It’s important to feel comfortable with the decisions you make regarding your health. For this reason, it’s vital to know of the certifications, accreditations and qualifications a clinic, hospital, doctor or surgeon has in place. This will be a good starting point for patients considering any kind of healthcare treatment.
In the UK all doctors will be listed on the General Medical Council’s register. Cosmetic surgeons will be members of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeons (BAPRAS) or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).
When the time comes to meet with consultants to discuss your needs it’s important to be prepared with some probing question that will give you all the information you need about the doctor, consultant and the hospital or clinic.
Here are some questions you may consider asking:
- What experience do you have in this area of medicine?
- What are your qualifications?
- When did you receive training?
- Where were you trained?
- Are you a member to any national or international healthcare association?
- Have there been any complaint made about you to the General Medical Council? If so, please provide details
- Have you published any papers on your area of expertise?
- How much experience do they have on the specific treatment or surgery you need?
- Can they provide any statistics on success rates and outcomes of procedures they’ve carried out?
- Can they provide any statistics on post operation complications?
- Can they provide testimonials and allow you to contact past patients?
- How much does the consultation cost?
- How much does the procedure cost?
- What payment options are available to you?
- What is their cancellation policy in case you are not able to go ahead with the procedure?
- What is the patient satisfaction score?
- Are the hospital return to theatre rates published?
- What are the accreditation standards the hospital or clinic meets?
- What after care support services are available?
- What cost implications are their if there are complications with the procedure?
Be sure to take notes of the discussion during the consultation so you can review and reassess the information you were able to gather. After the consultation, take your time and reflect on your experience and see if you feel satisfied with the answers given to you. Did you feel that your best interests were taken into consideration? And, after all that, were you given the comfort and confidence to proceed with the procedure with them? If not, it’s still possible to explore different options and speak to other care providers.
Some consultants will charge a consultation fee so it’s important to be aware that, while its easy to find and arrange consultations, it can end up being fairly costly. Having said that, the most important thing for anyone considering surgery or treatment is feeling confident in the decision they take.