10 reasons why you should go private

10 reasons why you should go private

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West Kent boasts some of the finest private hospitals in the country. They offer you the peace of mind that comes with a bespoke service which will cater for your every need – whatever you wish, whenever you want


Citizens Advice says many people choose to go private in order to avoid the waiting lists at the NHS, where delays are highly likely because of the sheer volume of service it has to provide. It is far quicker to make appointments and see specialist clinicians in the independent sector.

According to Bupa Insurance, 65 per cent of people take out medical insurance in order to ensure access to cleaner hospitals and avoid the risk of contracting infections such as MRSA – the risk of which can be a more daunting prospect than the treatment itself. Patients mostly have private rooms with ensuite bathrooms so the risk of infection from other patients is substantially reduced. Lower bed occupancy and less pressure on nursing staff are also helpful in this regard.

Individual rooms with ensuite facilities give the impression of a hotel-style service offering a similar level of privacy.
And the quality of the food is much better – often with a menu service available. In addition, suites are often available for family members to help with dressing or toilet issues.

Technology is generally more up to date than in NHS hospitals, which do not have access to the same budgets. Private patients can expect state-of-the-art hospitals with modern facilities and leading consultants.

Parking at independent hospitals is often free of charge, which can make a sizeable difference in terms of visitors’ budgets. There are also likely to be more places, cutting down on waiting for a space, and closer access to the hospital buildings.

Citizens Advice says private patients can choose their own consultant. This allows a relationship to develop with greater confidence to share worries or concerns.

Often treatment is not easily available on the NHS for conditions such as varicose veins and cataracts. Access to treatment is now stricter so that the condition has to reach an advanced stage before public funding will be provided. However, many people want to get the problem resolved before it worsens.

If you do not feel comfortable with your consultant, you can choose to change in the private sector. Most private hospital websites have information on the consultants as well as listings of ‘self-pay’ prices.

Access to non-essential services are less likely to be permitted under the NHS, especially those which might be deemed cosmetic. Private hospitals provide many such treatments, for example removing moles or skin tags, as well as a range of cosmetic treatments not available on the NHS.

Patients can take advantage of a health MOT, or screening, which is not automatically available on the NHS. You can also opt for a mini-MOT, for example a heart health check.

Horder Healthcare
Richard Bentley, Acting Chief Executive and Operations Director

Richard Bentley Horder Healthcare

What are the benefits of going privately with Horder Healthcare?
Horder Healthcare provides specialist orthopaedic treatment and care from our hospital in Crowborough, The Horder Centre. The McIndoe Centre in East Grinstead specialises in cosmetic, plastic and re-constructive surgery as well as ophthalmology. We are very excited to be introducing orthopaedic surgery to our East Grinstead site. At The McIndoe Centre we are proud to offer our patients the largest number of expert plastic surgeons within a single hospital in the UK, covering all areas and specialisms. By going privately either by using insurance or self-funding for treatment, patients not only receive specialist care but are seen in a timely way with appointments to suit them.

What treatments and services do you offer/specialise in?
We have a number of Horder Healthcare sites including Crowborough, Seaford, Tunbridge Wells and Eastbourne. We offer both NHS and private services. Our Tunbridge Wells clinic and cosmetic services are private only. Specifically across our Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells site we offer services such as acupuncture for MSK, elective orthopaedic surgery, hand therapy, MRI, neurology, osteopathy, physiotherapy, rheumatology, ultrasound, x-ray, health and fitness, plus many more. The McIndoe Centre, in East Grinstead, has a rich history which has established the hospital as a centre of excellence in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. Just some of the services offered at McIndoe include tattoo removal, face lift, hair transplant, hand surgery and treatment, breast surgery, skin lesions, orthopaedics, lymphoedema surgery and reconstructive surgery.

What does the future hold for Horder Healthcare (new treatments, services, technology etc.)?
Horder Healthcare is currently carrying out an £8 million refurbishment programme of The McIndoe Centre.
The recently opened state-of-the-art theatre is one of the first steps in an ambitious project which includes three new theatres, a six bed recovery area, as well as diagnostic and ophthalmology suites. A brand new x-ray suite has already been installed and other plans include upgrading parts of the centre’s infrastructure and treatment rooms, refurbishing all ward bedrooms and providing a new outpatient area.

The new theatre means orthopaedic surgery, such as knee and hip replacements will now be introduced at The McIndoe Centre, in addition to the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery for which it is renowned.

HCA Healthcare UK – Sevenoaks Medical Centre
Mikaela Saunders, Centre Manager

Mikaela Saunders Centre Manager

What are the benefits of going privately with Sevenoaks Medical Centre?
Sevenoaks Medical Centre is a unique private medical facility. Developed and supported by HCA Healthcare UK and part of London Bridge Hospital, one of the largest private hospitals in the country. It is dedicated to providing an unparalleled level of convenient, high-quality treatment and care for patients in Sevenoaks and the surrounding community. The medical centre provides access to our world-leading consultants, advanced technology and the same high standard of care synonymous with London Bridge Hospital.

