Baby denied treatment by NHS because family have overstayed

(521 Posts)
wonderstuff Thu 14-Mar-13 22:12:30

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/13/erbs-palsy-baby-sanika-ahmed-denied-treatment-_n_2866288.html

Baby will be permanently disabled, losing use of one arm if she isn't treated soon. NHS trust are refusing treatment, because although the baby was born here her fathers work visa ran out several years ago. They are being supported by an uncle. I think that the child should be treated, she is innocent and I'm really saddened by the number of people posting comments by this article saying they agree with the NHS stance on this.

What do you think?

Astley Tue 19-Mar-13 10:53:39

Exactly. I will never agree to anything that could cost the health or even life or someone who is actually a citizen of this country.

Funding non essential treatment of illegal immigrants will do that. What I want to know if whether the NHS will be making the effort to recoup the money they have already spent on potentially 3 births and physio etc.

Goldmandra Tue 19-Mar-13 11:15:54

The finite nature of resources is no excuse for not reviewing decisions and applying a moral code. I expect that the people deciding which drugs are available to treat which conditions have applied a moral code. If this is not the case perhaps they need to be reviewed too.

I will never agree to anything that could cost the health or even life or someone who is actually a citizen of this country.

If we follow this logic all aid for any nation in the world should be stopped immediately and every penny ploughed into the NHS. Someone has to decide where to draw the line and that decision should never be set in stone.

Of course anyone who wishes to donate or fundraise to pay for this op should feel completely free to do so hmm

Nothing anyone has said here is an argument against reviewing this policy in the light of the fact that this child is caught up in a situation not of her own making so perhaps this is the time for me to bow out.

OP, thank you for starting an interesting debate which has helped me to think through my own views in the light of those of others.

'The finite nature of resources is no excuse for not reviewing decisions and applying a moral code. I expect that the people deciding which drugs are available to treat which conditions have applied a moral code. If this is not the case perhaps they need to be reviewed too.'

Nonsense! The finite nature of resources is EVERY reason. It's not an excuse, it's the cause.

Drug availability and applicability in the NHS is determined by clinical need and evidence. Not by 'morals'.

Trazzletoes Tue 19-Mar-13 12:03:03

"Someone has to decide where to draw the line and that decision should never be set in stone."

But it needs to be. Otherwise how can it be applied fairly? What criteria would make my DS eligible for life-saving treatment while someone else's child with the same condition isn't?

The NHS has never professed to be always available for everything. I have had to come to terms with the fact that my DS may not be able to access life-saving treatment on the NHS because there isn't money available...

Goldmandra Tue 19-Mar-13 12:44:15

I think we should just agree to differ, don't you? smile

williaminajetfighter Tue 19-Mar-13 13:11:01

I think the title of the service says it all: NATIONAL health service not INTERNATIONAL health service.

That's about the practical realities of where the service stops.

Trazzletoes Tue 19-Mar-13 13:24:07

Agreed goldmandra

<shakes hands and bows out>

scottishmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 18:19:34

You seem to be somewhat unable to grasp the principe of managing finite resources gold
There is a definition of eligibility,if it changes on case by case basis there no definitives
You're fond of the wee facessadhmm ti express displeasure no workable solution though.and oh just give her the op isn't an answer.it's solution to that defined case but not the many others.given resources are finite

I do think the supporters or community could fundraise,its legitimate plenty other parents and organizations have fundraised for health
There been sponsorship activity on mn for health
No one compelled to give,but if one can afford and wants t,o it is a solution

Flatbread - if you could afford to fund either the operation this baby needs, in order not to lose function in one arm, or life saving surgery for a child like Trazzle's son, which would you choose?

Sadly these funding decisions do have to be made, and eligibility is one of the criteria used. I wish it were not so, and I wish that this baby was getting the treatment she needs, but resources are finite.

There are other ways this child could get the operation - as others have said her parents and community could fundraiser, and I am sure many people would be very generous.

Goldmandra Tue 19-Mar-13 18:59:38

Scottishmummy

There is no need to be so patronising. I am perfectly capable of understanding the principles at stake. A view which differs from yours can still be valid smile

I believe that we should always be willing to review NHS (and other) policies. You believe we should not.

Let's agree to disagree? smile

But the bottom line is at treating this child will mean that the funds spent on her will not be available to be spent on another, possibly sicker child. If you had to choose between surgery for this child, to prevent disability or life saving surgery for another child, which would you choose?

SDRG I've asked that repeatedly. Not got an answer.

