FAQs

  1. What is Patient Choice?
  2. What are the benefits of Patient Choice?
  3. How can patients be referred to OHG through Choose and Book?
  4. Can I choose which Consultant I see?
  5. How do I find out the qualifications of my consultant?
  6. Will I have the same Consultant for my outpatient appointment and procedure?
  7. What appointments will I need to attend before I undergo my surgery?
  8. What happens if I need to change the date for my operation?
  9. What happens if I am taking medication?
  10. What will happen before and after my procedure?
  11. Do I need to arrange my own physiotherapy?
  12. How long after my operation will it be before I can travel safely?
  13. Private / Insured Patients
  14. Do I need a referral from my GP?
  15. How can I payfor my treatment by The One Health Group?
  16. What do I need to do to get authorisation from my insurance company?

NHS Patients

What is Patient Choice?

Patient choice is a Government initiative leading to a more patient centered NHS. It enables patients to choose a Hospital, with an appointment date and time convenient to them. Since January 2006 patients have been given the choice of at least four healthcare providers if they need to seek specialist opinion.
One Health Group have been appointed as an NHS Qualified Provider and are fully accredited by the Care Quality Commission.   Our Consultants take responsibility for quality and safety very seriously and our Healthcare Managers will ensure that every patient received the highest level of service and support throughout their service.

What are the benefits of patient choice?

The benefits of the patient choice should include increased involvement for the patient, faster treatment, reduced variation in standards between providers and greater equality of choice.
In the long term, choice is expected to reduce waste in the NHS by better use of resources and capacity, and the increased involvement of patients in their treatment



How can patients be referred to OHG through Choose and Book?

Step 1:
Visit your GP and decide together that you need an appointment with a Consultant.
Step 2:
Ask your GP to refer you to the One Health Group.
Referral can be made by your GP to our DIRECTLY BOOKABLE SERVICE – enabling you to choose the date, and location of your appointment before you even leave your GP practice!
Just ask your GP to search Choose & Book for “One Health Group Ltd”

Don’t worry if your GP doesn’t use Directly Bookable Service, as referral can still be made in the following ways:

  • By telephone 0114 250 5510
  • By fax 0114 2505523
  • By post to 131 Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8UX

We guarantee to offer you a prompt appointment on receiving your referral – it’s as simple as that.



Can I choose which Consultant I see?

Patients who are referred for a first outpatient consultant-led appointment are able to choose from any clinically appropriate provider in England, and now, people are not only able to choose where they are treated but who provides their secondary care services.
Providers are already listing named clinicians against their services on Choose and Book and since April 2012 patients can choose which named consultant-led team they would like to be referred to, as long as it is a clinically appropriate option for their referral.



How do I find out the qualifications of my consultant?

The One Health Group website details the qualifications and experience of every one of our Consultants.

Please click on the link to obtain details of your chosen Consultant here.



Will I have the same Consultant for my outpatient appointment and procedure?

Yes.  All our Consultants believe that continuity of care and open consistent communication is of paramount importance to the successful and speedy recovery of our patients.



What appointments will I need to attend before I undergo my surgery?

You will be invited to attend an outpatient clinic where you will meet the Consultant who will manage your care. This will give you an opportunity to ask any questions that may be concerning you and to discuss in more detail what you should expect before during and after your operation if applicable. Your Consultant will also use this opportunity to undertake any further diagnostic tests that they may feel are necessary.

If you are a candidate for an operation (e.g. knee replacement) our Hospital partners may also invite you to come up to the Hospital for a pre-assessment a week or two prior to the procedure taking place.

The purpose of the pre-assessment is to ensure that there are no conditions you have that would prevent us proceeding with surgery (e.g. urine infections). The nurse will take all the tests that are necessary and also give them the opportunity to discuss the finer points and practicalities of your stay in Hospital. Most patients find this useful.

