Important information for self-pay patients
If you are considering paying for your treatment then please take the time to read this important information for self-pay patients.
Paying for your out-patient consultation
Before you have any treatment, your consultant doctor will always ask you to come in for an initial consultation or appointment. Your consultant will charge you directly for this appointment. The fee for this will vary, but it can range from £200 to £300. You can find out more about fees and what each individual consultant charges by visiting the PHIN website https://www.phin.org.uk/
After you’ve met your consultant doctor, they should send you a letter that sets out their fees for any additional diagnostic tests as well as for your treatment.
If you are paying for your treatment, we will ask for your credit or debit card details in order to secure your booking. You will be required to bring a valid debit or credit card with you each time you attend our hospitals or clinics as a patient. We will record and store your card details securely. In the event that you do incur additional charges, we may use these card details to take payment. Your stored card details will not be used if you do not incur any additional charges.
If you have private medical insurance, you will need to get authorisation from your insurer before making an appointment, and ensure that any subsequent treatment is covered.
Paying for any tests and/ or examinations in out-patients
Your consultant may suggest that you have additional tests, examinations, minor surgical procedures, diagnostic tests and/ or treatment while in outpatients. These additional tests might be carried out by either the consultant or by the hospital staff, for example a nurse or radiographer. Please be aware that you will be charged for all extra tests or examinations that you have.
The consultant must tell you if there is a fee for any diagnostic tests they do. But if the hospital does a diagnostic test the consultant may not know the fee, so make sure to ask both the consultant and hospital about any fees for tests.
You are entitled to know the costs of your treatment, so please don’t forget to ask about your bill and check how much any additional tests or treatment will cost, before you have them.
Please be aware that you could get multiple invoices for any test that is undertaken. For example there may be separate charges from the Consultant, hospital/clinic, and/or from the laboratory.
If you are an insured patient, please ensure that your insurance company will cover any additional costs, otherwise you may be liable to pay yourself.
Patients also have the option to Pay-As-You-Go and pay for all hospital and consultant fees individually. In this case we will provide you with a price for the hospital services and your consultant will advise you of the professional fees including the fee for the anaesthetist if required.
This means you will be sent invoices for each part of your treatment and the services you use. For example, if you’re having surgery you may be charged separate invoices from:
- your consultant
- the consultant anaesthetist
- the hospital
The hospital’s fee may come as pre-defined charge for all of their services, or this fee may be an itemised bill where things like medication, dressings, walking aids and tests are all additional costs. You should get a letter setting out the consultant’s total fee before you agree to treatment. However, it is sometimes difficult to predict all of the additional costs, and the consultant may not include the costs charged by the hospital. It is important to ask your consultant and/or hospital to talk through the full terms and conditions until you are satisfied.
Please make sure you read the terms and conditions of our Pay-As-You-Go options to understand exactly what is included.
When do I need to pay for my treatment?
If you are having a procedure or surgery, your treatment must be paid in full prior to your admission. You can pay by credit or debit card, cash or cheque. Full details of ways to pay will be included in your admission letter.
Finance is available through Chrysalis Finance to help you budget for self-pay treatment. You can spread the cost of your treatment using our interest free and low APR finance options, which can be arranged in advance. Further details are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can contact Chrysalis Finance directly on 0870 118 20 23 quoting Aspen Healthcare.
Arrangements for managing medical emergencies
Amongst the 25,000 operations taking place every day in the UK, serious complications are very rare but sometimes things do not go as they should. Although your consultant should inform you and your family of any unexpected complications while you are in the hospital or clinic, often it is the patient who is the first to notice something amiss.
We have staff on duty at all times, including a Resident Medical Officer (RMO), who is experienced in managing any emergency situation that may arise within a hospital environment.
Please be advised that Aspen Healthcare does not provide Intensive Care facilities at any of our sites, so we work hard to make sure you undergo pre-operative assessment to make sure you are able to have treatment or surgery with us. In the unlikely event that you need critical care whilst you are with us, we have arrangements in place with the local NHS hospitals and will transfer you there for them to take over your care. We will, of course, maintain contact with the hospital to monitor your progress. You will not be charged for this transfer or the critical care required in the NHS.
How we work with Consultants
All our Consultants are independent practitioners and have personal responsibility for the care they deliver. They are not Aspen Healthcare employees; however they are required to operate according to Aspen’s strict policies and procedures when practising at Aspen Healthcare hospitals and clinics. Many Consultants are employed by the NHS, and may also work across a number of other independent healthcare providers.
If a doctor wishes to practice medicine at one of our facilities, they must be listed on the General Medical Council (GMC) medical register and must undergo a thorough selection process before being granted “practising privileges” with Aspen Healthcare. This means they must go through a robust application process and provide evidence that they have sufficient qualifications, experience and scope of practice to practice at an Aspen Healthcare hospital or clinic. Their application must be approved by the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) at each facility.
Consultant doctors are subject to regular practising privileges reviews by the clinical team to ensure they continue to follow our high standards of clinical practice. If doctors wish to introduce any new procedures or treatments these also must be approved by the medical advisory committee (MAC) at each site before they can proceed.
All practitioners granted practising privileges by Aspen Healthcare are independent and self-employed contractors with regards to employment law. However, the regulations define doctors working under practising privileges as employees of the provider for the purposes of the regulations.
Your relationship with each Consultant involved in your treatment (including anaesthetists) exists as a separate legal relationship alongside your relationship with Aspen Healthcare. If you are a private patient, you or your insurer will usually be invoiced separately by each Consultant involved in your treatment, and also by the hospital, although in some instances (for example if you have a fixed price procedure) we may be able to act as a fee collecting agent for the Consultants to make the payment process easier.
Whilst Consultants are responsible for clinical decision-making and the quality of the care they deliver, Aspen Healthcare is responsible for ensuring that there are systems of monitoring and oversight in place, designed to ensure that Consultants practise in accordance with Aspen policy, and in line with their practising privileges. All Consultants are required to maintain adequate minimum levels of medical malpractice indemnity cover, in keeping with GMC guidance, and Aspen Healthcare undertakes checks to ensure that indemnity certificates are in place.
What are consultant doctors / medical practitioners’ responsibilities?
Consultant doctors who practise at our sites have several responsibilities outlined below:
- To inform you of any charges for consultations, tests, treatment or surgery
- To practice in accordance with the requirements of the General Medical Council (GMC) in line with good medical practice.
- To be personally accountable for their professional and ethical practice and to be prepared to justify their clinical decisions and actions to the independent provider and their peers.
- To ensure their awareness of, and compliance with, their legal and other responsibilities for their patients, including under the Competition and Markets Authority’s Private Healthcare Order 21 and NHS conflict of interest guidance.
- To participate in regular practising privileges reviews and/or provide feedback from appraisals.
- To demonstrate high standards of professional behaviour whilst working at an Aspen Healthcare facility (and any independent provider) and to expect discussions about professional behaviour to form part of both applications for and review of, practising privileges and part of any recruitment or appraisal process for any directly employed medical practitioner.
- To work in line with the requirements of Aspen’s practising privileges policy, the policies and systems for clinical governance, audit, complaints handling, records management and all other relevant provider policies.
- To engage with and contribute to all necessary data when requested to as part of an annual or biennial review of practising privileges including ensuring that Aspen Healthcare and the Responsible Officer have all the information necessary for a robust review of the entire scope of their practice.
- To report incidents, complaints or concerns to the Hospital Director, the Director of Nursing or the Responsible Officer, whether about their own practice or other clinicians, or wider issues in the hospital, and to take an active part in investigations and share learnings arising.