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To want to hear your views and experiences of private healthcare
146

PaddleBoardingMomma · 14/05/2022 20:42

Posting for traffic.

Having read a couple of posts this week where the OP was seriously unwell and had an awful time in A & E, also reading past threads of massive referral waiting times, GP's being unhelpful and the struggle to even get seen, it's made me wonder about those of us who have opted for private care and how your experiences have differed?

I must admit, seeing so many struggle and have pretty dire outcomes last year I took out vitality healthcare for me and my two daughters but thankfully haven't needed it yet, so can't comment on what the process is like.

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modgepodge · 14/05/2022 20:52

I have it through husbands job. Great for GP - had a minor health concern about my daughter which I wouldn’t justify an emergency appointment for, and I looked online and it was 3 weeks til the next GP appointment available. Got an appointment privately online within an hour, cream prescribed and collected the next day. Problem long gone before the NHS appointment came round!

have also used physio and my husband has used mental health counselling.

thankfully, have not yet needed it for anything more serious.

it won’t cover an ambulance or a and E trip though so we still need the NHS.

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Scottishflower65 · 14/05/2022 20:53

Night and day. In private own room, nice furnishings, private en suite, catering on demand etc. No hanging about for hours between the various stages. More or less exact timings for tests, operations etc. Choice of timing / day / consultant for op. Choice of date for any aftercare. I wouldn’t have got my op on NHS, I’d already been told fibroids don’t really matter even if leading to flooding / extreme pain etc.

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Scottishflower65 · 14/05/2022 20:53

Oh yes and private GP calls the same day included free

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HerculesMulligan · 14/05/2022 20:54

Private healthcare generally doesn't replace A&E or urgent acute care though.

IME (I've had Bupa paid for by my employer for about 10 years) private healthcare is pretty good for getting you a quick appointment with a consultant if that's what you need, for some treatments for less urgent acute care (cancer care, for example) and for fairly straightforward surgery.

My DH had to have surgery for a longstanding nasal problem and spent a couple of days in the Cromwell enjoying their superb food and very comfortable beds. A couple of months later I spent nearly a month in a west London NHS hospital with lifethreatening pregnancy complications which Bupa wouldn't have touched with a bargepole. The food was atrocious (not that I was eating) but the care was fabulous.

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ElCoh · 14/05/2022 20:59

Just paid privately for sterilisation. Best 7k I've ever spent. Consultation to op in 8 weeks versus another 5 years waiting on the NHS.

Private room, food on demand, 247 after care.

The NHS are fantastic but disgustingly underfunded. If you can afford to go private do (to take the pressure off the NHS).

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Matchingcollarandcuffs · 14/05/2022 21:01

tore my ankle ligaments last year, all NHS could offer was crutches in A&E.

Self referred to private physio on insurance in Feb, he suggested Cinsuktant as was still badly damaged. Saw Consultant early March (top of field NHS surgeon who does some private work).

He referred me for MRI a week later, saw him a fortnight after and he booked mr in for op and overnight stay. So less than 8 weeks from first appt to op and that's cod I held off op for 2 weeks.

Private room, delicious food, overnight stay, 2 physios, and best as many pots of tea as I wanted.

I do feel guilty, but honestly if the NHS could be that efficient the gains in terms of productivity and treating things before they lead to further complications it could make a world of difference.

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choosername1234 · 14/05/2022 21:02

In my opinion, private healthcare is great for pre-planned, low acuity type things - hip replacements etc. However if you are critically ill you are safer in the NHS

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doodleygirl · 14/05/2022 21:04

As others have said it is definitely worth having if you can but it does not cover emergency care x

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doodleygirl · 14/05/2022 21:05

i have idea why I put x on my post!

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MarmiteCoriander · 14/05/2022 21:06

There is a good and bad going private. You might get seen andreferred quickly and have tests done quicker than on NHS which is great. Depending on the medical condition and hospital facilities, private may not have the back up facilitates if things go down hill- such as private maternity doesn't always have a special care nursery or NICU facilities if needed. Its not uncommon for smaller private hospitals to call and ambulance to transfer a sick patient for a larger hospital. For minor, day to day things, GP appointments or minor surgeries I'd go private, but for anything major no.

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PaddleBoardingMomma · 14/05/2022 21:06

This is all really positive, thanks everyone!

Yes emergency care is a worry. From what I can gather if you can get seen in an emergency on the NHS you can then contact your own healthcare to ask to be moved to a private hospital or see a specific consultant. I think that's how it works?

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ricepolo · 14/05/2022 21:10

Private cancer care potentially saved my life and definitely my fertility, when the NHS refused to believe I’d done anything more than “tweaked” something (turns out that “tweak” was a tumour twisting my ovary). And all in my own room, personalised, wonderful care. Private health cover is an absolute non-negotiable line in our budget.

