Private & NHS


I had AFib diagnosed 10 years ago when I was in work and covered by private health insurance. All was done and dusted, consultations, ablation under BUPA. Then I became self-employed and didn't continue with BUPA because the premiums at the time would have been horrendous.

Then, 10 years on, I felt my AFib was coming back so paid personally for a private consultation with the same EP. AF was diagnosed again but this time no insurance, so the op was done under NHS, by the same EP and his "junior".

Anyhow, I recently asked my GP if I could have a private consultation again for not much more reason than it's easier for me re location. She said that the NHS would only let me swap between private and NHS once, so I could not do this otherwise NHS would not then do the operation. That isn't exactly what she said but that was the gist of it.

Is this correct do you think?


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11 Replies

  • I don't think it can be. My mum often had an initial private consultation followed by N.H.S. treatment. However I suppose things may have changed in the last few years. I would be interested to know the answer though.

  • I don't believe that the NHS can refuse to treat you, especially with the European Directive which recommends ablation as a 1st line treatment. The NHS has a responsibility to treat without prejudice, I suspect those are solely the views of your GP.

    I am currently seeing an EP privately through BUPA and am going for an ablation on 27th Nov, my GP wants me to continue to see a NHS cardiologist locally.

    A friend sees a cardiologist privately for consultations but has had 1 ablation through him on the NHS and is waiting for the 2nd, again same man seen privately, ablation on the NHS - reason - we can wait 6 months to just get an appointment with a cardiologist locally!

  • I had a significant electric shock around about the time that of my first memory of A.F. and for a long time I thought there should be a connection but now that I understand the physiology of A.F. I'm not so sure.

  • I don't see why that couldn't have been a trigger dedeottie- you might have had some fibrous tissue which the AF then worked on? just theorising !!?

  • Thanks CDreamer.

    I recall what she said now almost verbatim, it was "You could only swap between private and NHS once, any more and NHS wouldn't have you back, and you don't want to be paying for expensive operations".

    dedeottie - is your post in the right thread?

  • oops no, not in the right thread. thanks!

  • ah ha, so I'm not the only one that does this then :-)

  • I think you could always see someone privately and you can choose your hospital through choose and book - the question is whether you would be allocated the same consultant

  • Thanks Rosy, I didn't know about Choose & Book, just looked it up and it looks good. You learn so much on this forum.

  • I think, what I recall from reading about plastic surgery gone wrong, if you have a private operation and it goes wrong the NHS isn't obliged to rectify it (unless there's a risk to life). But that's very different to having a private consultation and an NHS operation...

  • I think that maybe what my GP may have been assuming is that if I go for a private consultation, I will then go for a private op, which isn't what I was thinking of at all. In which case what she was saying was that if I have a private op then the NHS would not take me back because I will have had more than one swap? I will ask again next time I see my EP.

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