How to choose the right cancer specialist
One of the advantages of going privately is that you can choose which consultants you see. The private health sector in the UK is world-renowned. But it’s also fragmented. And finding the best and most appropriate doctors and surgeons for your specific type of cancer can be challenging, frustrating and time-consuming. So how do you choose the right cancer specialist for you? And what do you need to keep in mind?
1. Ask your GP for advice
Your GP may be able to recommend the most appropriate cancer specialist for you to meet with. You don’t have to go with their recommendation. But he or she will be familiar with the reputations and specialisms of the local consultants.
2. Be mindful of PMI restrictions
If you’re using Private Medical Insurance, be sure to check the policy to see if it limits your choice of private cancer specialists. If you decide to move away from the consultant shortlist provided by your insurer, there’s a risk they may not cover the full cost of any appointments or treatment you have.
“Finding the best and most appropriate doctors and surgeons for your particular type of cancer can be challenging, frustrating and time-consuming.”
3. Google it
While traditional publications are still in circuation, they’ve been outdated and replaced by online resources. Typing your specific type of cancer into Google is a good place to start.
4. Dig into profiles and reputation
Once you’ve narrowed down a shortlist, or it’s been narrowed down for you by an insurance provider, it’s time to find out more about the cancer specialists you’re considering using. Speak with people who’ve already been under their care. Visit the cancer specialist’s own website. Or the website of the hospital they’re based with. Type the name of the cancer specialist into Google. And look out for feedback, reviews or news reports about your shortlisted doctors. Review their qualifications and experience. As well as any published detail on success rates.
“Look out for feedback, reviews or news reports. Review their qualifications and experience.”
5. Is this a fit?
It’s important that you feel able to communicate with your chosen cancer specialist. And that their approach to patient care is a match for your needs. Do your research. For example, there may be social media chat about a particular specialist’s bedside manner or communication style. Do what you can to find out if they are likely to be a fit for you as a person – as well as for your clinical needs.
6. Remember your main objective
When choosing a cancer specialist, remember why you decided to explore the private health sector in the first place. If it was quality, ask yourself if you’re willing to travel to have the best care. Or whether you’d prefer to stay locally. If the anguish of lengthy delays on the NHS is the reason you’re exploring private options, then availability of a private cancer specialist will be key to you.
“Do what you can to find out if they are likely to be a fit for you as a person – as well as for your clinical needs. It’s important that you feel able to communicate with your chosen cancer specialist.”
7. First impressions count
Try and get in touch with your chosen cancer specialist or his/her team. How your enquiry is handled is often a good indication of how you’ll be received on the day.
8. Use a medical concierge service
If you find the private health sector complex and confusing. And you’re uncertain which specialist in your specific type of cancer is right for you, a medical concierge service may be a fit for your needs.
Turning healthcare on its head, one cancer diagnosis at a time
HSC has many years’ experience working with the doctors in London’s private sector and leading academic institutions across the UK. As well as the leading cancer centres in America. Cancer specialists are handpicked for their outstanding research record, academic achievement, worldwide reputation and communication style. We also look for doctors who embrace new technology and are prepared to go the extra mile for you. We recommend a shortlist of up to three leading specialists then support you to make the right decision for you.
Making it easier for people with cancer
Getting hold of your earlier scans, X-rays and medical records is part of the service. We work hard to gather your records as quickly as possible – and significantly faster than the 40-day standard NHS hospitals and clinics work towards. Once gathered, we’ll safely transfer them to your chosen specialist with a case history summary and anything else you’d like them to know.