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NHS Myths


From time to time we do hear feedback about the myths surrounding referral of NHS patients, so we would like take this opportunity to correct some of the current misunderstandings and help you get to know Rivers Hospital better.

Did you know...You don’t always need private funding to receive care at Rivers Hospital

…..There is a standard tariff for NHS treatment, at any qualified provider

All private providers are paid the same as NHS providers under the agreed national tariff for inpatient and outpatient procedures. It does not cost any more for an NHS patient to have outpatient treatments or diagnostic scans at Rivers Hospital. There is no additional cost to your GP, your surgery, your local Trust hospital, or the NHS.

……You do not have to pay for NHS treatment within a private hospital 

Some NHS patients avoid choosing Rivers Hospital because they are worried that there may be additional charges. There are NO hidden fees or charges for patients who choose to have their NHS treatment at Rivers Hospital.

……You have a choice of provider when you are referred for elective surgery  

Your GP or referral centre should offer you a choice of hospital providers for your treatment.  For the majority of patients and for most conditions, you can choose where you go to see a consultant and for surgery. There are a few exceptions to this, and this is your legal right within the NHS constitution.  Ask your GP when you see him/her.

….Your choice is also checked by your referrer, the consultant and the hospital

Your referrer will offer you a choice of qualified, approved NHS providers for your initial consultation, and you may choose Rivers. The Consultant you see will double check the procedure can be carried out at Rivers Hospital. We are committed to patient safety so all patients have a pre-operative assessment by a member of our nursing team and a consultant anaesthetist, if necessary.

Following this, if you are deemed fit for surgery, an admission date will be confirmed. Only a very small percentage of patients need to be re-referred to another hospital for specific clinical reasons, and you should not have to go back to your GP if this is necessary.

……..Pre-referral criteria should apply to all providers

Local health service commissioners such as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) may apply pre-referral criteria, such as a requirement to lose weight, attend smoking cessation clinics, or other clinical prioritisation policies. Such measures would apply across the health service and do not reflect Rivers hospital being intentionally choosy or fussy. We are obliged to follow elective referral guidelines for NHS care (such restrictions may not apply for private choice).

…….We do not cherry-pick referrals  

All patients who consultants deem appropriate for care at Rivers Hospital are treated.

It is true that there are some restrictions on the procedures that can be undertaken within Rivers Hospital, but this is usually based on our contract with the NHS, for example we are unable to treat children as NHS patients, but do provide the service privately.

The NHS Tariff system is based on complexity so that hospitals providing more complex care are not financially disadvantaged.

…..You can seek an earlier appointment by asking your GP to refer you via the NHS eRS (Choose & Book) system

By reviewing a choice of providers, rather than purely the local NHS Trust you may see that you can obtain treatment more quickly.  The standard for NHS referral to treatment is 18weeks, but you may be able to secure an earlier appointment as an NHS patient at Rivers. (Please note that private patient appointment slots are available even sooner if you are an eligible member of a private medical insurance scheme, or choose to fund your own care).

…….Other reasons to choose Rivers Hospital

  • Rivers Hospital is proud to provide consultant led care throughout your NHS pathway
  • High quality clinical and professional services with proven outcomes
  • Excellent levels of cleanliness, effective infection control measures
  • Caring, friendly staff who respect patient needs
  • We offer free on site car parking for you and your visitors.



Spread the cost of your treatment

  • Fixed monthly payments over a term that enables you to budget
  • Loan money paid directly to Ramsay Health Care
  • A loan designed to put more expensive health procedures within easier reach
  • Simple Online application
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  • Your choice of consultant
  • No cancellations
  • Appointments to suit you
  • 0% finance available
  • No waiting lists
  • Fixed price packages
  • Unlimited aftercare
  • Price Match

Terms and conditions apply

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