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To not drop this with the NHS

(94 Posts)
Batgirl29 Tue 14-Jun-16 12:48:35

Let me start by saying I'm not uk resident and am perfectly willing to pay for any NHS treatment I receive whilst in the uk on holiday. However, last time I visited I was pregnant and needed to extend my stay as my father in law became suddenly ill, he went on to pass away. I needed to have my 20 week scan and the hospital where my father in law was in ICU was kind enough to organize this (I was going to book privately which would have cost somewhere between £150-£250, depending on the clinic) but logistics meant it was far easier for us to just pop down a couple of floors to have the scan, rather than travel. I made it clear that I was not resident and asked for a price before the scan, the midwives and staff on the desk said they didn't know if I would be charged anything at all but would let me know later, I mentioned the figures I'd been quoted privately and they made comments along the lines of 'goodness it wouldn't be as much as that' but they couldn't say for sure how much it would be or if I would even be charged.

A few weeks later I get a bill for over £700, the scan took 12 minutes! Private clinics charge a fraction of that price but I can't get anyone to see sense. I paid the bill and then made a formal complaint, they have replied saying that is the price and that is that. My insurance won't cover it as the scan was not emergency treatment. I have no problem paying but am really annoyed that a profit making clinic charges around £200 and they've charge me over £700. Wwyd, leave it be or keep complaining? Obviously in the midst of my father in law's passing this wasn't a huge priority hence me just paying the bill and complaining later.

VioletBam Tue 14-Jun-16 12:50:59

I would leave it. You made the mistake of assuming that the nurses knew what the price would be instead of getting it confirmed. The NHS is not a private concern and the staff are under pressure and don't usually have to quote prices.

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Tue 14-Jun-16 12:51:18

If that's the price then that's it!!

The nhs isn't in a price match competition with any private clinics

RaeSkywalker Tue 14-Jun-16 12:51:35

I'm not sure you can do much now that you've paid the bill to be honest. Complain again and suggest that they make sure that the pricing strategy is available before booking an appointment maybe?

Would a private company have done all the same checks as the NHS? Genuine question, I'm not sure!

londonrach Tue 14-Jun-16 12:52:24

Leave it. Nurses wouldnt have a clue re the price. You paid it now.

WellErrr Tue 14-Jun-16 12:52:53

Leave it. £200 for a 20 week scan which is very detailed seems ridiculously cheap.

You should have checked for certain first b

Batgirl29 Tue 14-Jun-16 13:13:47

Yes a private company would have done the same scan and included a doctors consultation aswell.

The scan took 12 minutes so no I don't think it would be ridiculously cheap to charge £200ish and I know that the nurses won't have a price to hand but surely the admin staff should?

Seems as though a very unfortunate situation for our family meant that the NHS could charge whatever they fancied. It doesn't seem unreasonable to compare a private clinics price as some sort of benchmark, surely?

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Tue 14-Jun-16 13:15:33

Don't go wasting our NHS time and money pursuing this!

Sirzy Tue 14-Jun-16 13:16:42

The admin staff on the wards don't deal with that side of things so of course they wouldn't know. Their job is about having patient files in the right places and checking patients in not sorting out bills for international patients. That is a separate department.

You chose to have it done somewhere convient - understandably - but didn't check the price first. Take it as a lesson learnt!

marelyrocks Tue 14-Jun-16 13:18:29

You bought a service without knowing the price. That's stupid.

ChicRock Tue 14-Jun-16 13:20:42

your own fault for not clarifying the price first beforehand.

PortiaCastis Tue 14-Jun-16 13:22:34

Leave it. The nurses wouldn't know the price of a scan but they know how much N.I. and tax they pay.

MrsJayy Tue 14-Jun-16 13:24:27

Yabu how were nurses sonographer meant to know the price you should have checked the Nhs are not comparible to private clinics imo it is steep though.

Cheby Tue 14-Jun-16 13:24:46

NHS finance person here. £700 is ridiculous. And I would pursue it with them. Did they do bloods or any other analysis?

A couple of major issues here; they absolutely should have made crystal clear to you what the cost would be BEFORE the treatment. Especially for something so straightforward as an anomaly scan. They should have given you a written quote/invoice etc and you should have had the opportunity to agree/decline on that basis.

Have they given you a breakdown? It's so high I'm genuinely wondering if they have made a mistake.

To put this in context, an NHS hospital receives £1057 per woman for all standard antenatal care. That includes ALL standard midwife appointments from booking to just before birth, 12 week scan and associated screening, 20 week scan, all standard blood and urine tests, and any NHS run antenatal classes.

hownottofuckup Tue 14-Jun-16 13:25:05

£700?? That does seem a bit steep, I would be interested to know now how they arrived at that figure.

Batgirl29 Tue 14-Jun-16 13:26:46

FYI I pay tax and NI. NHS entitlement is based purely on residency and nothing else.

DollyBarton Tue 14-Jun-16 13:27:10

Are you sure a private scan for £200 would be an anomaly scan and not just a heartbeat and maybe sex scan?

Cheby Tue 14-Jun-16 13:27:51

Can I just add...clinical staff should not be commenting on price and giving a patient false reassurance if they don't actually know about it.

The hospital is lucky the OP has paid up, if she didn't sign anything I think they would have had a hard time getting the money from her, should she have chosen not to.

Private or not, OP was in receipt of important healthcare at a difficult time (for which she had paid!) and he hospital had a duty of care to her, which includes making sure all treatment costs were transparent.

Batgirl29 Tue 14-Jun-16 13:29:13

Thanks Cheby. I was told that a fully maternity package, including all scans, appointments and delivery would be £3000 and that it was very difficult to price for just one scan. No I didn't have anything else done, didn't see a doctor, etc, literally just had the scan.

hownottofuckup Tue 14-Jun-16 13:30:04

Private gender scan is about £70 in my area

Batgirl29 Tue 14-Jun-16 13:31:33

Yes DollyBarton I'm sure

Heatherplant Tue 14-Jun-16 13:32:39

You had the option of paying £200 at a private clinic or use NHS facilities. You used NHS facilities and so you will have to pay for the treatment you received.

Batgirl29 Tue 14-Jun-16 13:34:39

Would just like to add the compassion on here is second to none.

CountessOfStrathearn Tue 14-Jun-16 13:34:45

Detailed scan at 18-24 weeks priced at £190 here:

I think I would ask for a breakdown but also being prepared to just drop it. £700 is a remarkable amount for just one scan, so I'd have to wonder if they had accidentally charged you for something else as well.

VocationalGoat Tue 14-Jun-16 13:34:50

A 20 week scan, whether on the NHS or private, is the most vital scan. It's the anomaly scan and it does not take 12 minutes. It's far longer because it's far more detailed. So if it really was 12 minutes, I'd be complaining about that more than the cost. It's not enough time to check for markers/abnormalities/organ/heart /brain formation.
If a consultant did your scan, this might explain the higher fee combined with the type of scan. An anomaly scan is not a budget scan by any means. But neither a consultant or technician would wrap up a 20 week scan in 12 minutes.

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