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Having operation done privately - good idea or not?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by piglet171, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    Hanging around while awaiting re-referral for problems following knee arthroscopy. Date has just been put back another week, surgeon has just had a shoulder op himself and it's just dragging on... Unoperated knee now starting to hurt too. Don't think I can stand another 6 weeks of being sore and miserable.
    Does anyone have any experience of going private?
  2. I've just had an arthroscopy as an emergency referral after NHS were unprepared to diagnose problem as I was in too much pain to examine!
    I'd certainly recommend it but do you know a good consultant?
  3. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    Wow. Hope you're on the mend now. The consultants locally are mostly just the NHS ones, however my dad swears by one who did lots of ops on him then left the NHS because he was fed up of all the red tape. he's not local, but his hospital seems to offer op £300 cheaper than our local one.
  4. Only ever been an NHS patient but have worked in private hospitals. Things to check and get in writing.
    1) what does the cost cover - you can reduce the cost of post op pain killers if you can get an NHS prescription before hand and take the pills with you.
    2) What QUALIFIED staff do they have, both during the OP and on the ward - do not expect the 'nurses' to be qualified - if they are a good hospital they will have qualified nurses, if you hear a NZ or Aussie accent that is a good sign, they tend to be on working holifay visas so newly qualified and enthusiastic.
    3) Do they employ any doctors other than the consultants who have 'addmitting rights' - a good one will have an NHS junior doctor earning a bit of extra cash - but don't expect them to be a specialist in orthopedics. If the hospital you go to has maternity services you will probably find they employ an obs dr. The comsultant who operates will probably only be there for a couple of hours a day.
    Anyone can set up a private hospital and staff it with unqualified people. A friend of my mother's found this out the hard way - she had a hystorectomy privately, started to blood post op after the surgeon had gone home, there wasn't a doctor on the premisis, there wasn't a qualified nurse either. She did recover fully bit it's not the kind of situation you want to have.
    4) \what happens if things go wrong? If you end up in intensive care are you going to be made bankrupt? Remember that if they have to transfer you to the NHS (few private hospitals have intensive care) then remember you are not entitled to NHS care, you will have to pay for any care you recieve by the NHS as a result of surgery in the private sector.
    5) What does the price include? Can they use your NHS X Rays / scans or do you have to pay for them again. What about Physio? Is that in the price ? How much is out patients physio? What about crutches / walking frame - can you borrow them? Rent them? Or do you have to pay?
    What about meals / food. The hospital I workedat had different menus depending on which insurance cover you had, they also had room service alcohol. My dad hadboth hips replacedon the NHS, but one was carried out at a private hospital - they had a system where you could join relatives for a meal and pay a small amount, it wasa nice touch.
    6) What are their rates of infection / MRSA etc.
    As I mentioed my dad had one of his ops in a private hospital and I was initially worried, I emailed the hospital with all of the considerations (except price) I have outlined here and they were more than happy to give me the information.

    Good luck with the op whatever you decide to do.
  5. piglet171

    piglet171 New commenter

    Thanks for that.You've definitely given me food for thought, not to mention cold feet. My dad was advised against going private, but that was a long time ago. Hospital would be a BMI one, so I am assuming they will be properly regulated. TBH when I had the initial NHS op, a junior doctor with a streaming cold saw me and spent most of the conversation coughing and snuffling into a hanky. My doctor has agreed to refer me, as the waiting time is so long on the NHS and I am finding it hard to do my job. Don't want this situation to drag on till Christmas and beyond. Hadn't even thought of going private till I met an aspiring European football referee at the physio. He needed an arthroscopy quick, as he has a once-in-a-lifetime training/selection course coming up, so went to the local private hospital.
  6. Don't know if it just applies to certain PCTs but if you have any sort of MSK surgery under private care you can't have any further physio support etc for it from NHS.

  7. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    I did it the other way round - paid for a private consultation with a specialist who referred me to himself on the NHS for my operation (good job since the investigations cost over £5000!) It cut the wait time considerably. Had I had the money, I'd have had the operation privately too - the NHS hospital was dirty, disorganised and pretty much oblivious to what was going on.
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I pay for BUPA and always go private.
    NHS great for emergencies but for anything else private really is the way to go.
    I wouldn't hesitate for a second.
  9. Lol

    You wouldn't believe the tricks BUPA pull to not pay their bills.
  10. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Never had a problem. Not once!
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I've had numerous operations on the NHS - from gynae to ortho to ent etc - and wouldn't consider paying for private care for anything which is available free of charge. Recent emergency care for a heart attack only confirmed my opinion. I think it's utter madness to pay more when you've already paid your NI.
  12. Sorry, that's not what I meant. I meant pay the bills to the hospital not to you.
    Say you have a pacemaker fitted at a private hospital, the PM itself is about £2500 (faily basic model) plus a lead at £250, theatre time and overnight stay £800 total £3550. But BUPA says a PM implant should cost £3000, and that is all they will pay. The hospital then can ask you to pay the difference, or they can swallow the loss.

    Because BUPA are so big, most hospitals can't risk them taking their business elsewhere, so they swallow the difference and add a bit more to self funding patients.
    BUPA actually have lists of what they will pay for certain operations, which means that the hospital knows it will only get a certain amount, so, given the example above, if you would be better off with a pacemaker that does more than the basics but costs more the hospital will still implant the basic one. It was something I was quite uncomfortable with working for a private hospital. Treatment should be based on wha is best for the patient (regardless of whether NHS or Private - non of my business whether you choose to pay)not on which insurer you are with.


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