Would you go private?

Would you see a consultant privately if you had the option? I’ve been waiting for my neurologist appointment date to come through for three weeks now and I’m getting more and more anxious about my symptoms

Hi WorriedMummy,

Seeing a Neurologist Privately is personal choice which only you can answer? Can you afford it? If you decide to see a Neurologist Privately find out who you would be seeing on the NHS and see them as the records can then be shared with your NHS notes.

I did see my Neurologist Privately but my wait had been Months. I was referred urgently in Nov 2014 and the earliest I could be seen was 11th May 2015. I was getting worse, had to cancel 3 weeks holiday because I became uninsurable and the GP wouldn’t give me a fit to travel certificate.

I couldn’t handle it anymore in February and was advised by the Neuro Secretary and GP receptionist that I could see the Consultant Privately for a first appointment and then go back on the NHS. When I asked the local private hospital they fitted me in with my Consultant a week later. It was worth every penny. I had an MRI on the NHS less than a week after seeing him and was diagnosed a month later.

I was lucky (with the speed of my journey once I was in the system) I’m sure many can share stories where it made no difference to being in Limbo for a long time.

Good Luck whatever you decide.

Snowqueen x

Hi worried mummy ive been waiting for 7 weeks so far but been a mess up by gp giving my old address hope it’s not too much longer for you and me .

The consultant I see works at my local hospital too so I could ask to be seen by him at that hospital on the nhs if I need to see him again (hopefully not)

my my other reason for wanting to do it, aside from getting it quicker, is that a) I would see a consultant rather than one of his team and b) he is a specialist in Ms, whereas I wouldn’t nessercarily get to see a specialist in Ms at the hospital.

I went private, but only because I had health insurance through work - so it was zero cost to me.

I saw exactly the same person I would have seen if I’d been referred on the NHS - just in plusher surroundings, with nice coffee.

Yes, you DO get an appointment sooner, but bear in mind that does not necessarily translate into getting answers very much sooner.

Private neuros are bound by the exactly same diagnostic criteria as NHS ones (and are often the same people with different hats, in fact).

For most people, the wait for an appointment is NOT the key determinant of how long it takes to be diagnosed. The key factor is how long it takes for enough evidence to present itself - which could be months, or even years. Private neuros don’t have special dispensation to skip some of the diagnostic criteria, so you can be diagnosed on flimsier evidence.

I don’t believe it’s essential to see the top dog on a first visit, neither do I think it’s essential to see an MS specialist, when you don’t know you have MS. Usually, it will be your GP’s decision which specialism is appropriate. Nobody will be able to diagnose from a preliminary examination anyway, so you do not need an expert in “difficult cases”. You just need anyone capable of doing a basic neurological assessment and arranging appropriate follow-up, as they won’t be doing any diagnosing or treating yet - very unlikely, anyway.



Hello . You have had clear scans am I right ? I don’t think a private neuro will be able to offer you any more reassurance . I paid for one and he did the same tests as I got at a&e. If it makes you feel better go for it . I don’t know what it will do for you though .

Hi - I have been lucky in that the journey I have been on has been private and has even covered a referral back after an ok. Private gains time significantly from the experience others on this site have had so the process , test and hospital rooms are all the same facilities (maybe bar the consultation in a nicer building with better. coffee:)). I know waiting is a very hard part of this experience so if you can go privately go but of do not disadvantage yourself or others you depend on. Good luck and keep strong

Agree with all of this, particularly the bits about what going private can buy you and what it can’t. My experience was very similar, by the way - private health cover at work and ultimately transfer to the same consultant’s NHS list. Would I have paid out of my own pocket for the initial consultation? Yes, most likely, but the outcome would have been broadly the same one way or the other. It gets the wheels moving a bit faster, that’s all.


Hi, I went private initially, because when I asked my GP about referrals time and was told 10 months…I felt I couldnt wait that long.

This was way back in 1999. I dunno if things have improved since then.

So I paid £175 and was seen within a week and paid £25 for MRI results.

The neuro at the time, also worked for NHS and saw me a short while after under NHS. He suspected PPMS and said any tests and treatments would be expensive and as i didnt have private medical insurance, advised me to stay with the NHS.

If you wish to go private, if only to jump the queue, then that is your choice…if some people infer that is wrong, then dont tell many people.

Good luck.


Good afternoon

I would say YES. But i am fortunate enough to belong to a private hospital through my work. Ihave just added a post, when someone asked a question about `MRI results on the NHS - How long to wait? This was my response which explains the reason why.

Depending on your local hospital, will depend on how long you have to wait. I had an MRI last May (2014), and due to my local hospital not been able to retain neurologists, I could/did not see anyone. (My appointments kept getting cancelled). After 7-8 months, I received a letter, that my local hospital had sent my GP which stated there are new leisons but did not state to what extent, I rang my MS nurse and was quite upset and concerned as to what extent that these lesions were. She made me an appointment to go and see her 2 days later. She had a copy of my report and told me that the lesions had caused minimal damage but I still had to see a neurologist. My MS nurse assured me that I was getting my knickers in a twist for nothing and in the grand scheme of things there was nothing to worry about. I walked out of the hospital extremely relieved. I eventually saw a neurologist 2 weeks ago (2015, yes, a year down the line) who has requested an urgent MRI because I have had another relapse (not as severe as my previous 2) and that the report she was looking at was to old and wanted an updated one. The neurologist, I saw (bearing in mind, that I had 4 appointments cancelled because they kept leaving over the course of a year) told me that she was on a 2 month contract because she had come down from another hospital, (I can only assume, to clear the back log) so I may be left in no mans land again!!!

I am still waiting for my urgent MRI!!!

P.S I don’t like referring to my MS nurses as she but I get the distinct impression (after reading other posts) that you are not allowed to name any professional, even if they are good.

Ang or Blaze (he is my dog that just sits and listens to me moaning, grumbling and shedding a few tears, then starts moaning again)


I went private because I was getting worse and each time I called my GP I was told that I had an urgent referral in to see a neurologist. I must have experienced three different definitions of urgent and had waited over 8 weeks.

I was lucky that I was able to afford it with help from my family but it is really up to you - it wasn’t cheap. From going private I had seen a MS specialist, had a MRI, and was dx in about 2 1/2 weeks. I wonder if I had seen the locum on the NHS and then eventually got my MRI if I would still be waiting on a dx.

The neurologist I saw privately is now my consultant on the NHS. Going private was just a means of being seen sooner by the right person. In my case the evidence was abundantly clear on the MRI so in hindsight it was worth every penny.

Well, I decided to book a private consultation. Got an appointment for today, but they phoned this morning to say he was off sick so have rebooked for two weeks time as away next week.

So so disappointing as I wanted to try and get a few answers before I go on holiday :frowning:

Eee I seh! We don’t expects doctors to go sick, do we? Wasn’t there anyone else you could see?


We go on holiday on Friday so the next appointment is the one I’ve got.

TBH, you wouldn’t have got any answers this week anyway. Put it all out of your mind as best you can and have a lovely holiday.