Going private in london

I’m just wondering if anyone has gone self pay private after diagnosis. If so could you give me a rough idea of how much it costs and how long did it take to get a private op. Any recommendations for London area private would be great. My parents have just retired so said they will pay. We lost my brother a few years ago so they are more gutted about this than me!

Just diagnosed and it’s grade 3. It took a month just to get this diagnosis today after initial wait to get a gp appt then 2 ww then waiting for results. Not sure I can wait again. I’m a person that opens Christmas presents at the edges the minute they are out under the tree.

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I can’t really answer the specific questions you have about costs or self-pay. But I have had a couple of appointments for a second opinion in London via my private health insurance during the initial diagnosis stage prior to surgery under the NHS and then after that for oncology treatment. When it came to the timeframe to get an appointment and then treatment it very much depends on the specific consultant you want to see as there are many (& I’d say the consultants fees would also be variable and depend on the type of treatment/surgery you require. For e.g. a surgery for DIEP reconstruction would be significantly more involved than a surgery to remove a lump). The usual approach I took was contacting the secretary to enquire about their availability as a starting point and go from there.

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We have BUPA insurance, which I used for my cancer treatment last year. I had a lumpectomy, four sessions of EC chemo and five days radiotherapy. Looking at my account the bills BUPA paid are in excess of £32,000. I hope this helps.

Thank you for replying. That does help. Do you think you got seen a lot quicker. How long from diagnosis to the operation, if you don’t mind me asking.

It was two weeks from diagnosis to operation, then chemo 11 weeks after that. I’m happy to answer other questions if you have any.

Just sharing this in case it helps purely as a gauge approximate cost; the cost I can see my insurer was billed for radiotherapy (5 fragments on a single side) was approximately £13000 this includes consultant fees.

If you are transferring care from NHS to Private, the private consultant secretary will request imaging, pathology reports and other records from your current NHS hospital/trust to use as the starting point. This should be quick if your NHS hospital responds in a timely manner, it took about 5 days for mine after I engaged my BCN to help prompt the release of my records at the time.

Hi - we all think about this at the start but to give you a bit of a timeline re treatment with NHS i was diagnoised 20 4.22, had mastectomy on 30.6.22. Couldve had it quicker but went on a girlie holiday before my op which i had permission for from my surgeon. Chemo started Sept 22 - Dec 22 (went on holiday again before sept 22). Radiotherapy in new year and back to work April on reduced hours
You may and others may have a quicker and different treatment plan. Please have faith in NHS , they will look after you and once you have your treatment plan the time goes by like an express train. :blush:

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NHS for me was amazing. I too, like Teresa, went on holiday before surgery and again before radiotherapy. From diagnosis in June to surgery in July and Radiotherapy in September couldn’t have been any quicker, can’t praise the NHS enough, this was in 2022

That’s fabulous. Tbh I’m really struggling access the private system. And the wait seems to be just as long. How are you now?

Thank you, that is encouraging. It was the fact that this wait for the biopsy result took over a week literally floored me. I have results and an idea of pathways, I feel a bit better.

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I seemed to sail through it, went back to work mid October, had good support from work colleagues (work in GP Practice) who were there to reassure me. Good luck, hope everything goes well🤞

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Hi, I don’t live in London but I was told by my BC nurse that going privately wouldn’t make much difference at all. I went NHS, got a same day GP appointment, was having a mammogram / ultrasound / biopsies just over a week later and received my diagnosis the week after (6 Dec). I had a double lumpectomy just under 4 weeks later (2 Jan) but I was told my surgery date on the day of diagnosis. I was really impressed with the timescales and the treatment. However… I then had to wait 5 weeks for my post-op results which has seemed like forever. This is possibly where going privately might be beneficial? Wishing you all the best (whichever route you take) x

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I believe Royal Marsden accept private pay x

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The nhs hospital yesterday, actually referred me to the Nuffield to get the mri done quicker. It’s 12th at Nuffield instead of the 20th on nhs. It means I will make this weeks mdt rather than waiting 2 more weeks which Is killing me. As soon as I have the mri results they can book surgery. Which maybe just as quick on nhs.

That’s great news with Nuffield and MDT. Really pleased for you x

Hi Kat,
I had biopsies in London on the 15th Jan, results a week later when I had to to do more biopsies I will see a consultant on the 13th Feb only although it is private. Then may have more scans, MRI etc. It seems everywhere is slower in London. And also more expensive. I have only heard great feedback about nhs bc treatment. I am half way through the great book ‘bc guide’ where both nhs and private experience are referenced. The wait is terrible and this booked has helped a bit

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Hi Kat, I had my initial appointment at NHS in London, then went private as I was covered by health insurance. Private hospital was just outside London. My diagnosis was in August/September 2020 though, so maybe wait times have changed since then, but to give you an idea of timings, it was 5 weeks from diagnosis to first surgery, at which point I found out that a second surgery and chemo were needed. The second surgery was exactly 3 weeks after the first. Chemo was three weeks after the second surgery. Hope all goes well for you.

Hi Kat,

I’m not sure if you’re still interested but in case it helps. I started on the NHS even though I had BUPA simply because I had a holiday planned and I knew BUPA would move too quickly before the holiday. NHS was all very quick but within my timescales. I switched to BUPA to get an earlier surgery date amd carried on from them. I think my surgery was at least 2 weeks earlier and it’s just been easier to schedule chemo, surgery, radiotherapy dates on my schedule due to being private.
The same surgeon who saw me under NHS also works at our private hospital so it was seamless and I was discussed at the same MDT etc.

Where I’ve really been glad I had private healthcare was post op. I stayed for 3 nights after my mastectomy rather than 1 (if self-funded you might want to reduce this) but to say I felt like I was at a spa isn’t too far fetched. The food, level of attention, my own suite etc.
For chemo again, smaller quieter facilities etc but the NHS is very good and it isn’t “necessary” to pay for private as I can imagine the costs do mount. It’s just helpful if you already have it.
If you’re still interested then I would maybe just look at the surgery as I know the recovery experience certainly made a huge difference for me. I should add that I’m not in London so perhaps I also had a lot more flexibility around choosing dates that suited me for my follow-ups, chemo start etc due to fewer numbers.

They do tend to use the same labs so biopsy test results for example are not necessarily quicker if you go privately.