- Jonathan Eldridge
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- Costs & Medical Insurance
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No. While most people being treated in the private sector will have insurance cover, an increasing number are choosing to fund their own treatment. There are a variety of ways to pay for treatment but in general the hospital would require payment for surgery in full in advance.
I am recognised by all the major insurance companies as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. There are a large number of policies that cover differing aspects of care and I would recommend you ensure that you understand what is and is not covered under your particular policy.
My fees have remained unchanged in 9 years of private practice and have in general been covered in full by insurers. Recently, however, there has been a downward pressure on fees and some insurers will no longer cover my entire fee. My fees are broadly aligned with the published WPA fee schedule. I would advise you to check with your insurer before proceeding with any treatment. A full explanation of insurance and fees is included in the insurance and self pay section of my site.
Whether or not you have private medical insurance my contract is with you and you are ultimately responsible for any fees incurred for consultations, investigations and surgery.
If you are paying for your own treatment, then a referral is not necessary although in general it is preferred. The majority of insurers will require a GP referral before authorising a consultation, investigations or any treatment. Many of my referrals come from physiotherapists and some insurers will now accept that mode of referral.
The majority of my patients will be from the adult population. I do however carry out the majority of the major knee operations at the Bristol Children’s Hospital and am happy to see children in the private sector.
You can either call my secretary in Bristol or Bath and they will take you through the process, or you can e-mail me via the link and my secretary will contact you.
I have a number of regular clinic times, one of which will in general be convenient. I will endeavour to see you as expeditiously as possible and on the rare occasion when clinic times are not appropriate I will be as flexible as possible.
I operate in the private sector on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and may very occasionally need to arrange urgent operating time.
I allow ample time for new and follow up appointments. Should investigations be necessary they might be organised on the same day or at a later date. MRI scans generally take around 20 minutes and will need to be read and reported by my radiologist, although I will usually be able to give a preliminary opinion on any scans.
The majority of my work in the NHS comes from referrals from other Consultants (tertiary opinions) and I see increasing numbers of patients in the private sector for this reason. If you have a particularly complex problem I would ask that you request a double clinic slot when booking with my secretary.
Should any surgery be necessary, a convenient time will be organised based on the nature of the operation the necessary rehabilitation and the recovery time.
Operative procedures all have a code that insurers and hospitals use and an authorisation number will be required beforehand if using insurance.
I take all aspects of patient safety, including thrombosis and infection prevention, extremely seriously. Blood clots in the calf (thrombosis) that can potentially extend or move within the veins (thromboembolism/VTE) are one of the well known risks of surgery and their prevention has been the focus of a recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) committee. There is a well established protocol for the assessment of the risk of VTE and the preventative measures that should be taken. I am guided by this protocol.
Some operations are done as a day case while others require a stay in hospital. Although insurers and hospitals will place an expected length of stay on any procedure, it is in general better to keep any inpatient time to a minimum. You will be discharged as soon as safe and able. The average length of stay for my patients is well below the average as I always ensure less invasive and careful surgical techniques, excellent anaesthesia and early mobilisation are utilised.
Usually I discharge patients with a waterproof dressing that allows a light shower. I prefer dressings to be left in place until the wound has healed (around 2 weeks) unless there is an obvious need for a change. Dressings can be removed once the wound has healed.
Painkilling (analgesic) and anti-inflammatory drugs play an important part in your rehabilitation following surgery. They help to control pain and swelling, enabling you to carry out your exercises and increase mobility. You will be provided with a supply of medication to take away after your operation (TTAs).
I work closely with a number of excellent physiotherapists and will discuss with you the most suitable. Most physiotherapists are recognised by all the major insurers. You will need to check your policy to see whether or not physiotherapy is included. The number and frequency of sessions required will be individually tailored to, and guided by your progress. Physiotherapy is often very helpful preceding (prehabilitation) as well as following an operation (rehabilitation).
The number of further consultations you need will depend on the operation you have had and how closely I need to monitor your progress. In general I aim to continue to see you until you have fully recovered from any procedure. For some rare operations I like to continue follow up in the long term to help inform future patients about expected outcomes.
Although I aim to provide as complete a service as possible, I am unable to provide 24/7 cover. If you have any urgent queries you should call my secretary or ward nurse initially. If available I will organise to see you. If I am unable to organise a review, a safe alternative plan will be made.
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0117 980 4037 or
0117 980 4046