Many patients even if they do not have health insurance may end up using some form of private care. Sometimes this is done for a quicker appointment, sometimes it is done for services not available on the NHS or for more extensive treatment that cannot be provided on the NHS (e.g., longer and more sessions of physiotherapy).
PRIVATE COMMUNITY SERVICES
The section on Private Community services includes pages on private physiotherapy and private podiatry (feet). You do not normally need a GP referral for such community services, but occasionally an insurance company may insist one is done.
PRIVATE THERAPIST (COUNSELLOR)
If you want to find a Non-NHS therapist, Mind have produced a very helpful guidance on options beyond the usual NHS options (How to find a therapist – Mind) which includes private therapists.
You do not normally need any GP referral to access private counselling (The one exception may be if an insurance company insists on this but this is now unusual as it delays your appointment).
MINOR SURGERY AND COSMETIC SURGERY
Some procedures are not normally covered on the NHS. There is more information on what conditions/ procedures may not be covered under the section Conditions which may not be funded on the NHS (Hospital). If funding (and thus NHS care) is likely to be rejected some patients will chose to go privately. There is more information on minor surgery and cosmetic surgery in the section links below.
PRINCIPLES AND SUPPORT WITH PRIVATE MEDICAL TREATMENT
Private care can be a complex world to navigate. Some of the questions commonly asked of GPs about private medical care (hospital based) are included in the section link below (see under “Private Care Principles”). This includes links to some local private services, though no personal recommendation is made.