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  • Waiting for NHS referral or paying for private?

    Any one been referred by there gp to an NHS opthalmologist. But thought they couldn't wait that long and paid to see the consultant privately? Did you then manage to get follow ups on the NHS? I can afford the one off fee of about 200. If follow ups were on the NHS.

  • #2
    Hi.i have seen a private ophthalmologist one-off but have yet to discuss about follow up treatment. He said to see him in about 3 months but privately.

    i reckon you should ask the private ophthalmologist when you book your initial appointment if the follow up appointment can be on the NHS. I think it depends on the ophthalmologists and the hospital they are bases at

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    • #3
      Thanks I asked my gp and he said possibly. I would just like to be seen initially abit sooner. It would be the reception at the clinic I would be asking I guess they won't want me getting follow ups on the NHS and to carry on using them.

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      • #4
        I enquired somewhere and I think tests schrimers and tear break up time are payable on top of the consultantion on fee. At 66 possibly that per eye. They are going to check. Anyone else find that when going private?

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        • #5
          i did not find my ophthalmologist on the NHS had time to really test me and give me the info i needed, he wanted to but was on a 10 min appointment and he was so rushed. I did get my TBUT and a sheet that listed some things to try (many i knew already, like fish oils ect) but it wasn't very helpful. Might of been the waiting times at ours, but i waited 14 weeks to see them also.
          Once i went privately and was given the option to have lower plugs and lipiflow ect and a bit more time which was helpful for answering questions. they didnt do a schrimmers test on me though, they didnt think it was needed. I really wanted one done though to see what was going on.
          it was hard to find someone who could do it, but after alot of phone calls i found someone who did, a second private ophthalmologist whom i had to travel about 4 hours to see. she tested everything and had many machines and id never scene, it was quite a flash place and she told me footballers came there.. it cost alot! and i thought paying more much mean i was getting more. alas not so, the appointment was not helpful , i learnt little i knew already. i look back and consider it to of been damaging as the ophthalmologist was very negative and dismissed me as not being as in much pain as i told her i was, she started showing me photos of her other clients in there personal folders! these ones had some issues as there eyes where very puffy or infected, she said this was what a bad case was and mine wasn't.! im just angry someone would talk to me like that but back then (this was a few years ago) i could not reply, i could only cry and leave her office, i remember thinking of stepping into the traffic for a second as i walked out of the car park, just an brief impulse but that is how traumatized i was by her words. i have no idea what she was thinking telling me that, when i was clearly coming to her for help, no one should ever tell us how much pain we are in, alas it goes on so much with so many other illness too. i look back and think she couldn't of had any idea what dry eye felt like and why she worked at a clinic that advertised to help those with dry eye and charged so much i dont know, so not everyone privately is better alas, so shop around a bit before you spend to much.
          Last edited by waterbee; 29-Dec-2017, 19:36.
          People have recovered, so can we.
          www.twitter.com/EyeGirlfriend)

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          • #6
            Thanks for the replys. I went to see an ophthalmologist privately who seemed good. I guess I could possibly move over to see him on the nhs. But on the nhs do you not always see the consultant? A big plus point of private is evening appointments so don't need to take time off work.

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            • #7
              Do you not always see the consultant on the NHS?

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              • #8
                Always good to have NHS Ophthalmology advice and monitoring on commercial treatment. Also good to have a cornea specialist Consultant diagnosis letter for action, which can be put in the NHS Medical Record, as soon as possible (Self-Pay achieves this fast).

                In NHS, we are referred to a Consultant and get treated by them and their team. The team use the 'firm's' treatment protocols and call senior staff in when needed. We can ask to see the Consultant too, especially with further questions. Personally I like advice from the NHS team non-consultant specialists too, especially Medical Ophthalmologists and experienced hospital Optometrists.

                With inflammation and cornea damage, I use NHS when it gets serious because of expertise, best-available equipment, monitoring, and referral options. That doesn't mean we can't book a Self-Pay consultation as well any time we need it. Basically we're buying Consultant time for advice and discussion.

                NHS clinics don't have the 'dry eye' Optometrist treatments we've read about and sometimes want to try. Good to have a high-street Optometrist (they can monitor, and refer into NHS Ophthalmology as needed).

                GP budget supplies meds in the local NHS Drug Formulary when we are in NHS treatment. An NHS Ophthalmologist can prescribe and apply for Ophthalmic Specials.

                Has anyone managed to get Ophthalmic Specials more easily from Private Practice?

                Unlike other parts of the anatomy, the Eye Service is a confusing mix of NHS, Self-Pay, and NHS/Co-Pay (eg high street Optometrist vision and triage service, some surgery options).
                Last edited by littlemermaid; 24-Jan-2018, 14:55.
                Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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                • #9
                  Thanks at the moment I am seeing an NHS consultant cornea specialist but private. I could get transferred to his NHS clinic but not sure which will be best I can afford private at the moment. A bit torn between what to do. Do you usually see the consultants registers on the nhs then?

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                  • #10
                    Yes, fine with the Registrar and pre-Consultant Ophthalmologists, in the regional hospital cornea clinic. Once we had a solid diagnosis and treatment protocol from a cornea specialist Consultant.

                    The doc who wants the Consultant's job is the most up-to-date on the medical science, lol, and the younger ones are more chatty.

                    This is our long-term strategy though. If I think things are slipping, I book a Private consultation. Then the protocol we decide there is continued NHS.

                    Some eye flareups, I booked a same-day Private evening appointment to avoid seeing random staff as Eye Emergency.
                    Last edited by littlemermaid; 24-Jan-2018, 14:42.
                    Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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                    • #11
                      Ah I am with you. You book a private consultation with the same consultant whose care you are under on the NHS?

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                      • #12
                        I just want the best care at the moment whether that's private with the consultant or nhs I am unsure.

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                        • #13
                          maybe abit of both like you say

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                          • #14
                            Schirmer tear test strips cost 50 pairs for 17.50 + vat (Haag-Streit UK), and tear break-up time means counting how long it takes the yellow Fluorescein dye to disperse (which they do anyway as standard). Good to have the data in the Consultant letter though.
                            Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere

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                            • #15
                              What do you mean by opthalmic specials?

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