Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands - (Page 33)
WORDS: Charlotte Maugham | PHOTOGRAPH: Getty Images
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR CONSULTANT
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
Have a list of
for when you meet
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…
consultant is a senior
doctor with specialist
knowledge in a particular
field. The time it takes
a doctor to become a
consultant varies according
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.
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,
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.
● If you are undergoing a surgical procedure,
find out her success rate.
● Also check the number of complications that
she has experienced with this treatment.
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. n
Dr Hilary Jones’ Healthcare guide – West Midlands 033
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands
A HEALTHY HELLO FROM DR HILARY
NEWS AND VIEWS
THE BIG INTERVIEW
A WEIGHTY ISSUE
FITNESS FOR FREE
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
DR HILARY'S WELCOME
MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION
CHOOSING THE BEST
EARS, NOSE AND THROAT
OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY
Dr Hilary Jones' Healthcare Guide - West Midlands