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DD2 has special medical needs . . does anyone know if the army will cater for her in Germany ????

(30 Posts)
lydle3 Mon 25-Aug-08 21:03:45

Hi, my soon husband to be (4th Oct)is based with QDG's in Paderborn in Germany, we would like to go and join him in April when he returns from tour, but my DD2 has brain tumour, has just finished course of treatment, but due to a huge cyst next to tumour, has to have it drained twice a week.

She was diagnosed at 5 months, so not a new situation but has become more complicated over the years she is now 9. Various other complications, no chance of removal, not sure what future holds.

Does anyone have any experience of anyone in Germany who's child is treated at a Germany hospital ?? Does anyone know if the Army would allow me to go to Germany ?? as im guessing they would foot bill as not NHS, sorry its long any help would be gratefully received.

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 22:28:38

link to a website that will answer the question, I think

You have to scroll down to the welfare bit...almost all teh way down!

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 22:30:48

Here the important bit...thought it might be easier to just copy and paste that bit, lol

An enormous investment is made in welfare provi-
sion for the whole BFG community, both Service
personnel and their families, to ensure that the same
standards of medical, pastoral and social services
are available to them as they would find in UK.

Medical

The reduction in the number of personnel in
Germany has made it impractical to retain the
British Military Hospitals of the past. Instead, the
highest standards of medical support have been
maintained by providing in-patient treatment
in local German Hospitals, in Bielefeld, Paderborn,
Viersen, Hannover and Osnabrück. British consult-
ants, midwives and Hospital Liaison Officers work
alongside German hospital staff. Primary medical
care and dental care are still provided at health and
dental centres within barracks.

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 22:34:35

\link{http://www.bfgnet.de/Community/docs/Focus/Final%20version%202.pdf\ good info booklet for getting posted to Germany....lots of Info it seems)

3andnomore Mon 25-Aug-08 22:35:22

ooops
good info booklet for getting posted to Germany....lots of Info it seems

lydle3 Tue 26-Aug-08 08:24:55

Thankyou 3andnomore, sounds like they would. I think i read somewhere that while they will do their best, if its very complex and they cant cater for it over there, they recommend you stay where you are.

We do own our own home here in the UK, but would like to be together.

Im just wondering who would pay the bill for her care as it isnt an NHS system ? maybe if it is the Army, they may prefer her to stay here because of the cost ??

I spoke to my consultant here, he said he would write relevant letters get in touch with new docs etc. There was also a german doctor in my local hospital, he said munster is a good childrens hospital. Not sure how far that is from Paderborn ???

Does anyone know of anyone who has a child with any special/medical needs in Germany, what sort of care have they had ?? thanks.

3andnomore Tue 26-Aug-08 08:31:37

Muenster is the Hospital I had my first lot of operations (for cleft lip/palate) as a child, and the surgeouns were exellent (quite well known in their field, I took ms to see a surgeoun in the field when a Baby, this was in Bristol, and he knew the Professor who performed my ops and commented on it)

Paderborn, I don't know much about, but I know they have a OT departement, where Students that study in Northampton can have a placement....and that would be due to the english speaking population.

Could you get in contact with the Welfare Officer? They might know where you stand or could find out!
I suppose a big pro argument would be, that it all would be less stressful on all of ou, if you could stay together?

3andnomore Tue 26-Aug-08 08:33:17

Oh, and in general, German Healthcare is a lot "prompter" . And it's easier to see who you want to see, etc...i.e. the relevant doctor, in Germany you have Doctor choice...although, not entirely sure if that is the same for People in the Armed Forces (I am german, you see)!

mumwhereareyou Tue 26-Aug-08 15:27:33

Hi

We used to be in the army and stationed in germany and i was a practice adminstrator and welfare clerk inmy time out there.

Firstly would suggest you contact AFF who wil be of great help, also suggest that your hubby speaks to his welfare dept out in germany, but realistically there aren't many seriously ill people out there at all, they are more likely to get posting back to the UK for various reasons.

But if you do get a posting then there are 4 main hospitals they have a contract with these are St Vincenz Paderborn.

It may not be possible in which case your hubby should have a good case in getting posted back to the UK.

But really suggest contacting the AFF and welfare clerk.

