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oldsport

Private Health Insurance

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I've been looking at private health insurance recently.

A couple of the big providers offer an option called "diagnosis only".

It seems you can claim on the insurance for all the tests and consultations and then once you have a diagnosis you ask the NHS to operate or otherwise treat you. They were a bit woolly about how it worked when I asked them on the phone.

Does anyone know how this would work in practice as regards how you feed in to the NHS. I thought the NHS tried to avoid patients "jumping the queue" and would make you start all over again with them.

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It's frowned on a bit by some in the NHS, but there's nothing to stop it workin, as long as you are eligible for NHS treatment. Choosing private treatment does not disqualify you from seeking NHS treatment.)

You can have tests done privately, and get a diagnosis. There's then nothing to stop the consultant who has seen you privately, book you into their NHS clinic (or send you to an suitable NHS consultant with a copy of the results) and start treatment.

There might be a wait to get into the clinic but, in general, if the tests have been done, then no one is going to repeat them for the sake of repeating them, so the treatment could potentially be started at the first appointment, an appointment for surgery given after the first NHS consultation.

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It's frowned on a bit by some in the NHS, but there's nothing to stop it workin, as long as you are eligible for NHS treatment. Choosing private treatment does not disqualify you from seeking NHS treatment.)

You can have tests done privately, and get a diagnosis. There's then nothing to stop the consultant who has seen you privately, book you into their NHS clinic (or send you to an suitable NHS consultant with a copy of the results) and start treatment.

There might be a wait to get into the clinic but, in general, if the tests have been done, then no one is going to repeat them for the sake of repeating them, so the treatment could potentially be started at the first appointment, an appointment for surgery given after the first NHS consultation.

Thanks - that sounds like it could work more smoothly than I imagined.

Originally, I was actually looking at the opposite way around - a "Treatment Only" option - as I think if I had an operation I'd probably prefer to recover in my own room. I don't think we have "amenity rooms" at our NHS hospital.

But this has certainly intrigued me.

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The only benefit I see from private health care is to the State and everybody else. An altruistic gesture from the insured individual.

As a puritanical housepricecrasher who hates waste on my own ''Me plc'' accounts, I can't abide the idea of paying for something I can get free, as the benefits of improved outcomes on private care are unproven.

The NHS isn't free, of course, a 120 billion pound monster that eats up £4,000 per capita once you are retired. But I would not want to throw any of that £4,000 benefit away by paying for some of it again.

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A relative of mine had recently been advised to pay privately for consultation (uninsured) and then jump back in to the NHS system for the inevitable operation.

She was seen initially much quicker, was operated on by the same consultant she would have if she continued privately but pretty much shaved 3-6 months off her waiting time.

P

There is the waiting time consideration. Somehow I would be uncomfortable about buying an advantage where health is concerned. Meanwhile if there was a life saving necessity to operate quickly I would not expect there would be much difference in waiting times.

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There might be a wait to get into the clinic but, in general, if the tests have been done, then no one is going to repeat them for the sake of repeating them, so the treatment could potentially be started at the first appointment, an appointment for surgery given after the first NHS consultation.

You are joking?

The NHS will want to do the tests to verify the results.

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You are joking?

The NHS will want to do the tests to verify the results.

So are we saying that there is no point in getting these tests done privately, since they won't be accepted by the NHS?

Can someone confirm if this is true or not? I had never heard of this 'diagnosis-only' private health but am going to look into it, since my health is steadily declining and my GP just ignores me.

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So are we saying that there is no point in getting these tests done privately, since they won't be accepted by the NHS?

Can someone confirm if this is true or not? I had never heard of this 'diagnosis-only' private health but am going to look into it, since my health is steadily declining and my GP just ignores me.

I've got a friend who went to the US to see a top man in the world of Pituitary issues. She p[aid for the tests and scans and got a diagnosis. Came back to the UK and they insisted on redoing the rather horrid tests and the (non-painful) scans (at a lower resolution than the US ones)...

before they'd accept what she had.

She was fed up with not getting taken seriously here in the UK.

...

