I cannot confirm this comment but I would say that the NHS most likely has a much higher threshold for surgical indications due to the high demand on surgeon’s services. With cord signal changes, I believe that most spine surgeons in the USA would consider surgery but not all. Your experience regarding the time taken for physical examination is sad but not unusual. It even happens here with pay for service.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.