private consultation with neuro?

Yvette (again),

I have contacted the neuro secretaries hoping that they would be able to give me a date and time of an appointment. But they said that they could not even offer me a date other than to say there could be a 12/13 week wait for an appointment.

However i have rung a private hospital this morning and they can offer me an appointment tomorrow evening.

The cost is £150, whilst this is a lot of money for us, so is 12/13 weeks to me.

If i needed scans etc these would be paid for from the NHS.

Is it worth having the initial consultation as a private client?

Is there anyone who has gone private for the initial consultation and if so was it worth it?.Would love to hear peoples views



I waited it out but I’ve heard of people going private initially. Getting diagnosed privately and thereafter being in the NHS MS system. I think there was mention of being able to stay with the same neuro. Neuro acting privately initially and then, after DX, acting as NHS neuro.

I waited it out too, from what I heard if you don’t have the “test” type stuff also done privately the NHS might not treat as too urgent - I have no idea if there’s any truth in that BUT I had both my Osteopath and then the consultant at the spinal unit saying I should not book to have my MRI done privately as I was entitled to it and needed it and would have been mega costly if private as I needed so much MRI work.

OK, my diagnosis was a tad on the backwards approach, I was referred to neuro after the spinal MRI but I did consider going private for gastro stuff, again I stuck it out and quite bizarrely sent to the private hospital for a stomach MRI and on my 3rd appointment and a lot of tests, did actually meet my consultant (the same one I could have paid lots of money to see privately) he was just as baffled with their findings and didn’t discharge me yet.

Sorry, waffled a bit there BUT the suggestion I was going to make: is there a reason to have your surgery support your appointment is urgent?

My spinal MRI showed a problem and the spinal unit wouldn’t even speak to me, instead they referred me to my GP, to refer me to neuro! I spoke to my GP about the referral and he did believe it was urgent as he was aware I had problems walking. So when my appointment came thru with a 12 week wait I was furious! BUT I called my surgery and asked nicely if there was anything they could do - they suggested I speak with my GP’s secretary, I did and then I heard nothing.

However, about a week later the hospital called me and said they’d been asked to bring my appointment forward - bingo, I was seen the following week. I’d strongly recommend you speak to your surgery :wink:

Good luck

Sonia x

Hi Yvette,

I was a bit different from you in that I had already had an MRI scan following a bout of optic neuritis in February, and been told by the Opthalmic consultant that I probably had MS as indicated by the MRI. She then said she could give me no further information as her speciality was eyes!!

As you can imagine, I was on the ceiling at this point and extremely anxious and developing “symptoms” all over the place. This was the end of March. I visited my GP who helped put it all into context which settled me a little. I then contacted the neuro’s secretary and was given a date of 20th August!!

I absolutely couldn’t contemplate waiting for so long, so opted to see the same consultant privately which cost £200 in the same room which cost £45!!

I would say that it was worth every penny. He will now see me as an NHS patient and carry out any more tests on the NHS.

As my GP pointed out , it does not make any clinical difference being seen sooner, but it makes a massive psychological difference.

I was very disappointed that the NHS couldn’t meet my needs as I am a loyal employee and like to support it, but sometimes you just have to put yourself and your health first.

So < I say go for it if you want to and you can afford it.


I was investigated and diagnosed completely privately, and only transferred to the NHS after diagnosis. And yes, I kept exactly the same neuro - he just referred me to himself on the NHS.

However, I’m not sure it would be worth having the initial consultation privately, if you’d still be back to the NHS for any scans and tests, as these can be what cause the majority of the delay.

It’s absolutely NOT the case that you’re treated any less favourably by the NHS, if you’ve first been privately. This is completely illegal! If anyone has reason to think they have been discriminated against in that way, they should certainly complain.

I did find things slowed down a lot, as soon as I left BUPA, but I’ve no reason to suspect they were deliberately slowed down for me, compared to anybody else. I think my experience was pretty average.



I can give first hand experience of this and advice. I had an advantage on how to use the system as I used to work for BUPA for 7 years so knew how to do things. I won’t go into my whole story as its a bit long and complicated- but the short of it is that I wasn’t happy with the nhs hospital neurologist that I had seen and doubted his competence (righty so it appears!) I then decided to pay privately for a neurologist who specialised in ms. I chose the consultant based on his hospitals that he worked out of and his experience and specialist field. I paid privately for his first appointment - explained to him that I was self paying and that I wasn’t happy with the previous neurologist. My consultant saw me privately and charged me for his appointment which I think was about £250 - he then referred me back to himself on the nhs via a letter to the gp. I then had tests and scans done all on the nhs and due to who my consultant was he did arrange them all quite quickly. I’ve been under this specialist now for more than a year and all scans, tests and consultant appointments through the nhs except for 2 initially that I had paid for. What you do need to do is to check which hospitals the consultant works out of privately and nhs and what his specialist field is. Hope this help- I can help more if you need advice - being an ex BUPA staff I know the system too well!!