Questions about moving to Exeter from an MS patient

Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and I am seeking help, if possible. My name is Laura, I have Relapsing Remitting MS and I am considering to move to Exeter from Germany. Since I am not familiar with the system in the UK, I was hoping someone could help me figure out how things are in terms of care and access to it.

I was diagnosed with MS in September 2012 and have been on Gilenya ever since, with no relapses or major side effect. I was wondering if that’s an established treatment in the UK and if anyone knows of any specialist in the area of Exeter who are familiar with it, since my neurologist strongly recommends that I don’t switch medications.

I am also concerned about the costs and the type of assistance I would be able to get within the NHS or some other private insurance, e.g. the cost of Gilenya itself, and of all the check-ups related to the medication and MS in general ( bi- or tri-monthly blood tests that are necessary with Gilenya, MRI scans, steroid treatments in case of a relapse, etc.) Can anyone tell me how straight-forward it is to obtain access to these services, using the infrastructure available in the Exeter area? Are there any specialists you can recommend? What would be the advantage, if any, to opt for a private insurance?

Finally, there is the question of waiting times. Can anyone give me an indication of how long it would take me to get to see a specialist, and wether I can directly get in touch with them to schedule my first appointment? Do I need to register for NHS before-hand?

I realize that these are quite a few and general questions, but already getting any information from people with first-hand experience with the system and the doctors in and around Exeter would be of great help.

Thank you very much in advance to those who will take the time to reply to my questions :slight_smile:

Have a nice day,


Laura, as you said “lots of questions”! Please don’t post anything really personal on this forum but first things first. You will need to register with a GP once you’re resident in or near Exeter. Before you do that, I obviously don’t know whether you’ll need medical insurance or can access the NHS but you should check this as soon as you can - I have no knowledge of ‘the whys and wherefores’ but please do some research before you make any decisions.

I’m PPMS so have no idea about Gilenya but Dr [Dr’s name removed by moderator] the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital is excellent and very highly thought of I believe.

All the very best

Tippy x

I can’t help with your questions but as Tippy say’s Dr [Dr’s name removed by moderator] is very highly thought of and from personal experience a very good neuro who leaves no stone unturned to help his patients,

Waiting times are horrendous though. I was meant to be seen in March and have been told no apts for the foreseeable future.

There is an MS Therapy Centre in Exeter which can offer advice may be a starting point for you.