What should you do if NHS funding is denied?
The problems associated with facial palsy are not always fully understood, and on occasions it has been difficult for patients to get funding approved for certain procedures and treatment, including physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.
Health professionals may be unaware of all the functional problems that may occur as a result of facial asymmetry. Some treatments, such as botulinum toxin injections to correct overactive muscles and minor operative procedures, are often grouped together as ‘for cosmetic benefit’. However, these procedures can make a considerable difference to the self-esteem of a person with facial palsy. They can improve facial movements so that speech, facial expression and eating and drinking become easier. They may also improve confidence and enable people to begin to socialise, go for interviews and participate in many activities that they had previously avoided.
If you are denied NHS funding for a procedure, then it is important to dispute it. You can use the Facial Palsy UK website as a point of reference for your GP. You should also contact your local Patient Advisory and Liaison Service to help direct you on how to deal with any complaints, or advise on how to appeal if funding has been denied.
You may also wish to write to your MP to ask for their help. We have put a template together which you can use, this can be found on our page ‘Campaign for better services for people with facial palsy‘.
Last reviewed: 31-07-2019 || Next review due: 31-07-2022