NHS patients

Our expert care is available to everyone and we welcome NHS patients.

Prompt, high-quality treatment is important to every patient. So if you’re an NHS patient, you can choose to receive your medical treatment in our modern, well-equipped and immaculate hospital.

Choose to have your treatment with us

The Patient Choice Government initiative gives NHS patients more choice about where and when they are treated. This includes many private hospitals who provide services to the NHS.
If your GP suggests seeing a specialist, you can choose the hospital where you would like to have your treatment. You can choose any participating hospital to be referred to for your first outpatient appointment.  You might want to consider having your surgery at Spire Harpenden Hospital.
For more information visit NHS e-Referral Service.
The NHS e-Referral Service (e-RS) is a scheme that provides an easy way for patients to choose their first hospital or clinic appointment with a specialist. Bookings can be made online, using the telephone, or directly in the GP surgery at the time of referral.
To find out if you can have treatment at a Spire hospital, simply ask your GP. Or for further information contact our NHS Admissions Team on 01582 714 435.


What to expect

If you’re coming in for treatment with us as an NHS patient, we want to make your time in one of our hospitals as comfortable and efficient as possible.

To make sure you feel prepared and in control, every stage of your treatment and expected recovery will be explained to you in full. 

After your GP has referred you to us, you will normally have a short initial appointment where you will discuss your condition with one of our specialists. They will arrange any investigative tests that may be necessary, such as blood tests or X-rays.

Once a diagnosis has been made, you will talk about your treatment plan with your consultant.

You might need further consultations, or you may be referred back to your GP for on-going care and management of your condition.

If you need to have surgery

If you need to come into hospital for surgery, we'll make all the arrangements for you. 

When you come into hospital, a receptionist will welcome you and arrange for you to be shown to your room or day care suite. You will meet with your specialist and anaesthetist, if appropriate, who will be happy to answer any questions.

Each stage of your treatment and expected recovery will be explained and, if you're feeling worried or anxious about anything at all, your nurse will be on hand to give you advice and support the whole way.

After your surgery

Once you've had your surgery, you’ll be moved into a recovery area or room complete with en-suite facilities, TV and WiFi where you can recover in comfort until your consultant feels you're ready to go home. Your friends and family will be able to visit you anytime during hospital visitor hours.

When you're ready to leave hospital you will receive a copy of your treatment and recovery plan with full details of any follow-up care and medication you may need, plus a contact number if you have any concerns once you are home. It's a good idea to take your copy with you if you need to see your GP soon after your procedure.

We will also keep your GP informed about your treatment and recovery plan and progress. Our report will be added to your medical records and kept by your GP.


The NHS covers all the costs of your treatment with us. You only pay for extra personal items, such as phone calls, just as you would in an NHS hospital.


Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about having treatment with us as an NHS patients.

Am I eligible for NHS treatment at a Spire hospital?

If you need to have a planned surgery or diagnostic test you may be able to choose to be referred to a Spire hospital, provided that it offers the services you require and has the space available.

You need to be referred to the hospital by your GP. Only NHS patients in England and Northern Ireland are covered by the scheme.

As an NHS patient, will I have any costs for my treatment?

The NHS will cover every aspect of your treatment.

You’ll only need to pay for personal items such as newspapers, meals for your visitors, or telephone calls, just like you would in an NHS hospital.

As an NHS patient, will I be treated differently from private patients?

You may have to share a bedroom with another patient, like you would in the NHS, but all our patients receive the exact same standards of care and treatment from our highly skilled staff. Patients will be in single-sex accommodation unless they request otherwise or it is not in their best interests clinically. 

Every Spire hospital complies with NHS regulations regarding the elimination of mixed sex accommodation for patients.

Are you a GP or practice staff?

The NHS gives you and your patients the opportunity to consider certain treatments at Spire hospitals, delivered on behalf of the NHS. We have established a range of NHS elective care services to treat your patients, and we work closely with local health organisations to cut waiting times and increase the healthcare choices available.

Information for GPs and practice staff

Easy referrals

Our aim is to make the referral process as easy and as quick as possible.

You can use the NHS NHS e-Referral System to refer your patients to us.


We offer various specialties and clinics to NHS patients. To find out details of which clinics are available and at which Spire hospitals, please go to the directory of services on your NHS e-Referral System. Or contact the relevant Spire hospitals for more information.

Timely treatment

We're dedicated to seeing and treating your patients as quickly as possible, from the moment they are referred to the conclusion of any post-operative care. We aim to treat all patients within the 18-week referral to treatment target as set by the Department of Health.

Managing your patients' expectations

A clinical member of staff will be on hand at all times to answer any questions your patients may have and they will be taken through their treatment process in detail, with full information about expected outcomes, follow-up and aftercare.

Our consultants

NHS patients will be treated by one of a panel of consultants working at Spire.

All consultants working at our hospitals are highly experienced, are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council and comply with our exacting 'practising privileges' criteria. The majority also work at a local NHS Trust and are based locally to the hospital.

Our performance

We are committed to helping GPs and their patients make informed healthcare choices by demonstrating the quality of care each hospital provides.
We publish performance information for each hospital as part of our programme to improve our already high standards of clinical quality and safety. For more information on our individual hospital performance please visit our clinical standards page. 

Excellent aftercare

We understand that it is vital to keep you informed of your patients' progress - including post-operative management. We will send you a detailed discharge letter on the day of discharge, a copy of which is given to the patient to present if attending your practice immediately after discharge. They will also have a comprehensive plan for their recovery, follow-up and aftercare.

Your patients are welcome to phone the hospital at any time if they have concerns after they have returned home.

In the unlikely event a patient experiences complications after their operation, you can refer back to the consultant at the hospital for review and further management if required.


Spire has extensive experience of NHS patient assessment for elective surgery and all patients will have an individual risk assessment, taking into account clinical and social factors, such as support at home, to determine their suitability for treatment at one of our facilities.

Patients will only be excluded if the procedure required is outside the scope of the facility or if the patient's condition or co-morbidities are considered to pose too high a risk. The full list of exclusions is reflected under the directory of services in the Referral system.

Contact us

To make a referral or for more information on NHS services at Spire Harpenden, please give us a call on 01582 714 303.