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shelly-123

Continual Cruiser. How to get medical care and other info

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We found banking wasn't an issue at all, we had our accounts set up as "paperless" accounts and gave them a friends address, but insisted that they were not to send any snail mail to that address.

As for medical, we started out by arranging with our Doctors practice to keep us registared there.  However as we traveled quite extensively for the first couple of years it did become a pain in the backside to get repeat prescriptions as I needed to see him every 3 months for blood tests.  It was quite difficult to get registared at a new surgery that is close to the canal withing a 40 mile radius of our current cruising pattern, but I did prevail with the assistance of the local hospital...long story.

Other folks will tell you its quite easy and that any surgery will take you on as a temporary patient, in my experience that certainly wasn't the case.

IMO, the easiest way is to use a friend or relatives address. 

Good luck

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If you use the address of someone living in their one, they risk losing their single person Council Tax discount.

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37 minutes ago, Robbo said:

There’s http://www.boatmail.co.uk/ if you need an address.

Super thanks for the boatmail info

14 minutes ago, cuthound said:

If you use the address of someone living in their one, they risk losing their single person Council Tax discount.

Yes realise that and also if your using family or friends address they could be on benefits that having you down as living there could mess them up, unless its in a care of

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I don't know if it is commonplace but when I had an accident in Devizes a couple of years ago the local surgery flat out refused to see me as I didn't have any photo ID to hand.  Carrying some form of ID with your photo on it seems to be becoming an integral aspect of modern life and I suggest essential if you are a CC. 

 

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We agree with Bettie Boo that trying to register as a temporary patient is a pain in the ass. For our first year or so of CCing we get our original GP in Southampton but registered as a temporary patient to get our repeat prescriptions. Sometimes we actually had to see the doctor,  most times not. Most times they wanted 72 hours when the only moorings were 48 hours.  Once in Banbury Jeannette and I saw different doctors,  I was given a 2 month prescription, Jeannette 14 days. Even worse as she was still paying.

Nowadays we use our son's address and the same surgery. I post our prescriptions to the surgery with stamped addressed envelopes (one for each of us) to him, we then give him a Poste Restante address and he posts them off and I collect. As worked well for 8 years now.

I know some boaters use the Electronic Prescription Service but whilst our surgery operate the system said they don't like patients changing the pharmacy too often.

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11 hours ago, Neil2 said:

I don't know if it is commonplace but when I had an accident in Devizes a couple of years ago the local surgery flat out refused to see me as I didn't have any photo ID to hand.  Carrying some form of ID with your photo on it seems to be becoming an integral aspect of modern life and I suggest essential if you are a CC. 

 

When I took Jeannette to the Urgent Care Centre in Newark in June they didn't ask for any ID however when she needed a scan at our 'local' hospital she was asked if she had been resident in the UK for the past 12 months, but wasnt asked to prove it.

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When I need repeat prescriptions I order them online designating the nearest pharmacy to me then go to the pharmacy usually 72 hrs later and pick them up no problem.

 

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On 24/09/2017 at 17:09, shelly-123 said:

Hi 

 

Would like to know of peoples experience as a continual cruiser as how you get medical care and banking etc, without having an address ?
 

 

One of the more useful articles that has turned up on the 'Dark Side':

Registering with a doctor as a continuous cruiser

 PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, 04 OCTOBER 2017

THERE should be no problem with registering with a doctor as a continuous cruiser. But often there is, as I found out some time ago, writes Keith Gudgin.

I found there is no valid legal reason why a doctors surgery can refuse to register you just because you do not have a permanent address or, more annoyingly, one of those stupid postcodes.

All in the document

The details are all in an NHS document called: 'Who pays? Determining responsibility for payments to providers: Rules and guidance for clinical commissioning groups’ published by NHS England.
A pdf copy of this document can be found here:
https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/who-pays.pdf

When I was trying to register with a doctor I was given all types of excuses why I could not from not being resident in their area to being too old or requiring too much treatment.