Our expert team, state-of-the-art consulting and treatment rooms and access to on-site diagnostic imaging, ensure the centre can provide a rapid service. Appointments can be offered on a same or next-day basis for a comprehensive range of specialities.

We accept both insured and self-paying patients, and are recognised by the major UK health insurance companies and policies. Referrals are accepted from GPs, consultants and healthcare professionals.

What treatments and services do you offer/specialise in?
At Sevenoaks Medical Centre we are proud to provide world-leading expertise across key specialties. With healthcare ranging from treating ear infections to foot conditions, each speciality includes the best facilities, exceptional consultants and advanced diagnosis and treatment procedures to help patients from a wide range of backgrounds. Our specialties include: Orthopaedics, Neurology, Cardiology, Ear, Nose and Throat, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Colorectal, Dermatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Endocrinology, Neurosurgery and Women’s Health and Gynaecology.

Technology is a key part of healthcare and top technology is needed to provide top healthcare. Whether for a patient examination, diagnosis or treatment, Sevenoaks Medical Centre uses the most advanced software and equipment in the medical field.

At Sevenoaks Medical Centre we also offer a Dietetic and Nutrition Service, which evaluates a patient’s dietary and nutritional needs to assist them in recovering, improving their wellbeing and helping them manage their symptoms.

What does the future hold for Sevenoaks Medical Centre?
At Sevenoaks Medical Centre we are lucky to be a part of the London Bridge Hospital and the wider HCA Healthcare UK Group. This means we are consistently at the forefront of medical technology, new services and treatments.

Sevenoaks Medical Centre is proud to be expanding our ‘one stop’ services in a number of specialties which means patients have rapid access to consultation and diagnosis all within the Centre.

If you would like more information about our services, or to book an appointment please contact us on 01732 622 183 or www.sevenoaksmedicalcentre.com

Benenden Hospital
Paul Apps, Business Development Manager

Paul Apps Benenden Hospital

What are the benefits of going privately with Benenden Hospital?
Coming to Benenden as a private patient you can be confident that you will be cared for in an ultra-clean, modern facility where infection control is rigorously maintained. You will be treated by experienced consultants in a safe, secure, well-equipped environment.

We are set in a beautiful location in the heart of rural Kent, accessible by road or rail. Our location, staff and professional standards combine to make Benenden the hospital with space and time to care – something patients and the local GPs, who refer to Benenden, recognise and value.

A range of clinical services are delivered in a way that is tailored to meet individual needs during your time at Benenden Hospital. Staff are caring, considerate and dedicated to doing all they can to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Everyone at Benenden is fully committed to excellence in healthcare and we have a continuous programme of improvement to maintain our extremely high standards.

Being in hospital can be unsettling and having companions nearby can help reduce anxiety and enhance well-being. We are unique in having an on-site hotel, Peek Lodge, offering comfortable and affordable accommodation for your friends and relatives while you are in hospital.

What treatments and services do you offer/specialise in?
Benenden offers a wide range of treatments across a range of medical and surgical specialities including general surgery, orthopaedics, including hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery, gastroenterology, gynaecology, urology, ENT surgery, dermatology and cardiology.

A particular area of specialisation is the minimally invasive treatment of varicose veins by endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). EVLT can be done under local anaesthetic with no surgical incisions. No overnight stay is required. The post-operative discomfort and bruising is less and patients return to work faster than after traditional surgery. Statistics show that there is less chance of the varicose veins recurring if EVLT is used, rather than conventional ‘high tie and strip’ surgery.

Benenden have recently introduced a weight loss surgery service (bariatric surgery). The procedure, is designed to reduce health risks such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease in patients who are dangerously obese and have failed to lose weight by other methods.

Benenden Hospital offers both laparoscopic gastric banding and sleeve gastrectomy, in its newly built weight loss surgery unit. A comprehensive medical and surgical service is offered for patients who wish to reduce the health risks of being overweight.

What does the future hold for Benenden Hospital
Benenden is nearing completion of a multi-million pound redevelopment project. Phase One of this opened in May 2016 and provided three new state-of-the-art operating theatres, two of which are equipped with laminar flow technology and a modern ambulatory care unit.

Phase Two, scheduled for completion next year, will see a whole new outpatient facility, a major upgrade of the existing imaging department, including a brand new 128 slice CT scanner, a 1.5T MRI scanner, a new ophthalmic unit and enhanced restaurant facilities.

The new scanners will allow Benenden to offer a rapid diagnostic service. Most medical specialities are increasingly dependent on high quality cross-sectional imaging and their introduction at Benenden prove easy access for patients in the Tenterden, Headcorn and Cranbrook areas.

Moving forward Benenden is looking to introduce a limited range of cosmetic surgery services. This will complement our existing bariatric and dermatology services. Consideration is also being given to the introduction of refractive lens exchange surgery (RLE) for those patient who currently wear glasses but would prefer not to.


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