Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex - (Page 29)
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CONSULTANT
consultant is a senior doctor with specialist knowledge in a particular ﬁeld. The time it takes a doctor to become a consultant varies according to her chosen specialty but it generally involves around nine years of NHS training. Medical consultants carry out treatment using medicine and therapy (and they retain the title Dr), whereas surgical consultants perform operations (and take the title Mr, Miss or Mrs). All practising doctors – NHS and private – are listed on the General Medical Council’s (GMC) register, and consultants will also be on its specialist register in their chosen specialty. According to NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) you are entitled to ask for a referral from your general practitioner (GP) for specialist treatment on the NHS. Under the Choose and Book scheme, you can choose the hospital, or clinic, where you wish to receive treatment, as long as your GP feels that you need it. You will only be seen by a consultant if you have a
Enlisting a specialist is a big decision – one that can mean a smooth, expert solution to your medical problem, so be sure to do your homework…
letter of referral from your own GP The letter . will give her essential background information, such as your medical and family history. If you wish to see a consultant as a private patient, you are still advised to get a letter of referral from your doctor. However, if you do choose to see a private consultant without a GP referral letter, your GP is then not obliged to accept the specialist’s recommendations.
Taking the time to check out your prospective consultant’s credentials is a must. It’s wise to make your choice on the basis that she is a member of a dependable, recognised organisation, and on the recommendation of your GP other doctors or from friends. ,
the clinic or hospital where your treatment will take place, and the actual medication or surgical procedure you'll be having, too. Make sure you ﬁnd out: ● Her medical background and experience in the procedure you are considering or the condition you need treated. ● How many cases of this type your consultant has treated to date. ● Her success rate, if you are undergoing a surgical procedure. ● The number of complications that she has experienced with this treatment.
GOING UNDER THE KNIFE?
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK
When selecting a consultant, make a list of key information you’d like to ﬁnd out during your initial meeting, to ensure that she meets the highest standards. It is important for you to be fully informed about the particular doctor you’re considering,
Have a list of questions ready for when you meet your consultant
WORDS: Charlotte Maugham|PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images
It’s important to ﬁnd out about the facilities that are provided by the hospital where you may be having your treatment. Make sure you know where the operation is being carried out, how often your consultant has operated there, and what back-up medical facilities are available should something go wrong. With the right research, you should hopefully leave hospital with the outcome you expected.
Dr Hilary Jones’ Healthcare guide – Essex, Kent and Sussex 029
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex
A healthy hello from Dr Hilary
NEWS and views
the big interview
A weighty issue
fitness for free
DR HILARY ’S WELCOME
Make the right decision
choosing the best
Ear, nose and throat
obstetrics and gynaecology
Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - Essex, Kent & Sussex