Recently, we featured the story of an Australian woman with Type 1 diabetes who was denied a refill of insulin by a doctor. We have since received word from others who have had a similar problem. Here, a mother shares the ordeal her family went through because of a an apparent records mishap.
My daughter has Type 1 diabetes, and she has twice been denied a refill on her insulin prescription.
We live in the UK and have been seeing a general practitioner for her diabetes. Some time after my daughter’s diagnosis, the doctor stopped prescribing insulin refills. We kept requesting the refill but were refused, and we ran out. I had to take my daughter to the hospital, where we had to wait several hours for a refill.
After this incident, our diabetes consultant called the doctor. The doctor’s receptionist argued with the consultant and even went so far as to question the necessity of insulin for my daughter. The consultant threatened that if the doctor wouldn’t prescribe the insulin, an official complaint would be lodged with the government. On the same day, I went to the doctor’s office and lodged a complaint to the manager of the practice.
After I lodged the complaint, the practice responded, saying the doctor didn’t prescribe the insulin because the hospital discharge letter with my daughter’s diagnosis had disappeared from their electronic records. The problem was fixed, and things proceeded smoothly, at least for a few months.
Then, recently, the practice again failed to refill prescriptions, this time for insulin and test strips. I again asked our diabetes team for help. I want to lodge a complaint this time to the National Health Service instead of the practice manager. This is just too dangerous of an issue to get wrong, and I really don’t understand why they would do this to a child!
We understand that changing practices in the UK health system can be difficult, and we can only hope that this mother can find a better medical home for her daughter. If you have any advice on navigating the National Health Service in the UK, or if you want to share a story of being denied insulin for your Type 1 diabetes, please email our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll pass any advice onto this family.
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