If you're being treated in the NHS, there are many places where you can seek advice on treatment and the services provided in the NHS. The Patients' Association is a good example of an organisation that can assist you and that represents the views of NHS patients.
But when you're "going private", using your private medical insurance or paying for treatment in a private hospital, it's a little more difficult. The Private Patients' Forum (PPF) is a relatively new organisation that aims to represents the interests of the private patient. The PPF Council includes people with a special interest in private healthcare who are prepared to give their time on behalf of private patients. (PPF welcomes applications from individuals with direct experience as patients in the private healthcare sector to join the Council.)
The PPF can point you in the right direction for help in negotiating with any individual or organisation in private healthcare with whom you may have a dispute. The Private Patients’ Forum, itself, cannot negotiate on behalf of a patient in a dispute with a medical insurer, a medical practitioner or a healthcare provider such as a hospital or clinic
Ask a question in the Private Patients' Forum
A new discussion forum provides the opportunity for patients and consumers to discuss issues relating to private health insurance, private hospitals and private consultants and specialists. The discussion forum is run and managed by the Private Patients' Forum and is hosted within Private Healthcare UK. (Visit the private healthcare discussion forum).
Here are some examples of the kind of topics that have been raised:
- Is there a private healthcare ombudsman I can go to if my op goes badly?
- How do I choose a ENT Dr for my snoring?
- Where can I find the ACTUAL costs of private healthcare?
- Why won't my insurers cover Diabetes?
- What is ‘pre-existing condition’?
So if you're looking to raise an issue about your private health insurance, or want some pointers on how to access private healthcare, the Private Patients' Forum is the place to ask.