Private hospital availability

In recent weeks, private hospitals have been prioritising resources for COVID-19 patients and the vulnerable. Because of this, many diagnostic services and non-urgent operations have been unavailable. 

As the coronavirus emergency eases, some private healthcare facilities are now accepting private patients again.

There will be some regional differences, and you may have to travel further than normal.

We’re working closely with private hospitals to find out where, when and which treatments are available.

If you have a health concern and you’ve put off diagnosis or treatment, please don’t delay any longer. Contact us today so we can help you get your health back on track.  

Get your health back on track

Have you already had treatment approved?
  • If your consultation or treatment was cancelled, or you weren't able to book anything before the coronavirus outbreak, contact your specialist or private facility to find out when your treatment can be rescheduled. We won't need to pre-authorise this treatment again.
  • If your specialist or hospital is not yet available, use our Clinical Support Centre. We can arrange remote video or phone appointments with healthcare professionals. They’ll help you manage your health until you are able to reschedule your appointment.

Do you think you may need treatment?
  • Speak to your GP about your concern and, if they suggest you see a specialist, ask for an ‘open referral’. Don’t forget you can use your Doctor@Hand service.
  • Call us. We’ll check your cover and authorise eligible treatment.
  • If we can’t arrange for you to see someone face to face, we’ll arrange a remote video or phone appointment with a suitable specialist through our Clinical Support Centre.
  • Because your private treatment has been authorised, you can have it as soon as it becomes available, as long as you’re still a member and maintain your cover.

Preparing for your hospital visit

You may need to be tested for the coronavirus when you go into hospital, depending on the type of treatment you’re having and where you are being treated. The private facility you’re going to will be able to tell you how it will be administered and what to do when you receive the results. 

If the private facility decides that you need to be tested for the coronavirus before they can treat you, we’ll pay for your tests.

If you or anyone you live with displays symptoms of the coronavirus, you should let the hospital know and visit NHS 111 online for information and guidance.

Once you’re in hospital

The private facility should explain what you should do to keep safe while you’re there. Normal pandemic precautions will apply:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

Worried about your hospital visit?

Don’t be. Private facilities routinely admit a smaller number of patients so it’s easier to maintain excellent standards of infection control. 

Each facility we work with in our network also has extra measures in place to combat the coronavirus, in accordance with clinical governance and best practice issued by Public Health England and Government Medical Advisers.  

These safety measures may include:

  • a period of self-isolation before you can be admitted for certain procedures
  • testing patients before planned procedures to ensure they are not carrying the coronavirus
  • following national and international best practice on adjusted operating-theatre and anaesthetic protocols

For more reassurance

take a look at our ‘Answering your questions’ section. Or give us a call.