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Where and when can I be seen?

We hold regular weekly clinics at One Hatfield Hospital, Pinehill Hospital in Hitchin and Spire Harpenden Hospital.

Appointments are available by contacting the surgeon’s secretary who can offer and arrange a consultation for you over the phone. We have access to the hospitals’ appointment systems so there is no need to wait in an automated queue for an appointment.


Do I need a referral letter?

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 our referrals come from physiotherapists and insurers will now accept that mode of referral. We advise you though to check with your private insurer as to whether you require a referral letter.


How long will my appointment be?

Generally new consultations for private patients are half an hour slots and follow-up consultations are fifteen minutes which allows ample time for consultations. This is not a hard or fast rule and times may vary according to the complexity of each individual case. Should investigations be necessary they might be organised on the same day or at a later date.


What happens at the initial consultation?

Initial consultations usually last around half and hour. During this time we will ask you about the details of your problem, your symptoms and the impact it is having on your life. Your surgeon will examine the affected joint and if required send you for an x-ray. The surgeon will then discuss with you the most likely cause of your problem and offer potential treatment options.

If appropriate a steroid injection may be given in clinic or arranged under image guidance in the radiology department. Sometimes other investigations such as ultrasound, MRI or CT are needed which will usually be arranged within a week.


How is surgery 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 you are advised to obtain an authorisation number beforehand if using insurance. You can obtain this information by contacting the surgeon’s secretary.


How long will I be in hospital?

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.


Will I need any painkillers?

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).


What follow up will I need?

The number of further consultations you need will depend on the operation you have had and how closely our surgeons need to monitor your progress. In general we aim to continue to see you until you have fully recovered from any procedure.


Which physiotherapist should I see?

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.


No medical insurance | Can I self-fund?

While most people being treated in the private sector will have insurance cover, an increasing number are choosing to fund their own treatment. There is no need for a referral letter for self funding patients. If you would like to obtain an idea of costs, we would be happy to base an estimate on the information you are able to provide. Please contact the surgeons’ secretary directly and she can happily answer any questions regarding self funding and book you in for an initial consultation.


Medical insurance | What do I need to do?

Our surgeons are recognised as a Specialist Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons by all the major insurance companies, including AXA PPP, Aviva, BUPA, Cigna, Vitality Health, etc. Patients seeking a consultation or treatment under their medical insurance policy usually require a referral from their GP or a physiotherapist. It is advisable to contact your insurance company before your first consultation or if any investigations or surgery are planned to confirm that they will cover the costs. You will need to obtain an authorisation code from them and give it to the hospital so private treatment can be carried out.


Am I responsible for any fees?

Whether or not you have private medical insurance you are ultimately responsible for any fees incurred for consultations, investigations and surgery.

Our fees are usually covered in full by insurers, apart from your policy excess. However, there are many different insurance policy products and some of them may not cover the entire fee. We advise you to check with your insurer before proceeding with any treatment.


By what method can I pay self funding fees or any insurance policy excess fees?

We are accept all major credit and debit cards, online bank transfers and cheques. Our invoices clearly state all payment methods, our bank account details and accounts contact number.


I am an international patient can I be seen by a surgeon?


We regularly treat international patients. Please let us know if there are any language requirements and we will liaise with your hospital of choice where you will be treated, for interpreter services. All international patients will be required to pay their bill at their appointment or prior to surgery. We accept cash in British Pounds and accept all major credit cards.

We are happy to provide a letter from your surgeon so you can organise a visa for travel and your stay in the UK to undergo treatment.

Embassy or sponsored patients are required to bring a letter of guarantee provided by their embassy stating the patient name and consultant responsible for care.

Letter of guarantee should state your Consultant Surgeon’s name, Hertfordshire Orthopaedic Centre.

Our private medical secretaries are happy to assist you in organising your appointment and surgery.

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