Romy7 Tue 26-Aug-08 21:06:22

lydle - dh (to be) needs to get all this sorted out before he goes on op tour if poss - when does he go? you obviously have a month or two if the wedding is oct lol!

in your shoes, i would be doing it myself, but i've been around grin and i don't altogether trust that my darling dh will cover all the bases (i have a daughter with cp)... can you book a few days in paderborn? grin

does dh fully understand all the implications of your dd's condition? i only ask because mine has a go, but i'd rather make sure all my points were put across (it saves arguments later!) either way, he needs to speak to the med centre and just ask how they would handle this scenario. in theory, there is no reason why you and your dd should not go to germany, but it's always better to get it set up well in advance so that they can highlight any showstoppers... (and hopefully prevent being returned to uk)... i would also ask him to speak with the RMO (Regimental Medical Officer) and then you can forward details of your dd to him or the SMO (Senior) to allow them to get set up (or make a decision one way or another...)

i always get my dd's consultant to send referral letter way before posting, and include all relevant information... (including reports from any other therapists/ professionals involved, so that the 'new' team can be in place before we arrive)

i would also get him to make sure his chain of command are aware (they should be aware in any case, partic if he is going on op tour), and speak with families officer just to see if they have any other ideas. i'm slightly nervous that you will be going out as he finishes his tour - it could all work as long as you are in contact with germany whilst he is away, i wouldn't trust the 3 centre chinese whispers thing, and dh will not be able to organise from the beach...

i am treating this as a straightforward long term medical condition, i don't know obviously whether dd's education has suffered, whether she requires any additional help/ therapy etc in school, whether she is well enough for school, etc etc. if education is likely to be an issue, then you also need to speak with CEAS (they are in the UK, in Upavon), as whilst (in theory) medical issues are fine, education provision is slightly more difficult in Germany if sn is involved - you would need to forward details to CEAS and they would need to approve the posting (to check that they could provide for her needs before travel).

happy to go through this with you if you want - maybe easier to speak/ e-mail? CAT me if you like.

nb - we are in similar boat - awaiting ceas guidance, but not for germany lol...

Romy7 Tue 26-Aug-08 21:20:47

as soon as you are married, btw, dh needs to make sure that his file at MCM is flagged as having a dependent with additional needs - this means that in the future, on posting, they should always check that they can accomodate your dd's needs before issuing a posting order - obv this is a bit different, as you are getting married and hoping to move in during a posting etc...

as others have said, if this is a non-starter, you can request (or they should offer) a UK posting to allow your family to be together... i have lots to say on this subject, but won't bore you lol. some dh's are very anti this, as they believe it is career limiting/ damaging, but in our sort of circs it is a fact of life...

lydle3 Wed 27-Aug-08 08:01:39

Hi Romy, thanks for all the advice !!

DD2's education has suffered slightly, as she has had radiotherapy and the nature of tumour (in brain) she has damage to short term memory.

Just had big sn meeting here doubled TA hours to 4 a day, but attends main stream primary yr5. She has major vision issues, blind in one eye, and no field of vision in other, so like tunnel vision, bt one eye so very restrictive. Otherwise just a bit behind maybe 6 months of numeracy science, good reading though, i think some of this is because she spends a lot of time at hospital.

She has to attend twice a week to drain through a little drain under skin to stop pressure building, as her arm starts to stop working otherwise and she is sleepy.

No set time of when we go, loads to sort here, but he gets back in April and no, not much time here after wedding, married 4th leaves towards end !!!!! not ideal but there you are. So was thinking no point in going if hes not there, but when he gets back, give me a chance to get house sorted for renting.

DD2 is his his Step-daughter by the way does this make any difference ??

Also the regiment he is with is a small regt so the move together, so he doenst think he could be posted back to uk without them, they have only just got there. do you know if this is the case ??

Have you been to Germany ?? Do you know anyone who has with anything similar ??

It is a long term medical issue, but a very tricky one, she has had a lot of treatment, and still isnt cured of even really very stable, part of me thinks stick where you are, you have everything in place here, but doesnt make for a very good start for a marriage, plus she is one of three dd's, so lots of work here alone !!

He is home now, going back Sun for a month, so I could get him to get me numbers of the peeps you mentioned and do some investigating, i agree, wouldnt ask him to sort, i am the only one who knows every last detail of situation !!

