Supporting your care
We know that coming to hospital can be a worrying time. That’s why we have provided a range of information below to help you navigate care with us.
If there is anything you are unsure about, please do contact our team and we will be happy to assist you.
There are two ways for patients to be referred to our hospitals:
As a private patient, you can contact our customer services team as a self-referrer and ask to be seen or admitted by one of our consultants. In this case, we would require a brief medical history - preferably by a treating physician - including any relevant test results.
2. Referral from a healthcare professional
Your doctor or treating hospital can refer you directly to one of our consultants or our customer services team can put you in touch with the most appropriate consultant.
Letter of invitation
Once a consultant has agreed to accept you as a private patient, a letter of invitation will be sent to you. This will give details of the appointment or admission and indicate the deposit required if the patient is to be self-funding.
For information regarding payment options, please see the ‘paying for treatment’ section.
Once the customer services team has confirmed your initial appointment, you will receive a letter containing the details of the consultation including the time, date, your consultant's name, and directions to the hospital.
When you come in for your first appointment at our private outpatient department, we recommend that you arrive 15 minutes early.
Let the reception staff know that you have arrived. They will ask you to confirm your appointment details, to check your identity. You will then need to complete some paperwork to confirm your details and payment information.
Where to go?
We have detailed directions and information for those attending an appointment at our hospitals and outpatient facilities on our locations page. Please visit them for more information.
Your admission to our hospitals
Following your consultation and/or initial referral, we will contact you via post, email, or telephone to confirm the exact date and time of your admission to either Royal Brompton Hospital or Harefield Hospital.
Please come to the main reception and ask for the private patient office.
A member of staff will register you and direct you to the ward where you will be met by one of the ward team.
There will be some paperwork to complete, relating to your personal details and medical history. You will also be asked to complete some forms relating to payment of treatment charges and, if applicable submit a deposit which will contribute to the full cost. Any shortfall must be settled when you leave the hospital.
When you arrive at the ward, you will be introduced to your nurse, who will have primary responsibility for your day-to-day care. Your nurse will be able to explain the ward routine and answer any questions you may have.
Your nurse will work alongside a multidisciplinary team of clinical specialists including pharmacists, dieticians, and physiotherapists to ensure you receive exceptional care.
Shortly after your arrival, you will also be seen by one of our experienced residential medical officers.
We always make sure that our patients understand their treatment and the reasons behind it. We will discuss your treatment, its benefits and risks, fully with you before going ahead with it.
We also respect each patient’s right to confidentiality and accordingly will only discuss their care with relatives with their consent. In situations where a patient cannot give or withhold consent to treatment then our healthcare professionals must proceed based on what they consider to be the patient’s best interest.
In such cases, they will discuss any wishes previously expressed by the patient and may discuss the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment with relatives.
What to bring
Each room has an en-suite bathroom, a television, and a telephone with direct-dial facilities to and from your room. Telephone bills are sent after discharge. Towels are provided, and shaver points are available for electric razors.
Whatever your length of stay, please bring all your medication, in the original packaging, with you to the ward. Please ensure you have an adequate supply for your stay.
For patients with mobility problems, please bring your mobility aids such as walking sticks or frames.
If your planned stay is a day or longer, you should bring with you:
a copy of your current health insurance certificate or card, to allow us to liaise directly with your insurance company (if your stay is covered by insurance)
the name, address and phone number of your doctor or GP
comfortable clothing such as a tracksuit
nightclothes, a dressing gown, and slippers
wash bag with washing and shaving materials.
We recommend that all valuables including credit cards should be left at home, as the hospital cannot assume responsibility for them. Essential valuables can be kept by arrangement with the nurses.
We want to make sure that you have everything that you need for your continued recovery when you go home from the hospital.
When you are admitted as an inpatient for surgery or a procedure, we will discuss an approximate discharge date with you. As soon as your doctor feels that you are well enough to leave the hospital, we will confirm a specific date with you.
If required, we can supply medical certificates covering your stay before you go home.
Before you leave the hospital, we will explain to you all the medicines you will be taking, why you are taking them and how often you need to take them. If you would like written information, we can normally supply patient information leaflets for any of the medicines – just ask.