Both our Consultants and our Hospital partners take Hospital acquired infection very seriously and take active measures to prevent it. This includes MRSA but other infections are also possible and we take active steps to prevent them. One of these steps is to screen patients coming into Hospital for MRSA, i.e. to see if you have MRSA on your skin, nose etc prior to coming into Hospital. If we find that you do we may need to postpone your operation and give you treatment to eradicate it. We hope you agree that this is a sensible policy to try to minimise any occurrence of MRSA at the Hospital you have chosen.

What happens if I need to change the date for my operation?

If you wish to change the date of your operation for medical or employment reasons, please let our staff know as soon as possible.  We will make every attempt to arrange a new date and time at our earliest convenience.

Please also be aware that on extremely rare occasions your Consultant may need to postpone your operation. This is usually done at some length away from the date but occasionally we may have to cancel at very short notice, usually for clinical reasons. If this is the case we will make every effort to accommodate your needs in arranging a future date. We would stress that such an eventuality is rare. If an operation date needs to be re-arranged our staff will arrange to contact you by telephone or by a letter.



What happens if I am taking medication?

In general:

Your Consultant will ask you if you are taking any medication during your outpatient appointment. It is extremely important that you give as much information as you can so that your consultant can make an informed clinical decision on what action needs to be taken.

Diabetes:

If you are diabetic (insulin dependant or on tablets) your operation and anaesthetic will need to be managed carefully. Please make sure you let your Consultant know if you are diabetic and they will advise you of what to eat, drink and what treatment to take prior to your operation.

The Oral Contraceptive Pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy:

Certain types of oral contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy increase risk of deep venous thrombosis after an operation. For this reason we often advise that you safely and appropriately come off these medications. Please let your Consultant know beforehand if you take any of these medications and they will advise you what to do.



What will happen before and after my procedure?

What Should You Do the Day Prior to the Operation?

Essentially you can do whatever is your normal routine and you can eat, drink etc as per normal. However it is sensible to avoid too much alcohol or rich/spicy foods the day prior to an operation.

What Should You Do on the Day of the Operation?

The default time to come into Hospital for your operation is 7 am for a morning procedure or 11 am for an afternoon procedure. With a morning admission you should starve from midnight, i.e. have nothing to eat or drink at all that morning. With a midday admission you are allowed to have a light early breakfast (e.g. tea and toast) up to 7.30 am.

If you take regular medications, e.g. blood pressure tablets, it is safe to take them with a sip of water in the morning.

If you are diabetic please make sure you inform your Consultant of this and they will individually advise you as to what dose of insulin or diabetic medication you need to take.

We understand that some patients may have restrictive schedules or have to arrange childcare etc. If you wish for any particular admission time please ring our PA’s to request this two days prior to your operation. They will do everything they can to accommodate your request but please be aware that certain cases, e.g. children and diabetics, need surgery towards the start of an operating list.

Day Case Patients – After the Operation

If you are due to go home on the day of your operation this will usually be 4-5 hours after the operation.

You will ALWAYS be seen by your Consultant after your operation.

Overnight Patients – After the Operation

Our Consultants will always come to see you after your operation and in fact all the days you remain in Hospital. There are occasions when they will be out of the city at meetings or on leave. We try to schedule operations such that this is reduced to a minimum. If they are away you will be told of the event and we will organise a colleague to cover.

Once You are Home

If you feel there is anything “going wrong” once you go home after your operation you are welcome to contact your Consultants directly.

If there is a query/emergency during office hours (9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday) please contact us on
0114 250 5510.


If your Consultant is away we will always have another Consultant who covers their practice who is available for advice and/or consultation.


Do I need to arrange my own physiotherapy?

If physiotherapy is indicated after and/or before your operation this will be arranged for you.

Although your operation will be performed in one of our regional centres, out-patient physiotherapy need not necessarily be at the particular Hospital where you had your procedure. We have a close relationship with a large number of physiotherapists in a number of local areas and we can organise your physiotherapy with one of these units.

We normally liaise directly with the physiotherapist you have chosen to see and pass on your medical details so that your treatment can be optimised.



