Home > Health > Private Health Care

Private Health Care

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 3 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Consumer Rights Private Health Care

The NHS has a huge place in health care, whether it's from your GP or hospital care, if you need that. But as we all know, the NHS has severe problems. Waiting lists for operations can seem endless, in spite of promises. One alternative is to go private.

You don't have to make a choice between NHS and private treatment. Private treatment is not often used for people who have long-term chronic illnesses and if they have health insurance, such cover is normally excluded. The NHS is the only source of treatment for that. Private medical treatment tends to be used for acute, elective surgery, conditions requiring a specific operation, where you want it done quickly. Even without health insurance, you can obtain private treatment on a one-off basis if the need arises and the NHS can't respond within an adequate time period.

The NHS And Private Care

The NHS is actually one of the UK's largest providers of private medical care. Many Trust hospitals have private patients unit, which offer private rooms with ensuite facilities and excellent service. There are, in fact, more NHS Trust private units than any of the private hospital groups. The NHS's private patient units are often smaller than those in private hospitals ( typically they only have ten beds). However, treatment at NHS Trust hospitals' private patients unit are quite often excluded by many of the largest insurance schemes, although there are exceptions.

Speed Of Treatment

Of course, the biggest reason to go private is to have your condition treated quickly. Private patients don't have waiting lists. You can be admitted almost immediately, you receive what is often superior care, and with greater cleanliness, avoid the so-called superbugs.

Fixed Prices

One advantage of going private, especially if you self pay, is to know exactly how much it will cost. Private hospital groups now offer fixed price packages to self-pay patients where the total charge is agreed in advance, even if unexpected complications arise. Patients who pay for private treatment directly often benefit from lower charges than those which hospitals bill to insurance companies.

Choosing Your Hospital

With NHS treatment, you generally don't have a choice of where to be treated. Private care offers that option. If you need hospital treatment and decide you want to pay directly for private treatment ( if you don't have private medical insurance or are not covered for a particular instance) you can actually have a say in which hospital you are treated in and in determining the fee you will have to pay. If you do not wish to make this decision, you can choose to let your consultant or specialist decide and make the arrangements for you.

If you decide to play an active role, you'll be in partnership with your consultant or specialist. Once they've decided on the treatment or procedure you need, ask them to give you the OPCS code for the treatment. These codes are standard descriptions which identify all medical procedures. From them you can then produce a shortlist of hospitals which treat the condition and which you and your consultant and specialist consider suitable. Many hospitals provide information on their most frequent operations, which gives an indication of their experience.

Then contact the hospitals you have shortlisted directly, tell them that you want to have a fixed price quotation for the treatment then you will need to give the appropriate OPCS code. Patients who pay privately can be offered very competitive rates because private hospitals on average have only 50% occupancy.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kath
    Re: What If Your Plumber Makes Mistakes?
    I have a completely new bathroom fitted and everything seems to be wrong and all the other bathroom companies who have…
    20 March 2019
  • Mws
    Re: Buying a New Car: Your Rights
    I’ve just found out that my jaguar is being recalled as the published emissions are significantly higher that advertised in real…
    18 March 2019
  • Jenny
    Re: A Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015
    We bought my platinum and diamond engagement ring in June 2018. We got engaged in January this year so I have only…
    14 March 2019
  • Sad lady
    Re: When Am I Not Entitled to a Refund?
    I bought a sofa that would easily fit into my room. I was given very basic measurements by the seller. I have a normal…
    12 March 2019
  • Shell
    Re: What If Your Plumber Makes Mistakes?
    We bought a new build 3 years ago and we have just had a leak coming through our living room ceiling. We contacted the…
    28 February 2019
  • Aga
    Re: The Fake EHIC Card Scam
    This happed also to me:/ I used just yesterday this scam service, wasn't sure maybe a some of the low about " free of charged" been…
    27 February 2019
  • Ido
    Re: The Fake EHIC Card Scam
    I have just been scammed. The website seemed official. They charged me 24.50 to renew. I only discovered today when I received the card…
    22 February 2019
  • Annetta
    Re: Buying a Used Car: Your Rights
    I bought a car in August last year after a week i discovered a faults garage offering to help but that was 4 hours away from him…
    20 February 2019
  • Nik
    Re: How to Complain
    Purchased oak coloured laminated flooring from retailer who fitted it over a large area. 7 years on the ends of some planks have faded at an angle,…
    20 February 2019
  • BigAl
    Re: The Fake EHIC Card Scam
    I too have been caught by this scan at the cost of £27.50. The website looks official and is clearly still up and running on the 14/02/19…
    19 February 2019