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DeeplyMovingExperience · 14/05/2022 21:12

So many health issues - particularly women's health - are dismissed or ignored by the NHS. Paying to go private was the only option for a whole raft of gynae issues eventually leading to hysterectomy. I was fobbed off by the NHS for years.

The difference between private and NHS is truly shocking.

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WithOneLook · 14/05/2022 21:12

I dont have private health care but paid privately to have a procedure done and honestly it was fantastic. I wouldnt hesitate to go private for anything significant that I need doing in the future. Everything was just better. They had so much time and although I didn't need to use it, the 24hour helpline to nursing staff which I was actively encouraged to use of I had any concerns was really reassuring.

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SoManyTshirts · 14/05/2022 21:14

I recently had a private hip replacement. I went to the exact same (private) hospital the NHS would have sent me to, and skipped a wait of 1-2 years. No frills, frozen food, shared and noisy room, very little followup. I’m very happy with the outcome and will do it again when the other hip goes, unless wait times improve substantially.

The luxury Bupa-approved hospital version would have cost half as much again. I have no insurance, just went self-pay.

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Iwanttobeascoolasblueysdad · 14/05/2022 21:17

Currently trying to sort getting an impacted wisdom tooth extracted privately (in a hospital as it needs to be under GA) . Has been going on for more than 6 months and the private system I’ve experienced has been shocking. Awful communication and rude staff and consultant. I’ve been really disappointed and actually quite shocked by how bad the service has been.

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mrsmacmc · 14/05/2022 21:18

I agree @DeeplyMovingExperience Feel very let down by the NHS for my ongoing gynae & fertility issues. My physical and mental health are in a skip.

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SickAndTiredAgain · 14/05/2022 21:19

I get it through work. The virtual GP appointments are great, and I was referred and seen quickly for a long running issue that my regular GP had refused to refer for. The consultant I saw was great and after the treatment I now don't have daily pain. Stopping that pain was genuinely completely life changing and even if I didn't like my job, giving up the private healthcare would be a big decision to make if I wanted to leave.

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tilder · 14/05/2022 21:19

Private tends to be great for low cost, low risk stuff. Quick in and out. So scans, minor treatment etc. Routine and low risk op. Because private companies can make a lot of money from this.

Most private insurance won't cover high risk, long term, tricky, emergency stuff. Or recurring issues. Or any exclusions on your policy.

You can also self pay to see a private consultant. You don't need insurance to go private.

If you have private insurance, read the small print. Don't assume it's the same as the NHS minus the queues and with good food. And don't assume your bill will be zero.

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Christienne · 14/05/2022 21:23

Injured my knee the same weekend as a friend (netball players).

I had private. She didn’t.

I saw a consultant and had an MRI within a week of the injury, first physio appt 10 days later.

She waited 9 months for an MRI.

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Potentialscroogeincognito · 14/05/2022 21:24

So I have worked in both the NHS and privately in healthcare, specifically Oncology and Radiology.
I have an excellent policy with my employer and wouldn’t be without it.
I worked for a large private hospital for 5 years prior to my current job and couldn’t fault the care I saw my colleagues give in all specialities.
in addition, I have used it quite a few times including a private gp. My NHS gp rolled his eyes at me sobbing with an ear infection. Turned out I had a burst ear drum and nasty injection.
non negotiable for us.

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Houseplantmad · 14/05/2022 21:24

Having had private cover for 30 years for the four of us, we would have been better saving the premiums and just paying as we went.
Be careful with Vitality. DD's surgeon made us get a letter from them guaranteeing they'd cover her ACL surgery before he'd schedule the operation. He said he'd been stung before when they didn't pay up having told the patient they would. Their back office is really shite too so you need to be persistent and keep good records of conversations.

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ComtesseDeSpair · 14/05/2022 21:26

It’s essential for getting things done which the NHS doesn’t prioritise and getting them done quickly. A friend and I were both diagnosed with a large dermoid ovarian cyst a couple of years ago, which caused us both quite a lot of pain. The NHS refused to operate, told her that their preference is just to leave and see what happens, despite the pain. It’s now got to the point where she’s taking strong painkillers several times a time, hasn’t been able to have sex in a least a year because it’s too painful, and is noticeably swollen in the abdomen: the NHS have just agreed that surgery might be necessary - and popped her on the end of an eighteen month waiting list.

Whereas I went from diagnosis to surgery in about six weeks.

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mynameiscalypso · 14/05/2022 21:27

I have had good experiences with private healthcare but I've also had really good experiences with NHS recently. I needed to discuss pain relief and I was wondering about making a private appt but was looking at a few days wait. I did an econsult for my NHS GP, got a call back in an hour and a prescription sent to my local pharmacy which was filled that evening.

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Inthesameboatatmo · 14/05/2022 21:28

I've used a private gp on occasions recently. Would go private all the time if I could.

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