Does anyone here see a rheumy through Benenden health care? 

I'm trying to find out if it is worth it as I am totally fed up with my rheumy, been seeing here for around 6 years and she's still not decided on what I have even though I'm being treated for RA! I also think that over that time she's not been bothered that my life is going down the toilet and I'm barely hanging on to a job that I was good at and enjoyed very much. 

Anyway back to the point, is Benenden worth looking in to? 


6 Replies

  • Hi Lee do you already have Beneden health insurance?

    Alternatively you do have the right to ask to see another health service rheumatologist. I had a similar experience with my first consultant but the second one I saw is a lot more dynamic.

  • Hi Lee

    Sorry to hear you are having a rough time. Sounds like you could benefit from a second opinion. I am a Benenden member although I have never used them for rheumatology. I had a conversation with them once about rheumatology and at that time they were OK to authorise a first appointment and even steroid injections and scans etc up to £1500 but I don't think they will fund the sort of long term treatment and visits that RD need. 

    I think too they have rheumatologist at the Benenden Hospital  in Kent. If you can get there.

    Suggest you give them a ring and see if they will fund a second opinion but it may be worth speaking to your GP first. My GP suggested a second opinion and it was all done through the nhs in the end although for speed Beneden were my next port of call.

    Let us know how it goes


  • If they are anything like other private healthcare providers you would need pre authorisation and they may exempt pre existing conditions for which you have started treatment. Also most of them need GP Referral. And lastly a lot of NHS Drs also at private hospitals. So you could find yourself seeing the same guy! Which could be embarrassing. But I use private healthcare and know it works a damn site faster than the NHS sadly. Good luck.

  • I don't know anything about Benenden healthcare but I know with my health insurance company they started paying for ra patient and eventually they stopped paying because they won't cover ra because it is seen as long term health condition.  I changed rheumys no problem.  Whatever rheumy you do end up seeing you will prob want to make sure that they work privately and on the nhs because if you ever need to be put on meds like biologics you would have to pay for these if you see someone privately.

    I should say that If you are rush to get your ra sorted then of course going privately will mean that you are seen quicker and given treatment a lot quicker.  If you need to see a rheumy on the nhs then in my opinion find someone yourself don't let these private companys tell you who to see cause normally these drs that they will tell you to see are not as good as someone who you may find yourself.

    on a personal note I was lucky and I started my rheumy privately and then my gp referred me on to see the same guy through the nhs and my private health insurance covered me for a good number of years to see someone privately.  I have been travelling to see two different rheumys and recently and a functional health dr but for me the travelling is worth it because I am being looked after properly.

    All the best with everything.

  • In my experience it is only worthwhile seeing a rheumatologist privately if they will then agree to have you on their NHS list, as you really need to be under the NHS for ease of getting medication and for blood monitoring, etc.  I saw a private rheumatologist who was out of my area (no private ones in my NHS region), and even though I did get a confirmed diagnosis, it has been less than useless to me, as the only NHS rheumatologist available to me won't accept the diagnosis, and therefore won't treat me.  My GP can't prescribe the meds recommended by the private rheumatologist as they need to be approved by an NHS consultant in my area before I can get them on the NHS.   I've also had mixed reactions with private specialists - one was extremely good and spent a lot of time with me and with reviewing my case.  Another couldn't get me out of the room fast enough when I said I just wanted a one-off consultation to review my diagnosis, did only a very limited exam, wasn't interested in my history and just suggested in the letter to my GP that I was referred back to the NHS rheumatologist.

  • Thanks everyone for your replies, think I need to do a bit of investigating before I comit  to anything

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