- Frequently asked questions
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Frequently asked questions 


How long will my appointment last?


St Joseph’s standard Private GP consultations are 20 minute appointments, which is appropriate for most presenting circumstances.  Extended 40 minute appointments are available at your request, or on the advice of the treating practitioner, however, additional consultation fees will apply.


What happens if my appointment takes longer than planned?


We always endeavour to provide as much flexibility as possible and will do all we can to accommodate any extended appointments, should you require more time on the day, however, additional consultation fees may apply.


What happens if my doctor recommends additional tests?


Your doctor may feel that further tests, for example blood tests or x-rays, are warranted to confirm any diagnosis.  Please be aware that you will be required to pay for any additional tests.


Will my appointment, or any additional tests, be covered by my medical insurance policy?


Whether your consultation or tests are covered by your insurance policy depends upon the terms & conditions of your policy.  Most UK private medical policies exclude primary care from the range of benefits that are covered, however there are some exceptions, particularly if you are covered by an international medical policy.  Please contact your insurer to clarify the extent of your benefits.

We are unable to accept direct settlement from any insurer, which means the full cost of any consultations or treatments must be settled on the day of attendance and re-claimed from your insurer.

Most insurers will only refund the cost of blood tests, MRIs or other diagnostic steps if they are requested by a specialist consultant in association with a pre-authorised claim.  Please contact your insurer if you are unsure of the terms or benefits provided by your policy.

Any additional tests that your doctor may feel are necessary may also be available through the NHS.


Can I arrange a referral to a specialist consultant through St Joseph’s GP Service?


Yes.  In consultation with your doctor, you can be referred to a specialist consultant of your choice to assist in managing your care.  If you are covered by a private medical insurance policy, St Joseph’s encourage you to ensure you seek appropriate pre-authorisation from your insurer at the earliest opportunity.


My insurer says they do not cover the consultant recommended to me?


Depending upon the terms of your insurance policy, some insurers may suggest an alternative consultant to assist in managing your care.


Should an insurer disagree with our suggestions, you may have recourse to escalate the request within the insurer's customer services team.  We strongly counsel you to request any alternative guidance from your insurer in writing, including evidence as to why they feel their suggested consultant is more appropriately suited to your circumstances.

When arranging your care we are influenced by only one factor: selecting the very best service available.


Can I be referred to the NHS, rather than a private consultant?


Regretfully, the NHS does not currently allow private health practitioners to refer into NHS facilities or treatments, with the exception of emergency services and some sexual health or family planning services.


Do I need to be registered to use St Joseph’s GP Services?


You don’t have to register to use our GP services, although to comply with our regulatory requirements, we are required to retain a confidential record of your visit.



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