Whether you are being treated on the NHS or in the private sector, you have the right to choose your consultant or specialist.
Since April 2008, all patients treated under the NHS, have the right to choose from any NHS funded healthcare provider, following a referral to a hospital consultant. Under the NHS Patient Choice Initiative, if you and your GP decide that you need to see a specialist, you are able to choose the hospital that best suits your needs.
Being able to choose hospitals, means that in effect you can have an influence on which NHS surgeon or specialist is responsible for your treatment or operation.
In the private sector, choice of specialist is a given, unless there is a restriction imposed by a health insurance company that is paying for your private treatment. The health insurer may exclude a particular surgeon on the basis that his/her fees are too high.
What can I find out about consultants and specialists?
Whether you are going private or on the NHS, your may want to do some research and check the facts before you commit to a specific specialist.
Taking the time to find the right surgeon or specialist will reduce the likelihood of any problems occurring. Different surgeons and specialists may use different techniques and materials.
You may want to check the specialist is properly trained, qualified and experienced.
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