Counselling - NHS

ladies, time for perhaps a silly question.

I have been having sessions at my hospital after being referred by my BC nurse. I had all my treatment privately through medical insurance. I checked with my private insurers who said that my policy would not cover counselling. I have had some bills for the sessions but thought that i was having these on the NHS. Can anyone clarify ?

vez xx

Is the problem that you have had your BC treatment privately so then all your other treatments including the BC nurse are private? My friend who has also had private treatment told me she is going to see her Consultant for a last check up (1 year on) and then switch to the NHS. I don’t think you can use the 2 services NHS/private in parallel for the same condition, but I may be wrong so do check with some one else. Your GP can refer you for counselling but my experience is it is a long wait for appts. Are you near a cancer help centre or somewhere run by macmillan as I know you can get counselling free there.

Hi Vez

This is a tricky one. Counselling is not usually covered on private insurance.

In my area the local PCT seems to have a good seamless policy about private patients accessing NHS services when necessary. (I have private health insurance but have had free acccess to NHS BCN, prostheses and lymphoedema clinic, and to anti coagulant clinic for a blood clot.) In other areas the realtionship is more difficult because of the rule that if you have private treatment for a condition then all your treatment for that condition has to be paid for privately. This has been one of the issues in the recent co payments discussion.

I think you should talk to your BCN and ask her advice. Then try the PALS complaints system…certianly it should have been made clear to you at the outset that you might be required to pay.

Now my cancer is advanced I do worry about what will happpen when my insurance company refuses to cough up and when I have to access more NHS services but so far it hasn’t been a problem so hope that will continue. (I haven’t had NHS counselling but have used a local free charity which gets some NHS funding. I also see someone from the local NHS hospice.)

best wishes