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How do I arrange a private appointment?

Hi, Sorry it’s so long. =/ I’ve looking at these boards for a few weeks, and I’m hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I finally went to my GP a few weeks ago on the advice of my optician, neither of whom I have consulted in the last on the wild array of issues I’ve had since my late teens. Having finally given up on getting an answer in my early twenties. I have never even considered MS as a possibility until the last cluster of symptoms a month or so ago. I didn’t occur to me that getting the nickname Tippy Tipperson, or Tea tipper extraordinaire was anything unusual, or getting comments such as ‘how can you miss a mouth like that?’ or ‘What did that door ever do to you?’ Those are just a few of the things I had never considered part of my health ‘issue’ with no name and had come to think of as just ‘Me’. To cut a very long story short, my GP has referred me to a Neurologist. She arranged a whole battery of blood tests to rule out other possibilities, and told me to expect them to come back clear, which they did. She also gave me a small amount of migraine medication to ‘test’ should the vision arise again to help rule that out. Then she referred me to the Neuro at the same time as there was no point waiting for results as the Neuro waiting list is currently 12 months! After receiving the letter I rang booking to find out when I might expect the appointment, 6 months. After having so many years with no answers I want them right now! Failing that ASAP. Now I’ve finally got to the point, can any one advise how I go about arranging a private appointment? Thanks in advance! (Ironically little finger shaking wildly after I shifted Ipad to finish post.)

A private appointment ranges from £100-£300 - the average cost for the first appointment is normal around the £200/£250 mark. What area do you live in? If you go on to google and type in bmi healthcare it will give you a list of hospitals in your area and specialists - it will also give you the numbers to call so they should be able to help you

Thanks for replying, I live in South Wales. I’ve read somewhere about having the same Neurologist if you then go back to NHS, how would that work if they worked at a private hospital? Very confused! =/

Hi, I believe (perhaps wrongly) that you stilll need a GPs referral for a private appointment.

I did that in 1999, when I was told the waiting list was 10 months long.

I saw the neuro privately for the first consultation. he suspected PPMS and then transferred me to NHS where I saw him again.

I paid around £200 back then!

Your GP will be able to confirm if you do need a referral from them.

luv Pollx

Poll is right but however if your gp has already done a referral to a neurologist, which they have, then you don’t need another referral letter you just need to get a copy of the one that the gp has already done

Poll is right, its your GP who needs to do the private referral. You can see the same one privately that your GP has already referred you to if your happy, or pick your own consultant. I did my own search and chose a teaching hospital for my Private appointment…discussed this with my GP who agreed to do the referral. Good luck! Noreen x

Thank you all for your advice, I really appreciate it! Oh well, I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and phone GP. I was hoping to avoid it but that’s me all over, haven’t been to the GP more than a handful of times in 15 years (including pregnancy!). But Ignorance is definitely not bliss. =/

Hi K. Not all private neuros need a GP referral (something I wish I’d known years ago!). If you can find one near you that also works for the NHS, they can refer you for further tests on the NHS so it won’t cost you anything. My neuro charges £240 for a first appointment and £120 thereafter and I’ve seen him both privately (if I want my results faster).

Mags :slight_smile: xx

Hi again.

Mags is right and I wasnt aware that a GP`s referral is always needed. But the BMA do say it is advisable.

To find out, I googled do I need my GP to refer me to a private specialist.

So, why not have a look yourself, eh?

pollxx

Hi K x I live in South Wales too - have a look at Sancta Maria Hospital in Swansea http://www.sanctamaria.co.uk/consultants/dr_n_p_hinds

Dr Hinds is the neuro I saw a few weeks ago on the NHS and he’s really nice.

Dr Hill was also recommended to me

These are both neuros at Morriston Hospital

I don’t think you need a GP referral here - but I would let your GP know about it - usually they are really understanding as they get frustrated with the long waiting times too!

Hope this helps! xxjenxx

If your plan is to see a private specialist and then get them to refer you back to the nhs then you would need a referral to them privately in the first instance so that its on your records.

I finally decided to ring the doctor today to clarify the situation. But no further forward yet as the doctor I saw was covering my regular GP, so now he wants me to speak to the GP that made the original referral. Hopefully I can get it sorted tomorrow. To be honest there’s a large part of me that says just wait - I am afterall a chronic procrastinator. BUT I feel like I’ve spent so long making excuses for all my crazy symptoms (earlier this year I tried to convince my mum my one leg was longer than the other, and that’s why I kept tripping up, she pointed out it wasn’t always the same foot that tripped me =/) that now I need to face up to it, and try to find out what IT is. Especially as more troubling symptoms have began to accelate considerably recently. Thank you Jen for the recommendation and thank you to everyone for your sage advice. Xx

FWIW: I started by going private.
GP said "I don’t know what is wrong, but I do know you need to see a Neuro fast. And, of course, NHS fast was about four months at the time. I started phoning round, found one that could be a lot faster and was on my way home from work. His secretary said that to speed things up I should get the GP to Fax a referral through.

Got a really thorough sensory exam, an initial diagnosis, a referral for an MRI in the same private hospital (next day), and a list of things for my GP to arrange to have blood tests for. A few weeks later, one of his colleagues rang up from the NHS hospital where he practiced to arrange for my LP - and I have been with that hospital ever since. The Neuro simply referred me to himself.

It might seem like queue jumping, but it could get you into the system fast.

Geoff

Hi K your post reminded me of me. I’m always being asked how I can miss a mouth as big as mine and fall over flat floors and also chronic overpronator too. Think it means you get used to some things that possibly aren’t normal. Good luck with everything A

Thank you A it’s good to know I’m not the only one! Geoff I took your cue - not the ringing around, that would bring me out in a cold sweat - I employed Mr Google instead. This time amazingly, I managed to find what I was looking for straight away. The good news is I rung the Neurologist this morning and I have an appointment for early Sept! No need for another referral either as the secretary can pull up the one for NHS. And she’ll also take me off the NHS waiting list too - so at least the person behind gets bumped up the queue. I’m trying not to feel guilty for jumping ahead - I’ve been living with collapsible limbs etc since the late 1990’s, so I’m reasoning that plenty have gone ahead of me since then. =/ Still it wasn’t an easy decision, I had to sit down and spell out my suspicions to my partner, as I’m not working I just wouldn’t have the money myself. I had hoped to play the ‘wait and see’ card, I didn’t want my family to worry, and to be truthfull I just didn’t want to talk about it. But I’m glad I did. K Xx