that bupa advert

Is it just me or is the bupa advert about some one finding a lump a bit scare mongering. Yes we have to be breast aware but I feel the implication is that bupa has the perfect solution. I was taken care of by the NHS in Edinburgh and have no complaints in fact Im sure some of my medical team also do private work at the local bupa place. Perhaps the level of care is different in other parts of the country.
Any comments please!

I had BUPA all the time I lived and worked in London as it was a staff benefit, firstly through the Japanese bank I was with for about 10 years, then via my OH being a company director. Neither of us had claimed for 10 years, then we moved back to Scotland to start a business, so we figured the £800 a year was money we could use for other stuff. 12 months later I found I had BC.

I’ve been under NHS Fife and also Lothian for most of my treatment and would honestly say it’s been as excellent as any treatment I had on BUPA (I had 2 spells in one of the best private hospitals in London over the years I was on it, also all my well woman screening was done on BUPA). However, had I still been in London I would never have given BUPA up because my local health authority and the NHS hospitals near me had pretty dire reputations. My former neighbour has a friend who was diagnosed 2 weeks before me and apects of her treatment have taken way longer than mines on account of the waiting lists and pressure on the services down there. I also think I have coped better in Scotland as well - after nearly 20 years London was feeling like hell I’m afraid.

When I walked into the Edinburgh Cancer Centre last year I thought I was walking into a BUPA clinic as it was not what I expected given what I had read over the years about the NHS, it was all so nice inside and very professional.

I’m BUPA Edinburgh, and am probably using the same oncologist as Lauder. For me the difference was the time factor for immediate treatment - 7 days from GP to surgeon’s table, having had various tests. Since then my treatment has been pretty similar, except I get my chemo at home. I did have a very scary experience at the Western as an NHS emergency due to neutropenia, and am concerned how little the DOCTORS know about lymphodema - and the staff at Maggie’s Centre said I was right to refuse treatment, as staff wanted to get bloods from my “wrong arm”! Scary. That was my low point in this whole process.

And the bone scan issue - coz I paid, I was told the results immediately, at the Western. But all the other women there had to wait a week for the result. That made me really mad - it was obviously possible to give immediate results, but they didn’t, because they didn’t have to, and to heck with the stress the patients are under for that week.

That was just plain wrong, unfair and unkind.

I have to agree with Sue - it’s the time, not the treatment, that seems to vary so much. I’ve ‘mixed and matched’ over the years and the contrasts are stark. It’s a way of controlling costs and/or rationing treatment, I suppose. All these little time slippages add up to savings somewhere, I imagine.

Heartily endorse your comments too, Sue, about the lack of lymphoedema awareness in doctors; it’s extremely worrying.

On a related topic to the BUPA ad, am I the only one (I do hope not!) who gets intensely irritated when the likes of the BBC (although they are by no means the only offenders) put a photograph of, say, a cancerous (or MRSA, etc) cell as seen under a microscope on the news or on their website? Is showing us what one looks like helpful? Should I now keep my rolling pin handy so that I can flatten the next blighter before it can do any damage? What is the POINT of it? Or is it just me?

Bye for now…

Funny you should mention it I found that ad a little, well, uncomfortable to see. My reason was the part of it that says a ‘clean room’. I thought it was saying that any other room other than that in BUPA was not going to be clean, very worrying to anyone not able to afford BUPA.

I had mastectomy, chemo etc at Clatterbridge Hospital, Wirral, England. NHS and treated very well indeed, clean ward, lovely staff etc. I have since moved to Ireland and am very sadly not as happy with my care now, waited a month for emergency appointment to check a new lump found in good breast, still waiting for my scan appointment of the lump, now 3 months since found lump. I did have to take things into my won hands as I was going insane with worry, had it checked out at my local BUPA hospital and was there for only 2 hours and had scan x-rays seen consultant twice and had bloods done and got results before I left for home and all is good thankfully, but still no NHS appointment through!

I had an experience of the nurses at the Cancer Centre in Edinburgh wanting to use the wrong arm, I basically refused and asked th Student Nurse to get someone more experienced to take the blood. I think the general rule is if possible dont use the side that has had surgery but unfortunately the veins on the supposed good side will be knackered so the onc says you can take out but you cant put in. The guys up in the heart scon place even used my foot. The doctors have asked if I hae lymphodema but Im not sure its sort of numb and tingly sometimes in that area. I also had a bad neutropena experience which took weeks to sort out that was my GPs fault. I should have gone straight to the Western for that but I felt a bit of a fraud despite the fact that I could barely walk.

I had to use my dodgy arm all the way through Herceptin (the oncologists approved this). I also had it used for bloods and muga scan injections - I had the scans done at my local hospital and they said it was ok for them to do this as they had approval.

Neenie, where abouts are you?
I am in N. Ireland and I have to say it has been good so far, time I suppose not the best but no where near as poor as yours.
Saw GP who assumed it was a cyst so was routinely referred hence 1 month wait, scans that day, results 5 days later, surgery 2 weeks. The longest I’ve had to wait was for onc and that was because of Bank holiday.
I have seen where I will be getting my chemo and it looks so bright and airy which hopefully will help with things.

I don’t know about the media and BC, it seems that it’s fashionable to show it these days. I know if I didn’t have it the ad’s wouldn’t bother me but obviously them and other articles aren’t always written by people who are/have gone through BC.

I have a touch of lymphodaema at the moment and saw physio today, she has said under no circumstances am I allowed to let them use my “bad” arm, so I have to stand my ground even if my veins collapse, great!

I know that I might be hyper sensitive about bc now, but, I get so annoyed when every deceased relative on every TV programme has died from cancer.

I have found that counselling has stopped me being so sensitive and I’m getting on with things very well right now. Counselling has stopeed me getting in a panic about things and is helping me regain my confidence. I am starting to have a focus again.

I have found the NHS in Norfolk to be amazing!
When I called my GP surgery about dizziness and nausea, I got an appointment for the next day, saw the oncologist the following day and was immediately admitted to hospital and treatment started the same day.
At my most recent appointment, I saw my onc on Wednesday lunchtime, he decided that head & body scans would be a good idea. The next day the appointment arrived in the post for Monday morning.
BUPA have to convince the public that the NHS is an inferior service. You might get faster treatment privately for non-essential (or not so time sensitive) treatment but, in my experience, the NHS is wonderfully efficient when it’s really important.
Love, Lynn

Hi Leeloo

I live in South Armagh and I attend Craigavon Area Hospital.

I have spoke to a few women on here that attend Belfast City Hospital and seem really happy with everything.

Neenie xx

I am a mix and match patient. We have private medical insu at work so when the GP advised he would refer me and my lump I asked if I should go private - he said as I had it I might as well use it. I was seen 3 days later and had all the tests and results back within a week - surgery was booked for 8 days later. However, after my surgery my consultant advised that it would be best to have the rest on the NHS as I would have access to a bigger and better team on the NHS than I would have if I stayed private. I cannot fault the treatment from either side other than to say that in the transition between the private side to the NHS side there was a bit of a break down in communuication and some stuff like physio was delayed… I think this was the private side not passing on the request and not that the NHS failed to act.

Did anyone see the HCA ad for private cancer care on TV last night? OH wasn’t impressed.

Any thoughts, anyone?