Considering seeing a neurologist privately to speed up diagnosis process. How does this work?

After having many ms-related symptoms on and off since June last year, I got a GP referral to see a neurologist but the wait is agonising. It has been 4 months and looks like it could be another 6 months before I am seen.
I am looking to go private to cut the wait time and was wondering how the process works? Do I contact a private neurologist myself or get my GP to refer me privately? For anyone that has done this, how much of the process did you go private e.g., just first consultation, consultation + MRI or all the way to diagnosis? Is is easy to switch back to NHS at any point (I won’t be able to afford treatment privately, but could afford a few consultations + MRI)?
Thanks so much in advance!

Hi - first of all so sorry you’re having to deal with all this. The process is stressful enough without such ridiculous waiting times.

I originally got dismissed by the nhs as they said my mri was clear, but my symptoms were off the scale and my GP was the one that suggested going private.

I was lucky enough to have cover through my husband’s work. Long story short I was then diagnosed privately and the private neurologist simply then transferred me onto his nhs patient list. It was very straightforward.

Not sure what your cover situation is privately but I know the total cost for my insurers was about £3500 because the mri, VEP and lumbar puncture plus a load of blood tests cost a small fortune. I’m so lucky that I was able to do this as I couldn’t have afforded to self-fund such a big amount.

Hope some of that is helpful. For me the private diagnosis was a lifesaver, I dread to think how long it would have taken the nhs to agree to check me again. Just make sure that if you decide to take this route that you see a neuro who also works at your local hospital, you may as well see the person privately whose nhs list you’d like to end up on.

Good luck xx

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Very similar for me. I had BUPA cover at work, and the GP did a referral to the private clinic of the local NHS neurologist for the initial couple of consults and, in due course, MRI, LP and formal dx. Then he transferred me to his NHS list.

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I saw a private neurologist and he said (without mri scan) he thought it was more than likely I had ms - then saw NHS neurologist (with mri) who said no. Symptoms cleared up and didnt follow up…fast forward a couple of years and symptoms returned and I swa another NHS neurologist who diagnosed SPMS - oh the joys!

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Thank you both so much for your replies!
My partner also has private health care through work but unfortunately I went to the doctor about my symptoms before we moved in together so I was added to the policy when the problem was already considered ‘existing’ and wont be able to claim it through the insurance.
Its a shame the NHS is in such a position that I am having to consider using most my savings to pay for private :frowning:

Best wishes :slight_smile:

Oh, that’s bad luck. It can sometimes feel that none of the cards are going our way, can’t it? I am very sorry that you find yourself in this difficult position. I remember with gratitude that, when I was where you are, family rallied round and offered to help financially if that would help to speed things along. If BUPA had not covered it, I hope that I would have persuaded myself to accept their help. These are times when a girl needs all the help she can get, however self-sufficient she normally is and however proud she is of being so. The importance of accepting help from others is something that MS has certainly taught me, and it’s definitely something that I needed to learn!