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Patients should be pushier with GPs, says watchdog chairman

Messages
97
I hope my GP reads this. I've never started a thread before so sorry if it doesn't cone out well:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25890572

"Patients have been urged to adopt a pushier attitude to get doctors to prescribe the drugs they need.

Prof David Haslam, chairman of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) told the Daily Telegraph people should see themselves as equal partners with their doctors.

NICE decides which drugs can and cannot by prescribed on the NHS.

Prof David Haslam said patients had a "legal right" to medicines once they had been endorsed.

He compared the deferential attitude of British patients towards their GPs to that of Americans who "want to know more about their treatment".

'Your body'
In the UK people "tend to be much more, 'thank you doctor, I will take that'," he said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote
The more you understand about the drugs you are taking, or what you might be able to have, the better you are able to work with your doctor”

Prof David HaslamChairman, Nice
Prof Haslam told the paper "mercifully" attitudes in the UK were changing but that patients should be more proactive about their health.

The NHS faced criticism last week over figures apparently suggesting certain drugs were not being used, despite being given the green light from Nice.

But Prof Haslam told the Telegraph: "When products have been approved for use by the NHS by NICE, patients have a legal right to those drugs - as long as they are clinically appropriate.

"The take-up should be much higher than it currently is."

He added: "Patients have a right under the NHS constitution to these therapies, so I really hope we can improve this."

And he said to get the best healthcare, patients should understand more about the medicines available.

"The fundamental point is, it's your body," he said.

"And the more you understand about the drugs you are taking, or what you might be able to have, the better you are able to work with your doctor."

'Best care'
The former GP was not suggesting patients should be confrontational with their doctor, the Telegraph said.

But he added: "It is essential for the future of the health service and for the future health of the nation that patients understand their conditions, their treatments and work with their health advisors so they can have the best care."

Prof Haslam became chairman of the Nice board in April.

He warned recently the UK's obesity problem could be even worse than the "doomsday scenario" set out seven years ago.
 

orion

Senior Member
Messages
102
Location
UK
But Prof Haslam told the Telegraph: "When products have been approved for use by the NHS by NICE, patients have a legal right to those drugs - as long as they are clinically appropriate.

Is this guy serious? If you have to get someone's permission to do something (in this case both NICE and your doctor) then it isn't a genuine right.

There is nothing wrong with being "pushy" if you're being denied access to a service that you've already been forced to pay for. However, being pushy will only take you so far unless you also have genuine legally enforceable rights to back you up, instead of the theoretical (and mostly meaningless and unenforceable) rights that are written into the NHS constitution.

The crux of the matter is that patients only really have two rights - the right to complain and/or sue the doctor after the event, if something went wrong, and the right to refuse treatment altogether. And even that latter right can be removed under some circumstances.

All the other patient "rights" that we hear about in the media are a load of hogwash. The imbalance of power between doctors and patients can only be fixed by a change of legislation. A good start would be to allow patients to obtain drugs without the need for a doctor's prescription (at their own risk and expense of course).