Choosing a Hospital
More and more individuals are opting for private consultation and surgery for their orthopaedic injuries or complaints. Going private means that you don’t have to worry about waiting a long time to be seen by consultants or specialists. You will usually have dedicated service and an improved experience when staying in hospital. Many people choose to go private because they would rather be treated as a customer. It is often the case that private hospitals are highly specialised in certain areas for specific conditions. There are a number of things to consider before selecting a hospital to have your surgery or consultation.
What is right for me?
Though there are many private hospitals, not all will offer the surgery you require. If you know that you need a hip replacement, for example, you will need to research into which hospitals specialise in this kind of surgery. Choosing a local hospital is a good idea if you are not very mobile and also to make matters easier if you have to make multiple return trips for post-operative care such as physiotherapy.
What are my options?
The beauty of private treatment is that it is all about choice. You have many options when selecting a hospital for your treatment, and once you have researched your local area you will have a good idea of how many hospitals carry out the surgery or treatment you need. When you contact the hospital, ask about their emergency procedures. Many private hospitals do not have and accident and emergency department, meaning that they will have protocol in place to dictate what they would do in an emergency situation. It is likely that you would be transferred to a nearby NHS Trust hospital. Remember to ask about on-going support when selecting a hospital. Often, you will need to build muscle strength through exercises given to you by your specialist, and you will probably be asked to return after surgery to see how you are healing and whether the procedure has been successful.
How does it work?
Some patients will already have determined the surgery or treatment they need before contacting a hospital. Others will need to see a specialist who can then assess and diagnose them, and run through their options. How the system works will depend on where you are in this process. Contact your hospital of choice and discuss with them your case and how they would normally proceed. Every hospital will be slightly different, but you will always be seen by a specialist for an initial consultation before any decisions are made as to what treatment would be best for you.
Who can I ask for more information?
Health professionals at private hospitals will always be happy to talk through with you your particular situation and the options you have. You can often arrange an initial consultation with a hospital to decide whether their services are right for you. There is nothing wrong with contacting two or three hospitals and asking about waiting times, procedures and prices. Some practices will carry out surgical procedures in different ways, and there might be one way that is better for you than others. Ask too about the hospital’s experience of your procedure and success rates. They should have access to data that explains how successful their surgery has been in the past, and this can be useful to know when deciding on a hospital.