Ultimately, you want to choose a hospital, clinic or surgeon
that you trust and feel comfortable with; if the people you are dealing with
seem unsympathetic or impatient then go elsewhere. Some of the points that you should check
include ensuring that the hospital will follow an external complaints
procedures code (to include external adjudication) and checking that your
chosen hospital has been accredited by an external organisation for the quality
of its services and procedures.
Ask what quality accreditations the
hospital has, (such as ISO 9001, Care Quality Commission (CQC), or CHKS. The Care Quality Commission publishes the results of
inspections of both NHS and private hospitals on the web.
Patients with private health insurance will need to check
that the hospital they are interested in is approved by their private health
insurance company. If you are self
paying then you will need to check that the hospital offers fixed price surgery
packages; all the large hospital groups do and also many independent hospitals
and NHS Private Patient Units. If you're
not on a fixed package, compare the daily room charge at each hospital, the
accommodation and service, as well as the consultant’s fees and the cost of the
surgery. All independent hospitals offer
single rooms, usually with en-suite bathroom or shower, TV and radio but find
out whether you would be expected to share a room with another patient.
If the treatment is
for your child find out whether they have rooms for the parent to stay with the
child. Most hospitals do have facilities
for parents to stay overnight with children and offer visitor meals (which need
to be paid for).
Some of the most important questions to ask the hospital
include checking their length of stay policy. What happens if something goes
wrong and further treatment or another operation is needed? Who would pay the
additional fees and additional hospital costs?
You won’t want to deal with these issues after your operation, so be
perfectly natural to have some anxiety before a major operation or procedure
but if you are happy with the answers given, if you have thoroughly checked the
paperwork, feel comfortable about having the procedure done in your chosen
hospital, know what is involved in the cost and feel confident about the
surgeon’s abilities then you have probably found the right solution, but if you
have any doubts at all at this stage, voice them with the relevant people, or
make some enquiries with another healthcare provider.