of signing the petition, watch the film/documentary “Sicko” by Michael Moore to see what happens to society and healthcare services after DEREGULATION

The BBC writes ” NHS Changes to cause irreparable harm”.  The Shadow Health Secretary John Healey says: “David Cameron is in denial, both about the damage his plans are doing to the NHS and the strength of opposition”


Written by Queen of Sleep

October 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

Despite Having Doctors Under Investigation – Atos Healthcare’s Contract with Government Extended for Another 3 Years – Plus Atos Update

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A few days ago, I was not surprised to read that GMC (General Medical Council) is investigating the conduct of 12 Atos Healthcare Doctors in The Observer (Atos doctors could be struck off | Politics | The Observer).

Every year I have to attend an interview for Atos reassess my situation. As I am in the process of moving away from London to a much smaller city in the UK, I scheduled my new appointment for 2011  there (new city) and 3 days after I had received the details of my new appointment, I got another letter saying that they had reviewed my file and at this point in time I do not need to attend an examination. For the first time, they seem to take the letters from specialist doctors seriously and I find it such a relief because of previous experiences I get so anxious and stressed before and during appointments with Atos – London. This time i found out that they have changed the number of times you can reschedule you appointment. You used to be able to reschedule it 3 times but now you can only reschedule once. It’s tricky because it is essential that I bring someone who really knows me for the examination as I tend to freeze up, panic and sometimes give inaccurate facts because I get so nervous and the doctors in general are mean, don’t listen and misdiagnose. This is true at least in my case. So, if the appointment I make does not match my carers then I have to reschedule. They are also only able to reschedule 7 weeks forward if you need a date beyond your out of luck. I have been advised on many occasion to call back on the day just before the appointment and reschedule and it works! So I rescheduled my first appointment this year, then Atos rescheduled 2 appointments s after that I thought that I was within my rights to reschedule one more time to my new location, and they let me.

I have been ranting on and on about Atos because, from my point of view, it is a poorly run organisation with under-qualified and rude staff.

You might already have read previous posts about my visits to the local branch of Atos. If not you can catch up here:
Atos Healthcare Recruitment Day Picket 14/06/2011 

Campaigners Warn  Over  Incapacity Benefit Changes 01/06/2011.

New disability test ‘is a complete mess’, says the man who designed it | Politics | The Guardian
Article from the 13th of August

Atos, Therapy and Sodium Oxybate Update 8th of August 2010

Aftermath of the Atos medical Examination 2nd of Agust 2010

Atos Administration makes me Anxious 1st July 2010

Relevant Websites: Atos Healthcare


Written by Queen of Sleep

August 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

ATOS HEALTHCARE Recruitment Day Picket – 14th of June 2011

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Sometimes easy to think ” What is going on in the world! Why is everything so difficult? Why isn’t anybody listening? Is it just me who can’t manage? Why does the Job Centre lose everything I send them? Why does it seems like there is a ghost in the admin-machine, regularly sending me the wrong letters and sometimes not any at all? Why is it that when I try to fill in the ATOS medical form not a single question is applicable to a neurological disorder? Why do I have to chase up committees, secretaries and call centre staff on a regular basis? Rant! Rant! Rant! All these thoughts race around in my mind and suddenly I look up at a stand outside the local Argos. It has two rather pale people in their mid 40’s-50’s distributing flyers, providing information on ‘Being a Carer’. I get a leaflet and read: ATOS Healthcare Recruitment Day Picket!  At first I am a little confused as to the meaning of the headline. The word recruitment and picket doesn’t seem to gel in my mind but then I get it. Two local charities are picketing outside the recruitment office of ATOS warning potential new employees of ATOS “about their despicable” reputation. It is obviously also an opportunity to voice a rejection of the NHS reforms currently being under scrutiny. The leaflet says that the financial crisis is being used as an excuse to drive through the ConDem government’s ideological attack on the welfare state. ATOS’s multi-million contract with the government  is to help achieve this.