The advantage being you will have something to push the NHS at and should get seen by the right person sooner or later.

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So are we saying that there is no point in getting these tests done privately, since they won't be accepted by the NHS?

Can someone confirm if this is true or not? I had never heard of this 'diagnosis-only' private health but am going to look into it, since my health is steadily declining and my GP just ignores me.

If you have pre-existing conditions they might not cover you for these.

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So are we saying that there is no point in getting these tests done privately, since they won't be accepted by the NHS?

Can someone confirm if this is true or not? I had never heard of this 'diagnosis-only' private health but am going to look into it, since my health is steadily declining and my GP just ignores me.

So, SimplyHealth is the one I've talked to so far:

https://www.simplyhealth.co.uk/sh/pages/individuals/simply-personal-health/benefit-choices.jsp

There are three modules available with Simply Personal Health. Diagnosis, Treatment and Heart and Cancer.

The Diagnosis module is compulsory and helps you to find out what's wrong. It is then your choice if you want to add Treatment and/or Heart and Cancer cover.

I also thought I'd read that Aviva do it - but now when I've come to look I can't find it on their own website.

EDIT - OK, here is Aviva's - I couldn't find it by navigating their site but got there through Googling - it's called Speedy Diagnostics.

Speedy Diagnostics simply helps your clients beat the waiting lists to find out what’s wrong. It is a policy that’s significantly cheaper than traditional PMI because it doesn’t pay for any treatment.

http://www.aviva.co.uk/healthcarezone/products/individual-products/speedy-diagnostics/

EDIT2 - here it is on the main Aviva website - the above link may be for intermediaries

http://www.aviva.co.uk/diagnostics-insurance/?mvt=v4table

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We did this with scans for my wife, it cost us £200 for an appointment but saved her more than 2 months waiting around for an NHS scan, at a time when she was experiencing dreadful hip pain. Seeing as she now has a prognosis of only 3-6 months I think that was money very well spent? The NHS were certainly dragging their feet but have pulled out all the stops since.

Did the £200 include the cost of a private scan? Or was the scan done on the NHS but ordered following the private appointment?

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We did this with scans for my wife, it cost us £200 for an appointment but saved her more than 2 months waiting around for an NHS scan, at a time when she was experiencing dreadful hip pain. Seeing as she now has a prognosis of only 3-6 months I think that was money very well spent? The NHS were certainly dragging their feet but have pulled out all the stops since.

Feck yeah money well spent.

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Where do you find one of them?

Do you mean in the UK?

I think they all are - or almost all.

But if I've understood what others have written, the trick is to go to your local private consultant who also works in your local NHS Trust - some may have sessions at a local private hospital but be based at a different NHS Trust a few miles away. If you find your local private hospital website it should list each consultant and where their NHS base is.

Although, having said that, aren't you supposed to have a "choice" of where you go now under the NHS?

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Do you mean in the UK?

I think they all are - or almost all.

But if I've understood what others have written, the trick is to go to your local private consultant who also works in your local NHS Trust - some may have sessions at a local private hospital but be based at a different NHS Trust a few miles away. If you find your local private hospital website it should list each consultant and where their NHS base is.

Although, having said that, aren't you supposed to have a "choice" of where you go now under the NHS?

Oh indeed. You get to see how long the waiting lists are at the local hospitals who deal with whatever they've labeled you as.

I do actually mean HOW do you get hold of one: Are they in the phone book?

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I've got a friend who went to the US to see a top man in the world of Pituitary issues. She p[aid for the tests and scans and got a diagnosis. Came back to the UK and they insisted on redoing the rather horrid tests and the (non-painful) scans (at a lower resolution than the US ones)...

before they'd accept what she had.

That is certainly not my experience.

There may be reasons for repeating some tests (to check for progression or remission of disease, or to ensure an up-to-date scan is available if surgery is planned), and it would be normal practice to have the opinion checked (e.g. the consultant may wish to get another opinion on the scans, but it would be unusual to repeat the scan simply because it wasn't done in the NHS).

