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How to choose a private doctor

Guide to going private - choose doctor

It is important to know what qualifications and accreditations dentists, doctors and surgeons should have in order to be practising in the UK, then to check that the professionals you will be seeing have these in place.  All practising doctors, whether NHS doctors or private doctors, will be listed on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) register, cosmetic surgeons will be members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) or The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and cosmetic dentists will be listed on the General Dental Council’s (GDC) register and may be members of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD). 


Before meeting the consultant prepare a list of questions, and make sure you get time to ask them.  View our  list of questions to ask your consultant. Afterwards, reflect on whether your individual circumstances and needs were taken into account and whether you were happy with the answers given.  For example, was sufficient information provided about alternative treatment options, possible risks, or side effects?  Equally, did you feel comfortable with the consultant?  If not, ask the hospital or your GP to refer you to somebody else.  Admittedly any subsequent consultations will need to be paid for, but you should weigh this up with the price of being satisfied and receiving the care you deserve, by someone you trust.


Some suggested questions to ask the private doctors/surgeons include (See full list):

  • What time will your operation take place; will it be after the consultant has worked a full day in the NHS?  (This could affect your decision);

  • Where else does the surgeon operate? 

  • What is their experience of this type of procedure?

  • How many operations/procedures of this type do they carry out each year?

  • What is their success rate for the operation?

  • Have the surgeon and anaesthetist worked together before?  This is critical as they build up a relationship and can better monitor the patient’s needs;

  • What type of anaesthetic will be used?   Are there any risks with this type of anesthesia?

  • Will the anaesthetist perform a pre operative evaluation?  And a post operative evaluation?

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