By Spire Healthcare
Page last reviewed: February 2021 | Next review due: February 2022
If you are a self funding patient or have an insurance plan that has no restrictions on where you can use your policy, you are free to go to any private hospital you want to. In most cases you will need a GP referral and you can ask them to recommend a private hospital or specialist.
If you have private medical insurance that only allows you to get treated in a hospital from their approved list, check this first to make sure that the hospital you want is covered by your health cover.
Here are some important points you may want to consider.
If you pay for your own treatment or use an insurance policy that gives you a cash benefit to pay for your treatment, cost will be an important factor. Some hospitals will provide you with an ‘inclusive surgery package’ which usually includes the stay, costs for the procedure as well as the consultant’s fees for the procedure and follow-up. Always check with your hospital to find out exactly what is included in the package before you make a decision. Make sure you clarify whether the price will change should complications arise and you need further treatment.
You can check the private hospital’s website and the General Medical Council for more information.
How easy is it to get to the hospital not just for you but also for your visiting friends and family.
Hospitals and other health premises are inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England, or equivalent health regulators in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. Reports are publicly available. You can search based on your location or the hospital name and you will get more details about the last inspection carried out.
You can find out what the infection rates are and compare these to your local NHS and other private hospitals. You can usually find this information on the hospital’s website.
What do other people say about the hospital and its facilities? You can search for a hospital using the NHS service search or on the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN). Spire Healthcare also publishes patient feedback. Every patient admitted to our hospitals is given the opportunity to provide feedback via a survey.
What facilities will you have access to? What are the visiting hours, and will these be convenient for your family and friends? This information can usually be found on the hospital’s website.
You may also want to do some of your own research to find the place that most suits you.