Romy7 Wed 27-Aug-08 08:21:32

is she on SA+ or statemented? as she gets 1-1, you would need to contact CEAS as well - that's very easy and they are lovely. it doesn't look like a showstopper from ed, but i expect you will need a lot of chit chat before they are content with the med situation.
once you are married, she will be his dependent, so it doesn't matter.

there are always ways around the posting plot, but only Glasgow would know the ins and outs of each individual case - it is not uncommon for soldiers to require a UK tour even if the regiment is overseas - all sorts of reasons. he can go to a training establishment, for example, or lots of other options.

if i were you, even if i then made the deicision to stay put, i would do my very best to discuss the situation with the army community - they really do need to be aware in any case - for example, if dd has a crisis whilst he is on op tour etc etc. you also need to know as a family if life in the army with postings is going to be an option, or if as a family you need to come to a different conclusion (whether that is you and dcs in family home in UK, and dh looking at each posting as it comes up, or hpwever it suits your family).

we have been to germany, but not for a little while - but certainly discussed options very recently.

i'll have a think and post some useful contacts for you later. xx

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 27-Aug-08 08:25:39

I do know someone who is posted abroad with a child with type 1 diabetes. The care was found not to be adequate locally (in the Mum's opinion I think) and so she flies home regularly for check ups.

I don't know who pays for the flights.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 27-Aug-08 08:27:41

Oh this isn't Germany though.

I do know that there hasn't been any problem remaining under the same consultant here.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 27-Aug-08 08:31:07

Oh read the post properly now <sorry> I can see flights back are not really going to be appropriate

I can see the need for good regular medical care. Who does the drain? Is it a nursing procedure or does it need to be overseen by docs?

Good luck - I would hazard a guess that the medical care in germany will be very good (a German friend seems to think its better than the UK) so hopefully it can be sorted.

lydle3 Wed 27-Aug-08 08:33:27

In my local authority, it isnt always better to have statement, you seem to get more finance without ?! they hate giving them, already been turned down, but after meeting said either we do it together at school, or i'll do it alone, as i know we will need it if we move anywhere.

So going to it in Sept, my consultant wrote very stroppy letter, saying things like neglect and failing duty of care etc!!

Medical social worker said she has children who have them for one of dd2's issues, all together crazy why not.

Just asked DP, he says he told OC of squadron at a meeting, so they are aware.

Does you Dd have ongoing medical needs ?? Did she when you were in Germany ??

Thanks again for all your help x

Romy7 Wed 27-Aug-08 11:27:29

dd has ongoing therapies which are classed as both a med and ed need (thanks to her statement lol) ie physio, OT, SLT etc, but also sees orthotist for dynamic lycra splinting/ supportive boots/ splints as nec. six monthly checks with paediatrician/ neuro as req'd etc. no specific medical interventions.
we've only just bothered to statement - we've had no issues with 1-1 at SA+, but here they routinely statement for physical disability so that it is in place for school. (my dd is a bit younger - 5 in 3 weeks!) we've always had extra support and funding, so it's never been an issue tbh. so far have managed to arrange everything without too much of a fight - we've had two postings since she was born, and i've managed to get everything in place before our arrival, but we were last in germany when dd1 was born (she was born in bielefeld lol, so not far)
dd2 has been registered with CEAS for about 3 years as requiring additional educational support - she has no ld's as far as we know... once you have registered your dd with ceas they will send you loads of stuff about having a child with sen in the service community, there is also a downloadable document on the mod webpages, and loads more stuff. they will then pass the info to SCE (service children's education for them to check what facilities they need etc).
SCE are classed as an LEA (sort of), and can carry out stat assessment etc, so it can be done in germany. obviously, each 'new' lea has the right to reassess the existing statement on arrival in any case - ordinarily they will honour the exisiting statement until their own professionals have assessed the child, and then issue their own...
CEAS phone number is 01980 618244
you also need to register with ssafa and get put on the postal list for the additional needs newsletter - there is a very informative conference every two years where families are encouraged to attend and share experiences/ gather info. you've just missed one though! (typisch, hein?)
SSAFA Additional Needs Advisor 0207 4639234
the medical care in germany is outstanding, but a lot of families who are dealing with similar issues decide they want to be in the uk, closer to extended family and other support networks - but you have to get all the info first, before you (and unfortunately they) decide what is most appropriate...

have you found the service community guide online for paderborn? it'll have loads of info - let me know if you haven't got it (dh can get a hard copy from work anyway, but it is online) i think you have to enter through armynet now, they seem to have juggled it around a bit!

i also know someone who spent a lot of time in germany with her son with quite complex needs, and i'm sure she'd be happy to e-mail you as well - they have recently left the army for a variety of reasons, but she is very positive about her german postings and the medical support they were given.

the AFF additional needs rep is phyllis, and her no. is 01354 688163

give me a shout if you have any problem finding telephone numbers or the garrison guide - my e-mail is
romy72008@hotmail.com

good luck - i hope you manage to get everyone to make the right decision for your family, willing to help if you need a sounding board xx

scotlass Wed 03-Sep-08 16:16:24

lydle can't help you re special needs and medical support as it all changed since we were out there. A point to clarify about posting outside the regiment though - if it's decided it's best for your DH to be in the UK there are other postings open to him that fall outside the main regiment depending on his rank and experience which can be UK based. Even though the main regiment is based in Germany there are lots of ERE postings, he would need to discuss options with the RCMO. Hope that helps.

lydle3 Sat 06-Sep-08 08:43:36

Thankyou all for for your messages !!! We have decided to wait until he gets back from deployment and then start making enquiries then.