The picket will take place on the 14th of June: 5pm – 8pm at Atos Origin, 4 Triton Square, Regent’s Place, NW1

For more information on the charities: IHOOP, DPAC  and many many more…

Written by Queen of Sleep

June 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

‘NHS reform is safe’ – Andrew Lansley makes private plea for Tory support | Politics | The Guardian

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‘NHS reform is safe’ – Andrew Lansley makes private plea for Tory support | Politics | The Guardian.

What an odd and contradictory situation! Is this what happens when the Tories are trying to push through a reform and have to compromise? Or are they compromising? Langsley says that no red line has been crossed and encourage Tory MP’s to support the amendments whereas Nick Clegg is celebrating a victory over the conservatives and call it muscular liberalism all the while the conservatives are sulphurously celebrating the new reform . GP’s will be handling 65% of the NHS budget deciding who will be approved for medical treatments. What will happen to decisions on orphan drugs? Do they have the expertise to be able to decide on them? From my point of view, it appears that the post-code lottery (depending on the area you live in = quality of GP) that exists in the UK in terms of the quality of care you are able to receive on the NHS is just getting worse. I had to fight for a referral to a my neurologist, my GP didn’t listen. Would the same GP have provided the recommended medication regime? Somehow, if I had stayed with this particular GP: I don’t think so!

And, we still don’t know what and how the position of  specialist research hospitals in relation to the PG Consortiae …

Written by Queen of Sleep

June 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Neurology care ‘is lacking’ for UK patients

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BBC News – Neurology care ‘is lacking’ for UK patients.

I am not surprised reading the above article on the state of neurology care in the UK as the diagnosis of narcolepsy is on average delayed by 12 years.  Steve Ford, Chair of the Neurological Alliance, said: “Patients with neurological conditions need to see the right specialist at the right time in the right place, but evidence shows clearly that this isn’t happening due to poorly organised services and not enough specialist care.”

The Department of Health takes the opportunity to  say that this is a reason to push for the new NHS reform. Giving more power to GP’s  and moving decision making closer to the patient? I’m not convinced that is such a good  idea considering GP’s knowledge of narcolepsy (and other sleep disorders)  appears to be very limited. How do they envision the relationship between specialist and GP? Who will be making decisions? Who is the most suited to making decisions?

Written by Queen of Sleep

June 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

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Campaigners warn over incapacity benefit changes

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BBC News – Campaigners warn over incapacity benefit changes.This report is not a day too late. I have to go to attend an interview every 6month-1 year. It might not be very often but I associate the whole experience with extreme stress. Atos Medical Care Team as “professionals” who do not listen and the whole process normally sets back my progress with 3-6months.The more I attend the interviews the more I find out. This time I found that you can ask to be seen by a female or male doctor. I asked for a female doctor as they in general (in my case) have better communication skills and it helps me remain reasonably calm i.e. I don’t get a cataplexy or panic attack.

The form does not fit narcolepsy so it’s impossible to fill in. The doctors do not read the material from experts that I bring with me. In general, I doesn’t seem to matter what a specialist doctor or professor recommends because as long as you can lift your arm and hear from one end of the room you are able to work. I am not surprised that people are stressed. And yet I understand that the government is trying to get people back into work but is this really the way forward? Especially for people with mental health issues? I have spent time with the local mental health service – whilst they were trying to figure out if I had a mental health problem (how funny!). Everybody knows that lack of sleep will bring on hallucinations and living with narcolepsy is often extremely stressful and in itself can potentially push you towards an unstable mental health. Especially in a situation where (Atos interview) you are ignored and treated as if you were a number in a queue. Unfortunately, it’s always the people that are in most need that will suffer the most and the people that know how to  “work the system” that will manage.

The Guardian is also headlining the topic: Mental health experts warn against pace of incapacity benefit cuts, whereas The Times writes about elderly care and the Daily Telegraph covers E.coli and cucumbers.

Check out  The Somnus T-Shirt. It measures sleep patterns.

Wish you all a lovely morning and a lovely summer!

Written by Queen of Sleep

June 1, 2011 at 8:20 am