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Moving back to the UK - help required

Hi, I am considering moving back to the UK (I am a UK citizen) after living abroad for 6 years on a work assignment. I have been on Copaxone for 1 year so far, and will soon be switching to Tecfidera.

Has anyone moved back to the UK from overseas while on medication? I am concerned about how long it would take to get a consultation with an MS neurologist once I have registered with a GP. Unfortunately, I do not have a company health plan so I would be using the NHS. Am I correct in assuming that only the neurologist would be able to prescribe a DMD?

I would only be able to bring 3 months of medication with me and I am worried that if the wait time is quite long, that I would be without treatment for a few months.

Does anyone know how long it would take to get an appointment to see an MS neurologist?

If anyone has had a similar experience, please could you let me know if you had any issues on your return.

It is usually a neurologist that prescribes a DMT. From what I know general neurologists can prescribe injectable DMT’s but MS neurologists can prescribe other DMT’s too such as Tecfidera or Lemtrada.

I’m not sure how quick it is to see an MS neurologist on the NHS but a general neurologist appointment may be quicker.

There are MS neurologists in London that work both NHS and private so one option could be to pay for a private consultation with an MS neurologist and get the prescription for Tecfidera on the NHS. It depends I guess where in the UK you will be living. Private appointments can often be in one or two weeks.

I moved around the UK rather than from overseas.

It took 3 months for my first neurologist appointment. I believe this was because the GP referred me on a general query, rather than specific. I’ve heard that if he’d referred me because he thought I might have MS then my waiting time would have been closer to 3 weeks.

With any luck a GP would refer you on to the right kind of person if you’re already diagnosed, but who know what the waiting time would be then, how long is a piece of string, you know? I suspect it would depend a lot on the services/funding in the area you were moving to.

Good luck, regardless!

I’d try and make contact before you move if possible. Can your current neuro refer to the Trust you will come under?

Starting from scratch will likely take more than 3 months and its stress you don’t want if you can help it.

That’s great - many thanks for all your comments, I shall try to start the ball rolling before I return back to the UK.

  • Beth.

I would also contact citizens advice unless you already know you definitely will qualify for free NHS Care. There are rules about if you have been resident outside the UK even if you are a British Citizen.

We had a family who’s child received care where I worked who got landed with a big NHS bill because they had been living outside the UK for longer than 12 months. This was a while ago. Not trying to scare you just think it’s better you check.

Snowqueen x

Hi Beth, I transfered from my orrigional hospital to a specialist Neurological hospital and used the choose and book system and was luckky to get an appouintment the following week. When you have registered with a GP Tell them you want the form to Choose and Book. Good Luck Beth

Kim