About 10% of my work is dealing with stuff that has been partially worked up outside of the local region, usually other NHS hospitals, but also frequently private or overseas. The outside tests and scans are almost always fine, unless it is something that needs our more-advanced scanners (no comparable scanners in the private sector in the UK) or there has been a long delay, or the supplied information only consists of the opinion, and not the actual tests/scan pictures themselves.

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Oh indeed. You get to see how long the waiting lists are at the local hospitals who deal with whatever they've labeled you as.

I do actually mean HOW do you get hold of one: Are they in the phone book?

In my area you just need to look on the website of the local private hospital and there is a list of consultants by specialty. And then you just ring for an appt. - either the main appts line or there may be a specific number for that consultant e.g their private secretary. I think they will usually then ask for your GP to write a referral letter to take to the appt.

I know a couple of people who've done this recently and that's how it worked in my area.

EDIT - and there is BUPA's consultant finder

http://finder.bupa.co.uk/

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Oh indeed. You get to see how long the waiting lists are at the local hospitals who deal with whatever they've labeled you as.

I do actually mean HOW do you get hold of one: Are they in the phone book?

So, this is a link to the only hospital with an Oldham postcode on a list I was recently sent - actually in Rochdale - this is the consultant search page

http://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/hospital/consultant?p_hosp_name=BMI%20The%20Highfield%20Hospital&p_surname=&p_keyword=&p_speciality=&p_locality=296&p_count=1&p_hosp_id=296&in_page=Our%20Consultants

EDIT - There are several other hospital listed in Manchester.

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So, this is a link to the only hospital with an Oldham postcode on a list I was recently sent - actually in Rochdale - this is the consultant search page

http://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/hospital/consultant?p_hosp_name=BMI%20The%20Highfield%20Hospital&p_surname=&p_keyword=&p_speciality=&p_locality=296&p_count=1&p_hosp_id=296&in_page=Our%20Consultants

EDIT - There are several other hospital listed in Manchester.

Thanks!

I have actually been there with mr b whilst he had a scan. NHS.

They sat me in the waiting room and got me a lovely coffee!

Might have the name of the bloke he was seeing then somewhere if I look, although that was whilst they were looking into a kidney cyst spotted after a liver scan. So probably not who he needs to see again.

Ta though!

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Thanks!

I have actually been there with mr b whilst he had a scan. NHS.

They sat me in the waiting room and got me a lovely coffee!

Might have the name of the bloke he was seeing then somewhere if I look, although that was whilst they were looking into a kidney cyst spotted after a liver scan. So probably not who he needs to see again.

Ta though!

Below is a link to a pdf. of the list I was sent by Simply Health (a health insurer) which will contain some other local private hospitals. There may actually be others, say on BUPA's list, which aren't on here - but I would think that's unlikely - although BUPA do own hospitals themselves, as well as providing insurance I think, so there may be others - it's all a bit complex for me!

I would imagine, although I'm happy to be corrected, that in order for things to go smoothly the important thing to check is that the consultant actually does his NHS work in an NHS Trust that you are covered by.

https://www.simplyhealth.co.uk/shcore/sh/content/pdfs/PMIdocs/id_sph_combined_hosp_list.pdf

EDIT: Aviva's list

http://www.aviva.co.uk/healthcarezone/document-library/files/ge/gen2318.pdf

BUPA's list

http://www.bupa.co.uk/jahia/webdav/site/bupacouk/shared/Documents/Spreadsheets/Hospital-List-Jan-2014.pdf

It gets very confusing with so many NHS hospitals also being on these two lists!

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Can you not simply ask your GP to refer you? I am pretty sure Mr B did this not long ago over something he thought might be skin cancer.

At the time he still had BUPA via work.

Around the same time I also saw the GP for something similar. Mr B and I saw exactly the same skin specialist, only he saw him at the local private hospital and I saw him at the NHS one. And thanks to NHS rules on anything-that-might-be-cancer, I actually saw him about a week sooner.

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thinking about it there are many with dementia that are not diagnosed.....for the simple reason, if they are diagnosed the bill may be without limit or end.......best to say all part of growing old, then none in the wider community will end up paying collective ongoing unproductive but very real bill...... ;)

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