Refused a registration

This is the letter I received from a Mr Peter Hawkins at the Department of Health when I complained to the parliamentary office after I was refused a registration:

The text of his reply is copied at the end of this article which in it states ‘the absence of a permanent address is not a barrier for a person with ‘no fixed abode’ to registering with a GP practice.

I also complained to NHS England highlighting the points made in this letter. I am now registered with a doctors' surgery and my registered address is the surgery address and has been since 2013.

Don't be fobbed-off

Don't let the surgery fob you off. They have no right to refuse you.

If you encounter problems registering with a GP or obtaining treatment, contact the clinical commissioning group (CCG) responsible for commissioning health services in that local area.
Contact details can be obtained from the GP surgery or on the NHS Choices website at:
http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Clinical%20Commissioning%20Group/LocationSearch/1

If you don't get satisfaction then complain to NHS England here:
https://www.england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/

And also complain to your MP here:
http://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp/
after all you are entitled to a doctor.

Complaining worked

Complaining worked for me, in less than 24 hours after I sent an email complaint to NHS England I had an email from the doctors surgery stating I was being registered with them and my registered address would be the surgery address.
They now send all correspondence to me via email.

You don't even need to keep going back to them for prescriptions if you are on regular repeat medication. You can get your repeat prescriptions anywhere in England by using the electronic prescription service (EPS).

A chemist near you

All you need to do is go into a chemist near where you are moored and get them to register you on the system. Get their details i.e. address and EPS code and send it, I use email, to your doctors surgery asking them to put your repeat prescription on the EPS using the details you have sent them.

Leave it a couple of days to be done then you can collect your medication from the chemist. Don't worry about moving to a new area and needing a new prescription as you can re-register at another chemist at any time, just make sure your surgery knows the new chemists details when you ask for your repeat prescription.

I've been doing this for some time and it works fine. It's also best if you get your doctor to issue you with three months worth of medication at a time then you don't have to re-register too often.

The letter from the Department of Heath

Here is the text of the letter I recieved in 2013 from Peter Hawkins at the Department of Health:

Thank you for your email of 4 October about registering with a GP. I have been asked to reply.
The document ‘Who pays? Determining responsibility for payments to providers: Rules and guidance for clinical commissioning groups’ published by NHS England states that ‘the absence of a permanent address is not a barrier for a person with ‘no fixed abode’ to registering with a GP practice. In many instances, practices have used the practice address in order to register a homeless person’. While the guidance does not specifically mention people who cruise on the canals in the UK, it does cover the general term of people with ‘no fixed abode’.

In addition, if a person wants to see a GP and is visiting an area for more than 24 hours but less than three months, they can apply to register with a GP surgery as a temporary resident. The application can be made using form GMS3, which can be requested from the GP surgery. A person can register temporarily with a practice near where they are currently staying and still remain a patient of their registered practice.

Furthermore, if a person is ill while away from home or if they are not registered with a GP practice but they need to see one, they can still contact their nearest practice to ask for treatment. People are entitled to receive emergency treatment for 14 days. After that they will be required to register as a temporary resident or permanent patient.

Finally, people can also visit a NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.
If people encounter problems registering with a GP or obtaining treatment, concerns should be directed to the clinical commissioning group (CCG) responsible for commissioning health services in that local area. Contact details for CCGs can be obtained from the GP surgery or on the NHS Choices website at:
http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Clinical Commissioning Group/LocationSearch/1
(enter the postcode of the GP practice, or temporary residence in the search field and follow the links).

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Hawkins
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health

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On 9/25/2017 at 08:40, pearley said:

 

I know some boaters use the Electronic Prescription Service but whilst our surgery operate the system said they don't like patients changing the pharmacy too often.

They may not like it but in fact they are not allowed to try and influence your choice of Pharmacy and you can change as often as you like. That said you also want to try and keep a good relationship with you surgery so I can see that is a tricky one.

 

You could always ask the pharmacy near the canal to change your registration on the NHS spine, it doesn't have to be the surgery that does the work.