Goldmandra -'I believe that we should always be willing to review NHS (and other) policies.' are you seriously suggesting that every applicant for NHS care ,that the law does not allow them to receive, should have their case considered on an individual basis - to decide if they're worthy of free treatment? hmm There have been some weird and wonderful suggestion on this thread already but if that is what you mean - wow. Just wow. Is all I can say. And people think the NHS wastes money now........hmm

Goldmandra Tue 19-Mar-13 19:33:32

If you had to choose between surgery for this child, to prevent disability or life saving surgery for another child, which would you choose?

I don't know how I'd choose between two children of immigrant families both victims of circumstance, both needing my charitable donation to get treatment they needed to avoid disability or death.

That's the only one I am likely to ever have to make. Which would you choose? The most attractive one? The least attractive one to make it fairer?

If the policy was reviewed and changed funding in another area of the NHS would possibly be reduced. It could be a decorating budget, staff car-parking, education programmes, free prescriptions or any of hundreds of other NHS budgets which didn't involve saving the lives of sick British children.

I completely understand that resources are limited. That is why we need policies in the first place.

Times change. New situations come to light. I believe that sometimes we should reflect on decisions and consider whether it would be right to change them and that this is one of those times.

I know what I believe and why and it feels right to me. You clearly don't believe what I believe and that's OK smile

Goldmandra Tue 19-Mar-13 19:35:47

No NorthernLurker not at all but I am suggesting that sometimes policies should be reviewed periodically or when there is good reason.

flatbread Tue 19-Mar-13 19:59:30

What about diverting the £15M used for gagging into caring for this child and others.

From DM:
Head of the health service, Sir David Nicholson, has admitted that a new ban on the silencing agreements will also be applied retrospectively, allowing whistleblowers who were suppressed for years to reveal the truth.

The embattled NHS boss yesterday was questioned by MPs about why £15million was handed over to 400 departing doctors, nurses and managers in an attempt to ensure their silence.

He confirmed that 44 former members of staff had signed confidentiality agreements this year at a cost of £1.3million, even though the clauses are no longer valid.

scottishmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 20:05:01

why are you so aghastsadhmm at fundraising for the op gold? as you accept resources are finite
managing finite resources is exactly why there are funding panels, decision tools
measures to guide decision making for eligibility.^every case is a human story with impact^

'It could be a decorating budget, staff car-parking, education programmes, free prescriptions or any of hundreds of other NHS budgets which didn't involve saving the lives of sick British children.'

Yet another staggerngly ill-informed comment. By 'decorating' you mean the painting and other maintainence of the care environment? So, it doesn't rot away and allow infections to flourish that would be then.
Staff car parking - actually in the Trust I work for staff pay - every day. Education programmes - what like education to keep the up to date and safe to do their job> We're not actually doing origami or holiday spanish you know. Free prescriptions - given to children and other vulnerable groups including the seriously ill who have multiple items per month. ' hundreds of other NHS budgets which didn't involve saving the lives of sick British children' - but they involve saving somebod's life. That's what the NHS does and truly people who don't work there have no clue. That's fine but don't pontificate about it. Only exposes your ignorance.

scottishmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 20:18:08

as you said gold you dont have the answers,fortunately other staff are tasked with doing this
and going back to op that decision making needs policies,and criteria.inc eligibility
and if you heve eligibility you have exclusions,thats why its very hard

Goldmandra Tue 19-Mar-13 20:33:30

Yet another staggerngly ill-informed comment.

Not at all. I made no comment about the value of those things. I was just pointing out the reality of the decisions that were made. Deciding between offering children treatment and subsidising staff carparking (as happens where I live) isn't quite as emotive. All those things are valuable to somebody somewhere, including the staff parking, but so is the well-being of the child who kicked off the debate and the rule being applied to her is clearly in a reasonable number of people's opinions very close to a fine line between right and wrong.

This is now rapidly turning into a slanging match which is a shame because I think people should be free to debate dilemmas such as the one which prompted this thread but I have no desire to participate in hurling insults. It's a pity some people can't agree to disagree sad

I will remain hopeful that the majority of NHS managers do so in the light of moral codes alongside many other considerations and are willing to review those decisions/policies when there is a reason.

<hides thread and moves on>

scottishmummy Tue 19-Mar-13 20:37:38

hides thread?is that because you've exhausted argument and concede you wouldn't know what to do faced with this dilemma

AThingInYourLife Tue 19-Mar-13 21:00:01

I agree with you, Goldmandra that this issue is close to some important ethical lines.

And that it was a discussion worth having, all the more so for having you be a part of it. smile

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