Shropshire man falls foul of the Nationality Lottery

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

A Shropshire man has fallen foul of the nationality lottery after Telford & Wrekin NHS Trust refused to treat him with Lucentis to try and save his sight.

Allan Farley has punctate inner choroidopathy and two consultants have told him that Lucentis will help to save the sight in his right eye. He is already blind in his left.

But the NHS Trust, acting on guidelines issued by the increasingly inaccurately named National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), have refused to fund a course of Lucentis. Honestly, someone really should complain to Trading Standards – they are neither “national” nor “nice”.

Two years worth of Lucentis will cost about £18k, pocket money compared to the cost of paying benefits and providing services to a blind man and his family for the next 50 or 60 years. If you’ll excuse the pun, the decision is more than a little short sighted.

Mr Farley says he’s being refused Lucentis because of the cost. Yes, it’s an expensive drug and the NHS Trust probably doesn’t have £18k stuffed down the back of the Chief Exec’s sofa to pay for it but finding the money for the drug is a secondary issue and the NHS Trust does have the money if it wants to spend it.

The real reason why Mr Farley is being refused Lucentis is because he lives in England. If he lived in Scotland he would have been treated by now and the sight of his left eye might have been saved. The Scottish Medical Consortium – the equivalent body to NICE north of the border – allows Lucentis to be provided on the NHS in Scotland, along with a host of other drugs such as cancer and alzheimers treatments that are unavailable to English people.

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