 

 

Edited by NickF

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Repeat prescriptions are no problem now for us. We order through Patient Access and hey presto! they arrive at preferred pharmacy. It took two years or so to 'educate' the surgery though.we now get three supply at a time with periodic visits to get blood pressure done. Occasional visits to home surgery sometimes requested.

About this time last year I had an unexpected problem with my water works. Went to Burscough medical centre,they refused to see me. Told me to go to a call in thingy in Ormskirk. Bus ride away. What I thought was blood in me pee was in fact bile. Strongly advised to go to Southpory hospital asap with overnight bag. Two busses, one train, two long walks and a taxi ride later I arrived at Southport Hospital. Two x one week stays in Hospital and my gall stones were sorted. It's not always plain sailing.

We eventually found that one train ride and one reasonably long walk gets you to the hospital.

So, apart from that adventure we have had no problems with medical treatments whilst Continually Leisure Cruising. I've had gout a knee and a sprained metatarsal.

We love the freedom of choice.

1 hour ago, NickF said:

You could always ask the pharmacy near the canal to change your registration on the NHS spine, it doesn't have to be the surgery that does the work.

 

 

You will find that is the best and proper way to change pharmacies. Ave had so many heated conversations with our surgery staff in the past. We just visit our choice of chemist and order through EPS (Patient Access is our surgeries preferred method)

Enjoy.

Edited by Nightwatch

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2 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

Repeat prescriptions are no problem now for us. We order through Patient Access and hey presto! they arrive at preferred pharmacy. It took two years or so to 'educate' the surgery though.we now get three supply at a time with periodic visits to get blood pressure done. Occasional visits to home surgery sometimes requested.

About this time last year I had an unexpected problem with my water works. Went to Burscough medical centre,they refused to see me. Told me to go to a call in thingy in Ormskirk. Bus ride away. What I thought was blood in me pee was in fact bile. Strongly advised to go to Southpory hospital asap with overnight bag. Two busses, one train, two long walks and a taxi ride later I arrived at Southport Hospital. Two x one week stays in Hospital and my gall stones were sorted. It's not always plain sailing.

We eventually found that one train ride and one reasonably long walk gets you to the hospital.

So, apart from that adventure we have had no problems with medical treatments whilst Continually Leisure Cruising. I've had gout a knee and a sprained metatarsal.

We love the freedom of choice.

I have chronic gout you have my sympathy. I have been hospitalised twice with it unable to move let alone stand on iv morphine I get it so bad and had countless attacks over the last twenty years. 600 thingies a day of allopurinol works for me at present are you on it?

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Gladly no, not permanently. The doctor I saw gave me Naproxen 250mg. Said if I get it again take three tablets to start and then one every eight hours. I have been lucky,had only one other bout in the last two years. I'm a lightwieght!

 I too have sympathy with you. 

(Lots of sympathy around)!

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I have registered with the Boots online repeat prescription service, once you have registered they get the medication details from your surgery & you have a choice to have the medication sent to your home, a post offfice or you can nominate any Boots Pharmacy so you can collect it. 

They send a reminder email when it’s time to reorder, simply tick what you need on the website & it’s done. 

I did use pharmacy2U for a while but they messed up a couple of times so I switched to Boots, it’s worked up to now.............

On the couple of occasions I’ve needed urgent medical treatment I’ve been fortunate to be handy for walk in centres. 

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Boots didn't work for us. We nearly always nominate a smaller chain or an independent. We found that Boots were too big. All their prescription orders seem to go via Nottingham. If it works don't fix it I guess.

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As Upside Side Down has fully explained a surgery cannot refuse you treatment or registering with them if you are 'itinerant'. We had the same issue with our surgery, asking to speak to the practice manager and asking about their equality policy resolved the matter very quickly. A lot of surgeries seem to be unaware of their obligations so it is sometimes necessary to point them out.

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4 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I find myself wondering who the MP is for persons of 'no fixed abode'.

The Minister for Housing? :D

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