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Endometriosis UK
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Switching from NHS to private?


I recently had a laparoscopy on the NHS which found no Endo. Having written a post on here, I'd like to follow advice and get a second opinion from a BSGE centre.

I was recently informed by my parents that I have access to private healthcare. Is it possible to switch from the NHS and go see a private specialist? Also, how do I go about this? I have an NHS follow up appointment at the end of March and was wondering whether I have to be discharged from the NHS consultants care before I can see a different specialist with private healthcare.

Any help would be really appreciated :)

4 Replies

Hi, I don’t think there’s any problem going private whilst under NHS care. Most people who use private specialists continue under GP care, so are running the two alongside. However it’s probably helpful to be open about it, otherwise you can end up having unnecessary investigations.

The BSGE centres are in the NHS but the website lists the names of the consultants so you should be able to look up your local ones on google to see if they also work privately. You would then be paying to see a consultant from a BSGE centre but not actually at a BSGE centre, if that makes sense. Many NHS consultants do a bit of private work so I’d be surprised if you can’t find one.


Hi, ive done something similar. I saw a gynaecologist through the NHS and then decided to use my private health cover for my laparoscopy. In my case the gynaecologist I had seen worked for the NHS and privately. You'll need to contact your health insurance provider and they can talk you through what you'll need to do. In my case my Gyne was BUPA registered and is the only gyne in my area who specialises in endometriosis so I was just lucky. I spoke with his PA and liaised with BUPA to make the change.

Your private healthcare provider will make the appointment(s) for you and will liaise with you directly. I think it's best to inform your GP that you are receiving treatment privately just for completeness. You might need your policy number when you make the initial call, I didn't but mines through my work.

Hope that helps a little, if you need any advise message me. Lou x


If you have access to private healthcare they probably mean insurance (to pay the fees), as we can all access private healthcare but it can cost a lot more. It's best to find out from your insurer what their options are: some will let you choose your specialist after researching yourself from any private clinic, some have a list of accredited clinics / specialists.

I contacted my insurer and they talked me through it: you pick from their website the consultant you'd like (mine had almost all) then let the insurer know whom you want to refer to they set you up on their system. I contacted my specialist myself to arrange an apt (as you would a GP appt). You then let your GP / NHS consultant know you wish to go private and be referred to ... (your chosen specialist).

Your insurance company / private healthcare may have the option of settling all fees with the specialist directly meaning you don't need to pay. But you'll need to find out what the limits are.

Private healthcare has the advantage of it being quicker but it does cost so best to have insurance which is hopefully what your parents mean.

Mine is through work with WPA, so I called and they use lots of centers from The Gynaecology Group and Nuffield Health. I had a choice of 8 specialists and three centers. I chose one that specialises in endometriosis, painful periods, and laparoscopy.


As others have said there is no problem now choosing to go privately - you'll just need another GP referral. Each insurance provider is slightly different in their requirements so check with them what they need the referral letter to state.

I am curious as to why you want to go privately now. You are not likely to get a different answer, you might even have the same consultant. The advantage of private healthcare is it removes the waiting lists, it doesn't necessarily mean different treatment.

Good luck getting the treatment you need - my lap is due shortly and my worst nightmare is them telling me they can't see anything wrong so I feel for you!


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