When you go home, we will make sure that you have at least 14 days’ supply of each medicine that you are taking. Once that supply is finished, you will need to visit your local doctor to get a new supply. Drugs that you take home with you are not covered by private medical insurance, so you may need to pay for these.
If you have any questions or queries about medication when you return home, you can call our Medicines Helpline on 020 7351 8901. The line is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.
How to pay
We accept payment only in pounds sterling (£).
You are welcome to pay by cash or by credit/debit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard and AMEX payments, however, we are unable to accept Diners.
Personal cheques and banker’s drafts should be from a UK account and made payable to ‘Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Hospitals.’ Personal cheques can only be accepted if received in advance, in time for the funds to be cleared.
If you would like to pay at one of our three locations, please speak to the private patients' reception staff who would be pleased to help you. If you need to make a payment over the phone, please contact us.
If you are not paying for your treatment, we will invoice your embassy, company, or private medical insurance company directly. We have agreements with the major UK insurers and some international insurers.
If a patient is sponsored by a company, then the patient needs to supply an original signed letter from their sponsor clearly accepting responsibility for payment of their account.
Prior to the appointment or admission date, this letter must be received and agreed upon by the Trust. The Trust will only accept sponsorship from credit-worthy UK-based companies.
Patients can be sponsored for private healthcare by their nation's embassy. We have excellent relationships with several embassies in the London area.
Before any outpatient or inpatient treatment can occur, the patient needs to produce a letter of guarantee from your embassy. The letter must clearly state that the embassy agrees to cover the total cost of care and stipulate any exclusions to full payment.
Giving feedback or making a complaint as or on behalf of a private patient
In a drive to continuously improve the services we provide, we would love to hear your feedback about your experience at the Royal Brompton Hospital, Harefield Hospital or Wimpole Street Consulting Rooms and Diagnostic Centre. As an inpatient, the ward administration team and the housekeepers will check in with you daily to see that your needs are being met and will address any concerns you raise. A patient satisfaction questionnaire is available and can also be accessed via a QR code - you will be encouraged to complete this on or post-discharge. If not offered to you then please ask our team for it as we welcome your feedback. Equally, our private consulting rooms across the site, have patient feedback forms too with their own QR codes. If you have concerns about your treatment or the care that you received, you can ask to speak with the Private Patient Manager for that area or if you prefer you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) - contact details are below - in the first instance as this may facilitate an informal speedy resolution.
Making a formal complaint
If you wish to make a formal complaint about your care, please be assured it will not affect the care or treatment offered to you.
The complaint should be made within six months of the incident or one year from when you realised that there was a need to complain. You can do this by writing to:
Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
St Thomas’ Hospital
Westminster Bridge Road
You can also call us on 020 7188 3514, or email us at: email@example.com
Your letter should include:
- where and when the problem happened
- a description of what happened
- the name of the person or service you are complaining about (where possible)
- what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint.
What to expect after lodging a formal complaint
- We will send a letter within three working days of our receiving your complaint, acknowledging receipt, indicating who will be investigating your complaint and how long it is anticipated it will take to complete the investigation.
- A senior member of staff will be allocated to carry out a thorough investigation and will call you to introduce themselves.
- If you are complaining on behalf of a patient, please note we will need the patient’s written consent before we can discuss with you their information. We will send you a form for the patient to sign indicating they agree to your receiving information about them.
- The response letter should answer all the points you raise in your complaint.
- Where possible we will take measures to ensure we learn from the situation, improve what we do and try to avoid the same from happening again.
- If you are not satisfied with the response from the CEO, please let us know your reasons why; we will then revisit the investigation to give a further response. We often will suggest a meeting with the key people involved as this can be a positive way to clarify events and work towards an amicable resolution.
Our approach to complaints
We base our approach to the complaints we receive on six principles. Originally set out by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), they are:
- getting it right
- being customer focused
- being open and accountable
- acting fairly and proportionately
- putting things right
- seeking continuous improvement.
If you are not satisfied with how we handled your complaint at the Trust, you have the right to an independent review.
Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS)
ISCAS, CEDR, 3rd Floor, 100 St Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8BU
Tel: 020 7536 6091
Contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
Royal Brompton Hospital telephone: 020 7349 7715
Harefield Hospital telephone: 01895 826 572
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm (excluding bank holidays).