How long after my operation will it be before I can travel safely?

Flying and Surgery

As you may be aware flying on an aircraft carries with it a small but definite risk of deep venous thrombosis (clots in the legs). When flying we would recommend that you always take a low dose Aspirin (75 mg once per day) for 5 days prior to the flight, all the time you are at your destination and for 5 days when you return. We would also recommend that you wear compression flight socks when you travel by air.

Having an operation and flying carries an increased risk of deep venous thrombosis. If you anticipate flying in the 2 weeks prior to surgery or for the 6 weeks after surgery please inform your Consultant and they will individually advise you what to do and whether it is advisable to fly or postpone the operation.

In general terms we would advise avoiding flying;

After non major surgery, e.g. arthroscopy, for 2 weeks if short haul or 6 weeks if long haul

After major surgery, e.g. knee replacement, for 6 weeks if either short or long haul

However if you need to fly in that period this is usually possible. Your flight will need to be covered with you taking anticoagulant injections which we can arrange for you. How long and how much is different between patients and we will advise you of this individually.

Driving, Time from Work after Your Operation and Other Social Issues

your recovery period will vary dependant upon the operation you have undertaken. Please feel free to ask your Consultant how long you should expect to be off work after your operation, when you should be able to drive again and any other occupational/social query you have.

Private/Insured Patients:

Do I need a referral from my GP?

We would recommend that you do need a referral from your GP.

If your operation is to be paid for by a medical insurance company they will require that a referral is obtained before they will approve any treatment.

If you are going to pay for your operation yourself a GP referral is not absolutely necessary although we would encourage you to obtain one as this will contain important medical information which will help your consultant advise the best treatment for your condition.



How can I pay for my treatment by The One Health Group?

Payment for the operation falls into two broad categories, private medical insurance company or self-pay. The details of the arrangements for admission under these two schemes are outlined below. This can sometimes be confusing and so as to avoid any misapprehensions please feel free at any time to contact One Health Group for further guidance.

Procedures Underwritten by Private Medical Insurance

In general there are three major payments that need to be made for a surgical procedure:


  1. Payment to the Consultant
  2. Payment to the Anaesthetist
  3. Payment to the Hospital

Except on rare occasions if you have private medical insurance you as a patient should not need to pay any sum directly yourself for day case and in-patient procedures. As long as the three parties above have your insurer’s details and you have obtained authorisation from your insurance company to proceed with the operation, invoices can and usually will be sent directly to the insurer for them to pay all three parties directly. Occasionally an invoice may find its way to you, if it does do not pay it but pass it onto your insurer for payment.

If one of the three providers above has not been paid after a certain period you as a patient may receive a “reminder letter”. Again please do not pay these but refer to your insurance company who will advise you as to whether the invoice has been paid etc. They will let you know if you are responsible for any payments, e.g. the payment of a “voluntary excess” as indicated in your private medical insurance policy documents.

All large organisations can and do make mistakes and private medical insurance companies are no exception. By and large however they are very accurate and sympathetic to queries and problems but if you feel they are wrong please say so.

Self-Pay Treatment

Many patients choosing private health treatment are not insured but wish to pay themselves for their treatment – this is termed “self-pay”.

There are some important differences in the payment for treatment for self-pay as opposed to treatment underwritten by an insurance company, and if you are considering self-pay this should be clearly understood.

For day case and in-patient procedures, the total cost of that procedure is bulked into one item called a fixed price package. We will code the operation as to its complexity prior to the operation (the OPCS code) and from this a package price will be formulated to cover costs of:

All in-patient Hospital costs, including a short supply of drugs to take home after the operation.

 - All surgical costs.
 - All anaesthetic costs.

The cost does not include pre-operative consultations but does include ONE post-operative consultation with our Consultants.

The price given to you for this fixed price package is guaranteed and there will be no further costs to you other than treatments such as out-patient physiotherapy. Pre-operative assessment costs (e.g. for knee replacement) are included in this cost. Should the procedure be more complex than expected, the costs will not be passed onto you by any of the three parties above.

