Hair removal funded by the NHS?




Hair removal funded
by the NHS?
The effect that excess hair can have on your          ...
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NHS funded hair removal?

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An article from Verity's In Touch newsletter on how women with PCOS may go about applying for funded hair removal on the NHS

Published in: Health & Medicine, Lifestyle
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  • I contacted Cristianos Laser Clinic in London and the service I received was excellent. From the first contact I was made to feel special and the staff who are all NHS Nurses are so welcoming, they put me at ease right away. Treatment in progress, so far so good. Highly recommend
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NHS funded hair removal?

  1. 1. Hair removal funded by the NHS? Hair removal funded by the NHS? The effect that excess hair can have on your You should research your local NHS funding self-esteem and how you view yourself as policies and be prepared to be your own a woman can be extreme. Unfortunately, champion. ‘The policies do seem to vary in for those of us who suffer with this symptom different geographical regions, and can vary according to the time of year and budget of PCOS, it can be expensive to treat – both availability: the PCTs have to prioritise funds in terms of the cost of treatment and the across all medical problems, and unfortunately amount of treatment required. excess hair does not always get priority over You may or may not be aware that treatment the need to fund other treatments for, say, for excess hair removal is available on the NHS, cancer or heart disease,’ comments Dr Layton. although it is not always easily obtainable and If you are successful in getting NHS-funded therefore not as common as perhaps it should hair removal, you should be prepared (both be. Unfortunately, many Primary Care Trusts financially and emotionally) that it will most (PCTs) regard both laser hair removal and likely not solve your excess hair problems electrolysis as cosmetic treatment, and if they completely. Generally, funded treatment is do fund treatment, all too often it comes down nowhere near long enough to eradicate to the ‘postcode lottery’ – what your local PCT’s hair from a particular area, let alone multiple policy is and the budget they have. areas that women with PCOS can battle with. Dr Alison Layton, Consultant Dermatologist and Anita Philpott from Electrolysis Help says, Director of PCOS UK, comments, ‘Some PCTs ‘When it comes to funding, it has to be much will commission hair removal treatment if there is more long-term than the NHS is prepared to a treatable medical problem, the patient has failed agree to – and it has to be more accessible. in other treatment modalities and/or the hair The person who determines how much is causing significant psychological problems.’ treatment a patient needs has to be someone PCOS poll In most instances, the path to having NHS-funded who treats the hair, not a doctor.’ How do you treat excess hair? hair removal will not be easy. It is likely that you will Part of arming yourself with information to Bleaching 3.65% be encouraged to try other (cheaper) treatments take to your GP could be a letter of support first, such as the contraceptive pill Dianette from a qualified and registered electrolysist Electrolysis 2.43% or prescription hair removal cream, Vaniqa. or laser therapist. Clinics like Electrolysis Help Epilator 2.68% These treatments can help to reduce hair and Cristianos Laser Clinic often write letters growth, meaning you may need fewer Laser 6.08% of support for both existing and prospective sessions of electrolysis or laser hair removal. clients. Such letters detail the extent of the Medication 0.49% When attempting to obtain NHS-funded hair problem and the amount of treatment Plucking 18.00% treatment, your first port of call – armed with required over a specified time period. Shaving 22.87% your research and, where possible, case histories Cristianos Laser Clinic also has a PCOS/ – will be your GP, and whether or not you get Threading 1.46% Laser Hair Removal information pack for funded may depend on how willing your GP is GPs to help arm patients. Chris Hart from Waxing 13.38% to go in to bat for you. Cristianos explains: ‘Prospective clients attend Combination of above 24.58% Dr Layton says that while not all PCTs have a a free consultation, where they are assessed for suitability of treatment. A personalised I gave up 4.38% treatment policy for excess hair removal, they do have an appeals procedure, so that doctors pack and covering letter are sent to the client’s can make a case on behalf of their patients. In GP at no cost to the client. In our experience, some cases, you may need to undergo evaluation once the GP is armed with the information, a to see just how much you are affected by your request from the patient to seek funding from excess hair. their PCT is rarely refused. Success then depends In the UK, some dermatology departments have on the individual case and the attitude of the Part of arming yourself particular PCT.’ clinics that provide laser hair removal and/or It may be a long battle to get funded treatment, with information to take to electrolysis. It is important to note that if you are successful in getting funded treatment, not all but with perseverance, determination and lots your GP could be a letter PCTs offer laser hair removal or electrolysis – some offer one over the other while others offer of information to support you, it is a battle you have a good shot at winning. of support from a qualified neither. You should be aware of the treatments and registered electrolysist that are available in your area. or laser therapist. In Touch Autumn/Winter 2008 9

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