If you’re new to private healthcare then you may be unsure of what to expect from your experience, and how it might differ from the NHS. Read our guide to understand what to expect from referral to discharge, and other common FAQs from new patients.
How does private healthcare in the UK compare to NHS?
The current data shows that the NHS has made significant progress in clearing the backlog since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for some specialties there are still long waiting lists. Choosing private treatment usually means significantly shorter waiting times, so you can get back to your everyday activities more quickly.
The other benefit of private healthcare is that it allows you to make choices; more flexibility when it comes to booking appointments, greater choice of Consultants and even a better selection of meals.
Benefits of UK private healthcare:
- Faster access to treatment
- Consultants who have the time to really understand your needs
- Specialist treatments which aren’t available on the NHS
- High-quality facilities
What to expect from private healthcare
From the moment you make that initial contact with your chosen hospital, you should be on a smooth journey, with privacy, dignity and respect for the patient being key. At Benenden Hospital, we want to make your experience as easy as possible by being upfront about what to expect when you come to us for a consultation, test, or treatment.
Step 1: Arranging an appointment
Our Private Patient team is on hand to answer any queries you might have about arranging treatment at our hospital. You can contact them by calling 01580 363158 (Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm) or by completing our online enquiry form.
Step 2: Your outpatient appointment
We want your initial outpatient experience at our hospital to be as stress-free as possible. We offer free parking; plus, disabled spaces foe blue badge holders and a convenient drop-off point outside our main entrance. On entering, you’ll be welcomed by our friendly Reception staff who’ll check you in and direct you to one of our spacious waiting areas.
Step 3: Diagnostics and investigations
If your Consultant has recommended a test or scan, you should be able to make arrangements there and then.
Step 4: Your preoperative assessment
If your Consultant has recommended surgery, you’ll need to have a preoperative assessment.
Step 5: Your admission
We’ll contact you a week before your procedure to discuss your admission. We'll give you any fasting instructions, what you should bring and your admission time. If you’re a day case patient, we’ll give you an idea of your discharge time so that you can arrange for someone to take you home. If you’re staying with us overnight, please ensure that someone is available to pick you up; we’ll let you know when you’re likely to be discharged.
Step 6: Your stay
If it’s the case that your treatment will require an overnight stay in our hospital, you may want to have visitors as they can really boost your mood and help your recovery.
Step 7: Your discharge and aftercare
Your treatment journey doesn’t simply end the day you leave hospital or complete your appointment. We pride ourselves on patient aftercare and having contact details of someone at the hospital who your family can contact during your stay, or who you can speak with between appointments, is all part of the journey to recovery.
For more information about your treatment journey at Benenden Hospital, see our Guide for Patients.
Choosing a Consultant
While no one wants to go into hospital, it can be reassuring to have a Consultant or Surgeon you know and trust, either through previous experience, personal recommendation or one you’ve picked based on reviews from a hospital website or a healthcare review site such as Doctify.
Additionally, your GP or the hospital’s Private Patient team should be able to suggest a relevant specialist, based on your own circumstances.
It’s crucial in researching a Consultant that you ask about the experience of a Consultant, or group of Consultants, and get to know the number of procedures they perform in a year and their surgical outcomes. Ask too, about any risks that could affect the result of your treatment and what the repeat operation rates are for your required treatment.
What kind of facilities do private hospitals have?
Facilities at private hospitals can vary, so it’s important to compare everything the hospital has to offer from medical facilities to rooms or wards, the standard of catering and the comfort of clinic rooms.
You should also consider location. Is it close to where you live, does it have free parking for you and your visitors? If you are going to spend several days in hospital after your procedure, what are the surroundings like – for example, is it quiet, can you walk around the hospital grounds?
We’re proud of our ultra-modern facilities, including:
- Three modern operating theatres, two with laminar flow technology to reduce the risk of infection, ensuring that you feel as safe and relaxed as possible
- Over 30 spacious, well-equipped outpatient rooms so you’ll feel comfortable during your consultation
- An Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU), which is equipped with the highest quality equipment for gastrointestinal investigations, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy
- An ultra-modern diagnostic Imaging suite with advanced technology, producing high quality images which can be accessed in seconds
- Bright modern wards with 32 spacious, private bedrooms with an ensuite wet room, TV, radio and free Wi-Fi
- An on-site Pharmacy which dispenses medicines to inpatients and outpatients as well as providing expert advice about your medication
- An on-site Decontamination Services department which cleans, washes, and disinfects surgical instruments so you can be sure that the cleanliness of medical devices used during your procedure are of the highest standards
Our hospital is based in the heart of the beautiful Wealden countryside, so it’s the perfect place for your treatment. As well as free parking for you and your visitors, our Pavilion restaurant serves a range of healthy meals and boasts a 5-star hygiene rating. You can also relax in the peaceful Edna's Retreat, our calming sensory garden, designed to promote mindfulness, enhance the senses and aid recovery.
Contact us about private treatment at Benenden Hospital
If our guide has helped you make a decision around your own healthcare and you’d like to discuss treatment at our CQC rated Outstanding private hospital, contact our Private Patient team by Livechat or on 01580 363158 or complete our online enquiry form.
Published on 13 September 2022