Private diagnosis.

Does anyone know how much a private diagnosis would cost?

Do you mean private diagnosis, or just a private consultation? A private consultation ONLY, but returning to the NHS for any recommended tests and investigations will set you back between two and three hundred pounds.

However, if you want a complete private diagnosis, including any scans, tests and investigations you may need - not involving the NHS at all, you are looking at several thousand pounds. I may be misremembering this, because I didn’t pay, the insurance did, but I think mine cost something like £15,000. It was at least £10K, anyway, so it’s beyond the reach of most ordinary people, unless the insurance is willing to pay. The blood tests alone were about £1000, and I had some of them twice, because the first lot showed an anomaly, which needed re-checking. MRI scans are about £600 to £1000 a time, depending on what you have scanned, whether it’s with contrast etc. and I had four or five of those. You can see it’s easy to burn £10K in no time at all.

The private route does not actually guarantee quicker answers, because if the sticking point on the NHS has been that there’s insufficient clinical evidence to support a confirmed diagnosis, there will be exactly the same hurdle in the private sector too; the rules are the same. It’s not the case that if you pay more money, someone will commit themselves on less evidence than would be needed on the NHS.

Compared to the NHS, I’d say the chief advantages were much shorter waiting times for an appointment, more time actually IN the appointment, nicer and more modern surroundings on the whole, and a few perks like free coffee - in a china cup, not a paper one. I saw the same consultant I now see on the NHS, and in fact, when my insurance cover ended, at the point of diagnosis, he simply referred me to himself, with his NHS hat on (most of them do both).

So it’s really the same person, and the same path to diagnosis. There’s just much less hanging around between tests and consultations, and a nicer waiting room!

I still had to wait six or seven months for a confirmed diagnosis - not because of appointment delays, but because that’s how long it took to amass enough evidence. They have to be able to PROVE it’s an ongoing thing (“multiple”), and not an isolated attack. So I had to go back for follow-up scans after six months, to check if it was still clinically active. Which, in my case, it was.

In theory, if I had gone back but the scans showed no change, I might still have been undiagnosed months or years later. Going privately makes absolutely no difference to that: if there’s insufficient evidence, there’s insufficient evidence, whichever route you choose.

Hope this helps,


Hi, I agree with Tina.

I saw a neuro privately for my first consultation. I chose to do so, because there was a 10 month NHS waiting list at the time. This was back in 1998. I believe NHS waiting lists are not so long now.

i paid £175 to see the neuro and £25 for MRI results.

Then I transferred to the NHS and saw the same doc! And guess what? After 14 years, they still cant tell me why I cant walk!!!

luv Pollx