He has said if they cant do it then he will come back to the UK and commute mon-fri away w.ends home.

Spoke to a lovely lady from AFF, she kind of said same each case different and that some families decide to come home as things so much easier here reference schools etc, but i think we will cross those bridges in April.

mrsmcdreamy Sat 06-Sep-08 19:45:01

As far as i'm aware, when you move to Germany your DD will be treated in Germany. She will be your DP's dependent & will be eligible for treatment. The hospitals here are fantastic. I have had both my children in German hospitals (Hannover & Osnabruck) and have never had a bad word to say about them. Both myself and my DH have had other procedures in hospital as well which have been dealt with easily and professionally.

I would say pretty much ALL doctors speak fluent English & most nurses too, although there are liaison officers at the main garrison-linked hospitals who will translate otherwise.

I know a grown-up who was treated for a brain tumour in Germany & she was thoroughly impressed and is doing really well now.

Your DP, if he's just been posted to that regiment (is he part of the QDG, or attached?) will most probably have to stay there for the full posting length - especially if he's already on his way out for a tour. It may be difficult to stop the posting if he's already down to go away on deployment.

IMO, I would choose to stay in Germany for another posting if there were any medical issues that required treatment, although that doensn't take into account the fact that your DD is already undergoing treament in the UK and continuity and consistency may be the best thing.

Be assured though that you are well looked after by the welfare system if in Germany.

glucose Sat 06-Sep-08 20:12:47

I was a practice nurse in Paderborn Garrison and had dd in St Vincenz. The healthcare provision is excellent.

However what you may miss is the support you get from being treated in familiar surroundings, with friends and relatives all on hand. If you have not lived in Germany before, combining this adjustment period to a new place with an poorly child may be very stressful.

Another option is to approach AWS to put a case together for your DH to get a posting in the UK for compassionate reasons. However if your DH is very career driven he may have difficulty with this. You should approach AWS for support for yourself whether you stay in UK or go to Germany.

lydle3 Sun 07-Sep-08 11:32:06

Thanks again for messages !

I was born in Germany mtself as was my sister, my dad was in the Army for 24 years and we spent quite a lot of time out there, paedreborn ( but too little to remember) and then Viersen (spelling?) so wouldnt be alien to me, just was a very long time ago

My mum doesnt really remember anyone having a sick child, they only person she could remember was a family with a child with down syndrome and they came back to uk when child was school age, but again things have moved on a lot with that. 20 years ago even uk struggled with down syndrome.

This is such a complicated illness, i dont have much support here, just DP really, so take that away and i would struggle (3 girls altogether)

Its the twice weekly draining i think maybe complicated to arrange, if the nearest big hosp is Munster, if thats 1 hour away, doing that twice a week could be difficult.

glucose, do you know if there would be someone capable of this in paderborn hosp or is it to small ???

MuchLessTiredNow Sun 07-Sep-08 11:35:53

I agree with the others that you are best off contacting AWS as a first stop. I don't know about specialist care like yours, but I have 3 children out here and the care is much better than in UK - for both me and them. You can also see specialists very quickly out here with a fraction of the waiting time that you do in UK.

MouseMate Sun 07-Sep-08 18:24:43

Hi Lydle3

I spent some time with QDG and, if it helps at all, I know of one child (of the Regt) that was quite seriously disabled (I think CP), one with diabetes, a couple autistic and one who after a serious accident needed over a year of constant medical care (brain injury). All of whom recieved the care the needed (and deserved) without any issues. The lad who had the accident was cared for in Germany and his parents couldn't praise the system enough.

It's a great Regt, a family Regt and hopefully you and DP will be very happy there (are you Welsh?).

The advice you have been given here is excellent and seems to cover all bases. Regarding UK postings - If DP is a QDG then it would depend on his rank / experience. There aren't any Tpr/LCpl postings at present and if he is an officer he would need to spend at least 3 yrs at RD before he looks to move on. If he has rank then there are more available avenues.

If he is just attached to QDG then he could request an early posting if you do want to stay in UK.

I am still in touch with the Families Officer and his family - so I could contact them on your behalf if you want?

Catch Ya

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