Consultant referrals

What should you look for in a consultant? It’s hard to question someone’s expertise and experience - but the right knowledge could make all the difference to your care.

Choosing your consultant

If your GP has decided to refer you, your priority is then to find the right consultant. In some cases, this means identifying the right surgeon. Dr Foster can help you choose the best consultant for your condition or surgical treatment. Most consultants who work in private practice also have an NHS position.

You can check your doctor’s qualifications and professional status at the General Medical Council website www.gmc-uk.org/register

Remember to ask your GP:

  • How can I decide who will treat me?
  • What information can you give me to support my choice?
  • How do we choose together the best hospital for the initial consultation?

Remember to ask your consultant Who, What, Why, When, How?

  • Why do I need this surgery?
  • What (if any) are the alternatives to surgery?
  • Which hospital is the best for my condition and personal circumstances? Should I look further afield?
  • How many times a week or a month does the surgeon undertake this particular procedure and When did s/he do the last one?
  • What (if any) are the risks/downsides to surgery or treatment?
  • How can I discover what are the success rates of the procedure/treatment?
  • Who will make up the surgical team? Does the anaesthetist work regularly with the surgeon who will undertake my procedure?
  • Will the surgeon share treatment outcome data with your GP?

Other sites can help you with your consultant choice: BMI Healthcare   Spire Hospitals   Ramsay Health Care   HCA Hospitals   Nuffield Hospitals

patientopinion.org.uk - where you can see a hospital from a patient’s point of view. Read personal stories and experiences at various NHS hospitals and take a look at how patients have rated their care.