Private Services

Private referrals

Private referrals require you, as the patient, to book the appointment with the consultant and hospital of your choice. If you have private medical or health insurance, some policies will allow you to book with any consultant or hospital, while other policies restrict the choice to a list of approved consultants. Insurance companies almost always require a letter of referral from a GP please contact the Practice Secretary directly on 01446 777012 for advice.

Funding Treatment

If a patient has chosen to pay for private healthcare because

a) their treatment is not available on the NHS or 

b) they do not wish to be treated on the NHS 

Please be aware that you are responsible for paying for all costs, including tests, and the private provider is responsible for managing every aspect of their healthcare (unless the patient chooses to transfer back to the NHS at a later date to continue treatment).

For that reason, private providers should not be asking GPs to arrange any tests that they deem necessary, and intend to use, to make a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment with. 

It is the private provider’s responsibility to arrange tests for patients whose care they are managing, and the patient’s responsibility to pay for them. 


Policy regarding requests from private providers to start or take over prescribing medication.

 In addition to the above policy, the practice cannot prescribe on behalf of private providers nor continue to supply prescriptions which have previously been supplied by the private provider unless this is a medication which a GP would normally prescribe and the prescription is in line with local health board guidelines. We are not permitted to have shared care protocols with private providers.

 Private consultants wishing to transfer patients to NHS care should directly refer their patient to the appropriate NHS service who will reassess and, if appropriate, take over your treatment. At the point that your care has been taken over by an NHS service, a request may be made by the NHS service to share prescribing responsibility with the practice. Our practice pharmacist will review and manage all such requests in line with the local health board guidelines.


Screening tests carried out by private providers which have not been approved by the UK National Screening Committee

The practice supports the national guidance which can be found on the RCGP website. If a patient chooses to have private screening tests or investigations that are not available or recommended by the NHS, they should ensure that they have the funds or insurance in place to cover the costs of any additional treatment or investigation that is incurred as the NHS may not cover these.

Private Counselling

If you’re referred for counselling or another psychological therapy through the NHS, it will be free of charge. However, your choice of the type of therapy may be limited. If you have a preference for the type of therapy you receive, or the time or location of your appointments, you may choose to look for a private therapist.

If you decide to pay to see a private therapist, make sure they’re qualified and you feel comfortable with them. The cost of private counselling can vary considerably. Depending on where you live, a session can cost between £10 and £70. Some therapists may be willing to adjust their fees in accordance with your income.

Many private counsellors offer an initial free session and concessionary rates for students, job seekers and those on low wages. You should ask about charges and agree a price before starting a course of counselling.


Finding a qualified counsellor

Most reputable counsellors will be registered with a professional organisation that has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) (a government body), such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or The National Counselling Society.

Counselling and clinical psychologists must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), and may also be chartered with The British Psychological Society (BPS). The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) maintains a list of accredited CBT practitioners.

Therapists registered with a professional association have met the PSA’s high standards for governance, standard setting, education and training, information management, and complaints. They must also maintain high ethical and professional standards. This gives the public greater protection, and guarantees a minimum level of training and continuing professional development.

You can find a therapist near you by using the postcode search on the BACP website.