It is of the great importance that you understand and accept the terms and conditions of the contract offered to you by the Hospital. You will need to check with them for specific operations but in general there is effectively a “30 day guarantee” associated with each procedure. If there is a complication within this period the Hospital by and large will fund the cost of any further tests and treatment. However after this period they will not fund any further tests or treatment that you require.

A good example is a fixed price package for a knee replacement. If in the first 2-3 weeks a patient develops an infection or a deep venous thrombosis (blood clot in the calf) then the costs for tests and treatment with the Consultant, Anaesthetist and Hospital fees will be covered by the Hospital. However if after 6 months or 3 years the knee is found to have a problem (loosening, infection etc) then the Hospital will assume no responsibility for the management of that complication. Basically you are an NHS patient again and you can then either manage the problem within the NHS or elect to pay again to have the complication managed privately.

For an episode of self-pay treatment, in general you will pay the Hospital for the costs of all three parties (i.e. Consultant, Anaesthetist and Hospital costs). The Hospital will then reimburse the Consultant and the Anaesthetist. The only costs in excess of this payment are for consumables you make whilst in Hospital e.g. newspapers, telephone calls etc. The Hospital can give you details about how you can pay. Credit card facilities are available which is usually the easier or otherwise by cheque.

Please note: For the sake of clarity and avoidance of doubt the Hospital will require payment from you in advance of your admission.



What do I need to do to get authorisation from my insurance company?

It is very important that you personally obtain authorisation from your insurance company before you make an appointment to see one of our Consultants.

The arrangements for obtaining medical insurance authorisation varies from company to company but it would be safe to say that they all will require that you to inform them of what is going on.

Usually the authorisation process is fairly straightforward. Most insurance companies now authorise an episode of surgical treatment by telephone but occasionally forms will need to be filled in both by you and your Consultant.  They will advise you of this.

Please send any forms requiring completion by one of our Consultants to the One Health Group 131 Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8UX. There is no charge made for this service. Your GP may occasionally also have to complete part of the form and you may be charged for this service by him/her.

Once you have arranged an operation the best thing to do is to telephone your insurance company and let them know the following information, which usually consists of:

 - The name of the Hospital
 - The name of the Consultant
 - The name of the Operation
 - The OPCS code, which we will give you
 - The name of the Anaesthetist
 - The estimated length of stay

Consultants from One Health Group and all the Anaesthetists working with us charge in accordance with the insurers published schedule for insured procedures, and on this basis there are no “surcharges” for you to pay other than the “voluntary excesses” you have already agreed with your insurance company. In other words as long as you have obtained authorisation from your insurance company to proceed, they will cover the cost of the entire procedure unless your policy specifically states otherwise.

If you have any queries about the authorisation process please feel free to ring our advisors on 0114 250 5510 who will be happy to help you. Alternatively you can email enquiries@onehealth.co.uk  or fax on 0114 2505523

The legal basis of the relationship between Consultant/Anaesthetist and you when you arrange to have an operation on a privately funded basis is that you are effectively entering into a contract between the Consultant, Anaesthetist and Hospital, and you at the end of the day are the person ultimately responsible for any charges to all three parties.

This emphasises the importance of the authorisation process with your insurance company, surprisingly it is in most cases very straightforward and quick if you have all the right information.

We (Consultant/Anaesthetist/Hospital) on our part can reassure you that as long as the insurance company has given you authorisation to proceed, our fees will be met in full by the insurance company involved as long as your policy does not say otherwise. There should be no charges to you other than agreed excesses or where your insurance policy requires you to pay a proportion of the treatment costs.

In general terms (and again please check with your insurance company) all day case and in-patient treatment is fully reimbursable and the costs are not taken from any annual allowances. There is thus no “financial limit” on the costs reimbursed for such treatment, again as long as your insurance policy states as such.