Self-pay patients and access to private healthcare

I don’t have private medical insurance – can I pay for myself?

Yes, many of our patients pay for their own treatments. This is often because:

  1. NHS waiting times are too long for the treatment they need,
  2. the innovative treatment they want may not available on the NHS (e.g. custom-made knee replacements),
  3. they are seeking a second opinion or
  4. they want to be able to pick and choose their surgeon, and ensure that their operation is carried out by the specific consultant surgeon of their choice and not by a trainee or by someone who might not be an experienced specialist in that specific procedure.

Whatever the reason, you can simply pay the medical fees yourself, and this is a very easy and straight forward process.

How much will it cost to see a consultant?

The consultation fee will vary, depending on which consultant you see, but will range between about £200 to £300 for an initial 30-minute consultation. Regular New Patient clinic slots are normally ½ hour; you can, however, have a full 1-hour clinic slot if your case is complicated (e.g. a second opinion or if revision (re-do) surgery is required), which is charged as a double slot. Your consultation may be via video consultation or face-to-face, depending on the severity of your condition and whether you require a physical examination, particularly during the current COVID pandemic.

If I need to have imaging (X-Rays/MRI scans), is this extra?

Your consultant may need to send you for diagnostic imaging (e.g. X-Ray, MRI scans). The cost of this will be in addition to your consultation fee. Imaging costs vary, depending on what type of imaging is required. Our aim is to keep your imaging costs as low as possible, and we work closely with a number of local imaging centres who are able to provide high-quality low-cost imaging services at very competitive prices. For example, an X-Ray can be as little as £230, and an MRI scan can cost as little as £250. Your consultant or their medical secretary may be able to arrange for you to have any relevant imaging done ahead of your clinic visit, in advance, if appropriate, which may potentially save on unnecessary repeat journeys and clinic visits. If you think that you might need imaging, then simply discuss this with your consultant’s secretary when first booking in with us.

There are other various investigations and tests that you may also be referred for, such as blood tests, nerve conduction studies, bone density scans etc. You should ensure that you are also aware of the specific costs of any tests too, ahead of you actually proceeding, as these will also be charged to you separately.

Are there any other potential additional costs?

Your consultant might potentially recommend specific treatments for you in clinic, such as a joint injection. If so, then this will be charged to you as an additional cost (with normally a medical fee + a ‘facility’ fee, which covers ‘expendibles’ (like the needles and syringes etc), as well as the cost of whatever drug might actually be being injected. Again, you should therefore ensure that you are aware of the full costs of any such treatments before you agree to go ahead.

What if I need surgery? How will I know how much to budget for this?

Many patients don’t actually require surgery, as their condition might be effectively managed with conservative treatments, for example, with physiotherapy or a steroid injection.  The cost of these non-surgical treatments is normally relatively low. Importantly, however, what every patient does actually need prior to even considering any actual treatments is a clear and specific diagnosis, followed by a full discussion about the pros and cons of whatever potential different treatment options might be available and appropriate. Our consultants have a reputation for treating patients conservatively, safely and appropriately, rather than just rushing in with recommendations of surgery.

When surgery is indicated, then your consultant (or their secretary) will be able to provide you with a specific quote for the exact likely costs for these treatments. The costs of surgery vary depending on exactly which specific treatment might be required, on the potential length of your stay in hospital, and on what particular equipment or prostheses might be needed. The overall cost of surgery within the private sector consists of 3 specific elements: the surgical fee, the anaesthetic fee and the hospital fee, with the hospital fee normally making up anything from 75% to 90% of the overall total cost, and it is the hospital fee that includes the costs of any prosthesis (e.g. a knee replacement prosthesis) that might be needed.

Will I need to see my consultant for a follow-up appointment?

If you are treated by one of our consultants, then it is highly likely you will need to see them for at least one follow-up appointment after any surgery.  The cost of this will be slightly lower than your initial consultation fee, and again, will vary depending on which consultant you see.  The price of follow-up appointments will be provided at your initial consultation, if the treatment plan recommended by your consultant requires it.

If I’m having surgery, then are there any other costs I need to be aware of?

Many treatments require pre-operative tests, post-operative painkillers and replacement dressings. You should therefore factor in some funds to cover these additional costs.  You may also need to purchase some optional equipment to aid with your recovery, e.g. ice packs to reduce inflammation or exercise equipment to help with your rehabilitation.

Many treatments also require the patient to have a series of physiotherapy sessions. Your consultant will be able to advise on what you might need and will be able to refer you to the specific physiotherapist of your choice (or recommend one for you). The costs of physiotherapy treatments are charged separately by the physiotherapist themselves, as they are independent practitioners in their own right.

What’s the best way for me to find out more and potentially arrange to see a consultant?

The easiest way to find out more is to simply phone our Appointment & Enquiry Line on 020 7496 3597 and speak to one of our team.  They will be able to answer any questions that you may have, book you in to see a consultant and give you the exact costs of the consultation fees.  If you do decide to book in to see a consultant, you will need to pay the full consultation fee at the time of booking, and you will therefore need to have a debit/credit card at the ready.

We will always do our very best to help you in any way that we can.

What do our self-paying patients think?

“Paying for treatment myself was the best investment I’ve ever made. I’ve now got my life back and enjoying the things I love most. If you’re thinking of paying for yourself, my advice would be ‘just do it’. You won’t regret it.”

“One of the best things about paying for yourself is that you can access the very best surgeon and innovative treatments that you wouldn’t be able to get on the NHS.” 

“The care that I received privately with my consultant at London Sports Orthopaedics was way better than anything that I’ve ever had within the NHS. The NHS is fantastic, but you have to wait, you can’t pick and choose when to be seen, you can’t pick and choose your consultant, and you’re not guaranteed to get the very best specialist or have the best possible treatments. Quite simply, you get what you pay for, and I’m very glad that I was able to see my consultant at London Sports Orthopaedics.”

“The cost of the treatment was actually much less than I was expecting, and it was worth every penny. The team at London Sports Orthopaedics were so friendly and helpful, and they made sure that costs were kept to a minimum, with no nasty surprises. I can wholly recommend them.”

“I came to LSO because I felt the need to get a second opinion. I was prepared to pay for this myself in order to put my mind at rest. Thank goodness I did.  After being passed from pillar-to-post by other medical professionals with no clear answers or solutions, I finally got a definitive diagnosis and I was told I didn’t need surgery!  The consultation fee was a very small price to pay when I consider what I might have gone through!”