No. While most people being treated in the private sector will have insurance cover, an increasing number are choosing to fund their own treatment. There are a variety of ways to pay for treatment but in general the hospital would require payment for surgery in full in advance.
We are recognised by all the major insurance companies as Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons. There are a large number of policies that cover differing aspects of care and we would recommend you ensure that you understand what is and is not covered under your particular policy.
Our fees have remained unchanged since all of the partners have been in private practice and have in general been covered in full by insurers. Recently, however, there has been a downward pressure on fees and some insurers will no longer cover the entirity of some fees. Our fees are broadly aligned with the published WPA fee schedule. It is best to enquire with the practice manager prior to any surgery if you have concerns. A full explanation of insurance and fees is included in the costs and medical insurance section of this site.
Whether or not you have private medical insurance my contract is with you and you are ultimately responsible for any fees incurred for consultations, investigations and surgery.
If you are paying for your own treatment, then a referral is not necessary although in general it is preferred. The majority of insurers will require a GP referral before authorising a consultation, investigations or any treatment. Many of my referrals come from physiotherapists and some insurers will now accept that mode of referral.
The majority of our patients will be from the adult population. Two of the partners however carry out the majority of the major knee operations at the Bristol Children’s Hospital and all partners are happy to see children in the private sector.
You can either call our practice manager on 0117 980 4037 or e-mail us via the link and one of the secretaries will contact you.
We have a number of regular clinic times, one of which will in general be convenient. We will endeavour to see you as expeditiously as possible and on the rare occasion when clinic times are not appropriate we will be as flexible as possible.
We operate in the private sector on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and may very occasionally need to arrange urgent operating time.
We allow ample time for new and follow up appointments. Should investigations be necessary they might be organised on the same day or at a later date. MRI scans generally take around 20 minutes and will need to be read and reported by a radiologist, although we will usually be able to give a preliminary opinion on any scans.
We increasingly see patients for this reason. We request that you notify our Practice Manager if you are seeking a second opinion so that an appropriate time slot can be organised.
Should any surgery be necessary, a convenient time will be organised based on the nature of the operation the necessary rehabilitation and the recovery time.
Operative procedures all have a code that insurers and hospitals use and an authorisation number will be required beforehand if using insurance.
We take all aspects of patient safety, including thrombosis and infection prevention, extremely seriously. Blood clots in the calf (thrombosis) that can potentially extend or move within the veins (thromboembolism/VTE) are one of the well known risks of surgery and their prevention has been the focus of a recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) committee. There is a well established protocol for the assessment of the risk of VTE and the preventative measures that should be taken. We are guided by this protocol.
Some operations are done as a day case while others require a stay in hospital. Although insurers and hospitals will place an expected length of stay on any procedure, it is in general better to keep any inpatient time to a minimum. You will be discharged as soon as safe and able. The average length of stay for my patients is well below the average as we always ensure less invasive and careful surgical techniques, excellent anaesthesia and early mobilisation are utilised.
Usually we discharge patients with a waterproof dressing that allows a light shower. We prefer dressings to be left in place until the wound has healed (around 2 weeks) unless there is an obvious need for a change. Dressings can be removed once the wound has healed.
Painkilling (analgesic) and anti-inflammatory drugs play an important part in your rehabilitation following surgery. They help to control pain and swelling, enabling you to carry out your exercises and increase mobility. You will be provided with a supply of medication to take away after your operation (TTAs).
We work closely with a number of excellent physiotherapists and will discuss with you the most suitable. Most physiotherapists are recognised by all the major insurers. You will need to check your policy to see whether or not physiotherapy is included. The number and frequency of sessions required will be individually tailored to, and guided by your progress. Physiotherapy is often very helpful preceding (prehabilitation) as well as following an operation (rehabilitation).
The number of further consultations you need will depend on the operation you have had and how closely we need to monitor your progress. In general we aim to continue to see you until you have fully recovered from any procedure. For some rare operations we like to continue follow up in the long term to help inform future patients about expected outcomes.
We aim to provide as complete a service as possible. By working in a group of specialist partners we aim to provide a comprehensive service with specialist availability on most days of the year. We are unable to provide 24/7 cover however. With any query or problem please call our practice manager on 0117 980 4037 initially or the hospital ward nurse. If you have any urgent queries the hospitals in which we practice have mechanisms in place to help you. If the treating surgeon is unavailable then one of the other partners is usually able to provide a review.