Health Professionals

Health professionals

Information for healthcare professionals

Supporting the NHS in the fight against coronavirus

Benenden Hospital is proud to support the NHS in the fight against coronavirus. Building on its existing strong relationship with the NHS, all of Benenden Hospital’s highly experienced staff and modern new facilities are being made available to provide the additional resources needed by the NHS.

A formal partnership between NHS England and the Independent Healthcare Providers Network enables Benenden Hospital to provide much needed additional capacity for patients needing care that would normally take place in local NHS Hospitals.

Hospital Director and Chief Nurse Jane Abbott said: “With a strong history of providing quality healthcare for over 110 years, we feel immensely proud that we can provide care and support to patients during a national health crisis.”

To assist you during this very complex and fluid time, we will be providing regular updates via this page. We’ve put together some FAQ to assist you but if these do not answer your query, please email gppractice@benenden.org.uk

Referring patients to Benenden Hospital during COVID-19 crisis

Where can my patients find updates on how COVID-19 is affecting their appointments at Benenden Hospital?

If a patient already has an appointment booked, they are being contacted with updates. Alternatively, information on can be found on our website.

Can I still refer patients to Benenden Hospital, whether self-pay, PMI, Benenden Health Member or NHS?

Yes. Our referral processes for all patients are unchanged - please see below. When your referral information is received, or in the case of Members when approval is received from Benenden Health, we will contact patients to advise when consultations and treatments would be available.

Is a GP referral letter still required for Benenden Health Members if they wish to access consultations and treatments using their Benenden Health Membership?

Yes.  Benenden Health do still require Members to have had a discussion with their GP before they contact Member Services. A face to face assessment may not be necessary.

Can I email my referral letter to Member Services on behalf of the Member?

If your local CCG and Practice protocol allows it, yes you can email your referral letter to memberservices@benenden.co.uk. Benenden Health does not have a nhs.net email account.

Where can Members find out how COVID-19 is affecting their access to consultations and treatments using their Benenden Health Membership?

Detailed information is available on the Benenden Health website https://www.benenden.co.uk/

How do I refer patients for treatment?

Private patients (self-pay and PMI)

Contact our Private Patient team by:

- emailing patients@benenden.org.uk or bhosp.privatepatients@nhs.net
- calling 01580 242521 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays)
- post at Benenden Hospital Trust, Goddard’s Green Road, Benenden, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 4AX

Benenden Health members

A GP referral letter is required for all Members wishing to access treatment using their Benenden Health membership. Please include an indication of the NHS wait times in the letter. A separate NHS referral is not required.

For Ophthalmic services, including cataract surgery, an Optician's report is required in addition to the GP referral letter.

Please note: It is the Member's responsibility to forward the GP referral letter to Member Services. They must also speak to Member Services on 0800 414 8100 to obtain authorisation of treatment and confirmation of how to forward the referral letter to them. Benenden Health is unable to accept an emailed referral from a NHS GP practice.

NHS patients

Please use your local NHS triage arrangements and mention that your patient has requested Benenden as their preferred hospital.

I have a question about referring my patients

Does my patient have to be a Benenden Health member to have treatment at Benenden Hospital?

No - we’re open to everyone.

My patient has private medical insurance. Do they need authorisation?

Yes – they’ll need to gain an authorisation code from their insurance provider. However they can be booked in, providing the code is available at the time of their first appointment

Is there a minimum age for patients at Benenden Hospital?

We don’t offer treatment (including diagnostic imaging) to anyone under the age of 18. Benenden Health members will be advised by Member Services on local hospitals offering paediatric services.

I want to refer a Benenden Health member for treatment. Do I need to create a separate NHS pathway?

A separate NHS pathway is not necessary. However, a GP referral letter is required, which should include an indication of the NHS wait times. It is the member’s responsibility to forward your letter to Member Services.

How do I refer Benenden Health members for diagnostic imaging?

Member Services will send the referral form to your patient, who should pass it to you for completion. This is the only form which will be accepted by Member Services.

Who should my patient speak to if they wish to access treatment using their Benenden Health Membership?

They should call Member Services on 0800 414 8100 as soon as possible after their appointment with you to avoid a delay in treatment.

Once they’ve been referred, how can my patient contact Benenden Hospital with an appointment query?
  • Private self-pay or PMI patients - Private Patient team on 01580 242521
  • Benenden Health members – Patient Appointments on 01580 240333
  • NHS Patients – Patient Appointments on 01580 240333 (only if their treatment has been authorised by your local NHS triage team)
What happens if my patient’s treatment isn’t covered by their Benenden Health membership?

They may be able to have the treatment at Benenden Hospital as a private patient. Benenden members benefit from discounts on our private self-pay prices. Call our Private Patient team on 01580 242521 for details.

Will my NHS patient be charged for being treated at Benenden Hospital?

No, but it’s important that you follow your local NHS triage referral procedures.

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