I am being treated at the Nottingham City Hospital. All chemo patients are issued with a six month parking permit. Even those of us without our own car, which means a family member or close friend can go with you to the hospital when you have your treatment, or when admitted for neutropenic sepsis. It's certainly come in handy for me, as I have a two bus journey (one a free bus) which takes one and a half hours one way. As I'm over 60 and have a bus pass, and one of the buses is free (it runs between the Queen's Medical Centre and the NCH) cost isn't really a problem, but if my daughter was to come on the bus with me, it would cost her quite a lot of bus fare. The permit allows her to drive me there and wait with me while I have my treatment. It also helps for visitors when I've been admitted to the oncology ward, although it does't guarantee a parking space! It also means I don't have to mess around waiting for buses whilst having treatment. When the six months is up, I will still be receiving treatment for cancer (hormone tablets, check ups, annual mammograms etc) but will not longer have free parking. It should be standard nationwide.
As Lola says, free prescriptions for chemo patients isn't really a benefit for those over 60 as we already get free prescriptions.
It's the same here in East Lancs. I have 2 different hospitals to deal with (plus a third when I start rads). They are all 3 approx 15 miles from my home, so a considerable amount is being spent on petrol. Parking is not free, we even have to pay if we are there a very short time for, example, a blood test. (always assuming there is a space. Twice now we have had to park on a side street outside the hospital necessitating a 10 minute walk). Then when I was hospitalised for neutropenia my OH visited me twice a day - more petrol, more parking.
Add to this the over the counter meds I've bought and the dental charges prior to starting, it amounts to a lot of money. We are retired and on a fixed income but get no real help as prescriptions are already free for the over 60's!
There really should be more uniformity around the country for parking arrangments, shouldn't there? Anyone with a compromised immune system shouldn't have to rely on public transport. I know I've read complaints about how long hospital-provided transport can take, which may again be too much for someone on active treatment.
Chicita, I'm surprised about the dental treatment, because I know I didn't have to pay for some treatment I had between surgery and chemo. Does it depend on where you are in treatment or what kind of treatment? I know I've had to pay since, but a lot of things from that period are a bit of a blur now.
It's really bad that so many of us have to battle with employers and others, just when we're short of energy and health.
Parking at Salford Royal is free if you have cancer, but you need to get a form filled in every time you go and then take that to the car park reception and they give you a "get out of hospital free token" to stick in the parking barrier. On the odd occassion I've forgotten to get a form or the department hasn't know anything about them it's cost me up to £6 in parking fees.
At Christies in Manchester it's £1.50 for up to 4 hours which I think is wrong as its a dedicated cancer hospital. Its even £1.50 every day for rads which at 5 a week for up to 5 weeks really mounts up.
Add into that the petrol cost for a round trip of 40 miles each time and it soon mounts up.
I recently needed dental treatment but that's not free on NHS for cancer patients, you still have to pay £17.
I do get £71 a week employment support benefit but I really had to fight to get that and they hassle me every time a sick note is due to expire.
It's hard enough coping with the cancer without being worried sick about money as well.
Dawn, I agree about the high parking charges at the Marsden. It is very high. I decided to pay £100 for the whole year which has worked out better. This is a lot to find in one go but I was spending between £8-12 some days. Its really unfair.
An interesting thread :). Martha in England all meds for cancer patients are free now, even those not prescribed for cancer. Also prescription drugs are free to over 60s. At the branch of the Royal Marsden I go to the parking charges are horrendous but if you are attending for a course of radiotherapy they do issue you with an exemption card even if it is a short 5-day course.
I am based in Scotland - Just outside Edinburgh. My op will take place in my local hositpal which has free parking and then when I go for my RAD treatment, I will need to travel around 15 miles (which isn't bad) and the parking is free.
At the RAD hospital, they also have assisted valet parking. So basically, I drive to the front door, show a man my appointment card and then he parks my car. When I'm finished, the car is brought back to me.
The total cost in fuel will be around £8.00 per day. Also, all my drugs are free. For my non-prescription drugs we have something called "minor ailgments" where you can get some drugs for free (not sure if you guys have that in England).
I am going to double check with my BCN in case there are any other costs/charges which I will be liable for.
When it comes to something like caner - Everything should be free 😉
Do ask about the parking. If nothing else, is it allowable on your tax return?
I was born in the US and my sisters and their families are all there, so I really appreciate the NHS. The hospital where I was treated has a system of free parking during radiotherapy (they assume many or most will drive themselves). I don't think they do for chemo, but because the hospital is not far away, my husband dropped me off and picked me up again for that. Our nextdoor neighbour used a taxi service (minicab); I don't remember whether he said the cab company had a special rate or whether he was getting a rebate of some kind, but it was cheaper than driving and parking, and probably safer.
I finally asked to have my analgesics put on prescription, but my age entitles me to free prescriptions in any case. Quite a few things (like dental care) should be free (in the UK) for cancer patients, and it's possible that some people might not know what they are entitled to.
But many of us find that a lot of day-to-day expenses increase, such as heating and electricity bills, and perhaps having to replace clothing which no longer fits, possibly having to replace things more than once.[/size]
[size= 10px]My biggest financial loss was due to my employer. I was an hourly-paid adult education teacher, winding down my hours to 2 twice-weekly classes, as I was past normal retirement age and intended to retire in a couple of years. They should have got substitutes for both classes, especially since I initially expected to return after Christmas, but instead they 'closed' one class although there were enough students in it and told the students to join a different class which didn't have enough, pretending that it was my class that was too small. This cut my income in half and then it was cut in half again when I was put on half pay after 6 months. I chased it up, but was told they were legally entitled to do that. So when voluntary redundancy was offered, I couldn't think of any reason why I should return to an employer like that, rather than taking the modest payoff.
Here in Canada we have a national health service (of sorts), and in fact we do not have private health care at all, so there is no two-tiered system. People who can afford to pay to jump the sometimes very long waitlists etc, will sometimes travel to the USA or elsewhere for treatment!
Any emergency or hospital in-patient care and treatments are funded, and so is your family doctor, and any tests/investigations they order, .. but there are lots of things you do have to pay for, including prescription drugs. Luckily the chemotherapy drugs have been classified as in-hospital treatments, even though most of us are treated on an outpatient basis. We do have to purchase all the side effect medications though.
Surgery is free at the point of delivery, but if you need prescribed analgesics post-op you have to buy them. I developed blood clots in my leg and lungs for which I have to have daily heparin shots which I have to buy from the pharmacy at around a thousand dollars a month!
Now before you get too worried for me, I have to tell you that I have health insurance from my work which covers 70% of drug charges, billed directly, and I have to pay the balance. Luckily for me I also have a health spending allowance, through which I can claim any out of pocket expenses related to health and wellness, so things like my wig, my medication costs, and if I were to have some massage or other health treatments I could probably claim all that back up to a certain limit.
I get a cumulative allowance of paid sick days a year, which do roll over to a certain maximum if you don't use them, so I was actually on full pay for over three months. Now I am on disability pay (66%) as my oncologist signed me off for a year!
I am lucky! My husband started a new job last December, and has to work a period before he gets health insurance. Part time employees are common here, as employers are not obliged to offer them benefits. I'm sure there are many people who do not carry private health insurance in Canada, for various reasons. I suppose many just hope they won't need it! In this instance I am glad it is me and not my husband who is sick!
Hmmm, I am wondering if I could claim back my parking fees now! ... it is $6-13 a visit, and I'm currently having weekly treatments!