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Experiences of going private - how does it affect later NHS care, cost?

(5 Posts)
Summerdaydreams1 Sun 03-Jan-16 08:58:34

Looking for some urgent advise, DM has suddenly lost all hearing, hospital discharged her to GP to request an ENT referral. We feel we need to to take prompt action rather than hang around waiting for an appointment.

Can anyone advise on how we find a private ENT doctor, do we need a GP referral, idea of rough costs although I know this will vary depending on tests etc and if after having an initial consultation and tests do we have to continue with private care?

PollyPerky Sun 03-Jan-16 09:09:31

The best place to look for a consultant is your local private hospital- might be Bupa, Nuffield, etc. All drs are listed on their websites along with their specialisms. many drs now have their own websites.

Each dr is different- some want a GP referral and some don't. You need to phone their secretary to ask- numbers will be on the website.

Costs vary. Our local ENT consultant charges £180 for an appt. I pay less than that for a Harley St consultant (but first appts can be more as they take longer.)

If your DM needs an operation then you can go back to the NHS system- often the consultant you see will work in both sectors. This can mean you get seen quicker as well on the NHS list.

You need to decide on your budget and tell the dr or their secretary that your funds allow you to pay for the first consultation only(if that is the case) or whatever.

It's unlikely I think that in an elderly person a hearing loss would require an operation. Has the hospital not given you any idea of why she has lost all hearing? Surely they have not discharged her with no diagnosis at all - or reasons for the loss?

12purpleapples Sun 03-Jan-16 09:13:47

Probably best to go to the GP. Get an NHS referral anyway, waiting times may not be as bad as you fear, and the GP will be able to advise you on that. If you do still want to go private they will also be well placed to know who is doing private work of that type.
The alternative is to google your local private hospital and see who is on their website for ENT.
Costs can be high, but you should be able to get an idea of them when you make the appointment. You can stop private treatment at any point - it doesn't damage your entitlement to NHS care.

Summerdaydreams1 Sun 03-Jan-16 09:31:20

Thank you for your prompt replies. They are really helpful.
DM is only young, nearing 60, so we are keen to try and get as much done in order to see if her hearing can be recovered,sad the hospital did initial tests to rule our bleeds, life threatening conditions but are putting it down as unexplained possible viral confused and given steroids.

PollyPerky Sun 03-Jan-16 09:59:29

Oh sorry for the assumptions on age- she's younger than me shock!

Yes your GP can advise and it's worth seeing how long the NHS wait is- it could be anything from 2- 12 weeks. The only thing I would say is that on the whole you do get more time with a private appt and see the dr you intend to see rather than their side kick, and you will get a proper appt time rather than being told to turn up at 2pm with 20 other people all given the same time - then being called in one by one- which does happen.

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