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NHS & Private care

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,517
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Registered: 02-08-2007

NHS & Private care

Over the past few years both of us have needed minor treatment on the NHS usually as outpatients but with one inpatient stay.

After seeing a hospital consultant we were usually contacted a month or two later and given a choice of treatment at the local hospital with a waiting time of 6 months or more, alternatively we could opt for treatment at a private hospital with several option of hospitals, by choosing a private hospital with no cost to us the waiting time would be less than a month which turned out to be correct.

Speaking to the receptionist she advised us that any follow up appointments would always be with the same consultant, contrast that with follow up appointments at the main NHS hospital where you can wait for ages to be seen and ofter by another doctor in that consultants team.

All this strikes me as bizarre.

Is it cheaper for the NHS to use private hospitals to see NHS patients ?

The above comments relate to Lancashire does this happen in your area ?

6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: NHS & Private care

An interesting story.... my missus had terrible headaches, and breathing difficulties through her nose, always seemed blocked... although she used Olbas inhalers for a few years... eventually, she decided to look for a "private" consultant, to see what was wrong, and how much it would cost to put right...  So we saw this "Rhino" consultant, in his private office, in his private hospital,  ( across the road from the BIG NHS college hospital ).  he did some head scans, and declared that she needed a cerebral frontal sinus operation.... that would not be cheap...  he suggested that HE would carry out the operation, using the NHS hospital across the road...and she should "come in Next Friday at 4pm for pre ope exam and prep"...  ( we saw him on the prior saturday morning ). ... He carried out the operation wihich was much more difficult than he thought originally, ( took almost 7 hours under anaesthetic , instead of 3.5 hrs )... on completion she was settled in the NHS wards, and he came to see her twice a day for the next 10 days...  after care?.....  he then saw her as an "outpatient", continuing his suport and doing minor cleaning on each 6 monthly visit, until, last June, when he declared..... "It`s been just over 7 years, that we have been treating you... you don`t need to come back any more... as I am satisfied that everything is as it should be... "...

You could not have wanted a more kind or generous consultant....He was promoted to Professor, just before our final visit to him... ( looking him up on Google, he has written quite a lot of very technical papers for the medical profession regarding his speciality).. We are truly grateful for his work.  ( I dread to think how much that care must have cost.... and certainly glad it was not done "private" ) ...

Jonpe
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Re: NHS & Private care

@shutter  This used to be a way to get onto an NHS waiting list more quickly, but some trusts now insist that if you instigate treatment privately, they won't treat you for that specific condition, expecting you to have it all done privately.

Community Veteran
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Re: NHS & Private care

@Jonpe I can categorically state, that this was, in no way, an attempt to " get on the NHS waiting list sooner"..

 

My wife went to him,  not knowing anything about her condition, or his work connection with the NHS. 

She asked him for an initial scan... and was intending to  pay the fees, and have any necessary work done at his hospital.

Due to this Consultant spending time with her, and explaining the situation, in full, HE decided to act immediately, and made all necessary arrangements. HIS diagnosis was that a delay could cause her severe brain damage, and possibly include losing one eye at the same time.. and a strong risk of losing the other eye within a few days.

 

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Re: NHS & Private care

13 years ago I had treatment at a private clinic in London paid for by the NHS as there wasn't any services available locally. I approached PALS for advice and it was them that got the funding on my behalf. I had already researched the consultant, I rang PALS on the Monday and by the end of the next day the funding was available and I was admitted on the Thursday.

 

On recovery I did voluntary work for the same PALS team till I moved away.

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Jonpe
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Re: NHS & Private care

@shutter  I wasn't suggesting you were trying to queue jump, and since she was able to be treated within a week there clearly wasn't much of a waiting list anyway.  Additionally, this would seem to be close to a medical emergency, and in any case your trust might have a different policy than the ones I have knowledge of.  However, it's worth finding out your local trust's view on this before seeing someone privately.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: NHS & Private care

Many NHS Trusts use private hospitals to tackle their waiting lists. The private hospitals have to charge the NHS the standard tariff for the procedure.

 

You will always get to see a consultant in a private hospital as they are not allowed to employ junior doctors in private hospitals..

 

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