In the United Kingdom we’re probably all guilty of the assumption that the National Health Service (NHS) is there to meet all our healthcare needs.
With the increasing financial pressures on taxpayers’ money, medical conditions and procedures that were routinely provided by the NHS in the last century are no longer available and many of the operations are now regarded as purely cosmetic and funding is consequently declined.
Unfortunately, as a result of these refusals a certain number of patients who have a genuine clinical need for treatment will be excluded from treatment they really need.
If your doctor believes you have condition that would benefit from treatment he can refer you to the “Exceptional Cases Panel” or Clinical Review Group, to consider your case history.
In cases where this happens and where the condition is visible or cosmetically distressing, the panel will frequently ask for photographs to support the application or in cases of mobility or neurological spasm, possibly video evidence to assist their decision making.
Many of the photographs submitted are “snaps” taken on the family point and click camera and are badly exposed and out of focus, some even missing crucial parts of the subject.
To get the best possible representation of your condition requires the expertise of a highly skilled and qualified clinical photographer. Their knowledge of anatomy and physiology enables them to demonstrate the significant aspects of your problem and they will ensure your dignity, privacy and confidentiality during and after the process.
Many of the conditions being refused are not only visually distressing for the patient but have emotional and intimate connotations which can have life changing consequences.
The operations being refused range from colloquially named “nose jobs” (rhinoplasty), “bat ears” (pinnaplasty), various breast procedures such as reduction, augmentation or implant replacement and “tummy tuck” abdominoplasty and include life changing surgery such as joint replacements.
If you are referred to an Exceptional Cases Panel make sure that you engage the services of a Registered Medical Illustration Practitioner who operates within the Code of Conduct of the Institute of Medical Illustrators and will protect your privacy, dignity and confidentiality.
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