Much has been made of the fact that NHS England have contracted with private hospitals in a bid to address the ever growing waiting lists for NHS elective treatments.
However, if you are one of the many millions waiting for an operation and hope that you might be seen more quickly, then you could be disappointed.
Patients are reporting that although once referred by their GP they are provided with a large list of private hospitals to choose from, but getting an appointment to see a specialist is still far from easy.
London - private treatment restored
Frequently they are being told that an initial appointment cannot be fixed yet, and that they are not likely to hear anything, "this side of Christmas". In other words, it could be three or four months until you will hear back from your chosen hospital and before an appointment (let alone an operation), can be organised with the relevant consultant. However, it is now possible to get most treatments privately in London.
Reaching out to private patients
The Independent Healthcare Providers Network point out the difference between London and the rest of the country. They say that, "The majority of central London providers are no longer under contract to the NHS", and that private practice activity levels are rapidly returning to normal".