Are NHS Specialists as Good as Private Health Experts And Do I Have to Pay?

Using the NHS e-Referral Service your doctor can refer you for treatment at a private medical facility like a BMI Healthcare hospital

If your GP decides that you need to see a specialist, you can request to have treatment from a list of private hospitals or clinics. The e-Referral Service allows you to choose the time, date and hospital or clinic for your required treatment.

This choice is a legal right and if it’s not offered at the point of referral, you should discuss the options available to you with your GP or the GP practice staff.

If you choose to have your NHS treatment at one of our hospitals in England, all the costs will be covered by the NHS. You only pay for extra personal items, just as you would in any NHS hospital.

Could I Be Entitled to Treatment at a Private Medical Facility Like BMI Hospitals

Health Experts UK
Health Experts UK

Once your GP has confirmed that you need treatment, please ask if you can have your NHS treatment at a BMI Healthcare hospital.

Our consultants and nursing staff offer the same level of care as you would get on the NHS, as well as:

  • Fast access to a consultant
  • Continuity of care with the same consultant, caring for you throughout your treatment
  • Treatment within an 18-week referral to treatment pathway
  • Comfortable facilities in a private setting
  • Excellent record of infection prevention and control

The quality of medical care provided by the health experts has been praised by patients throughout the country, with 98.5% extremely likely or likely to recommend private treatment to their friends and family.


Once your GP has decided you need to be referred to a hospital, you can choose your preferred hospital or clinic. The booking process varies between GP practices; however, your options are likely to be:


Your GP or other practice staff will book your appointment for you while you are in the surgery and give you a Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN)

You can contact the NHS Telephone Appointments Line on with your Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN), which is given to you by your GP on your appointment request letter

Use the patient booking app or visit the NHS e-Referral Service website to book your appointment online.


Health Doctors UK
Health Doctors UK

Your appointment with a private Health Expert like BMI will be confirmed by letter, along with any instructions to follow in preparation of your appointment. A copy will also be sent to your GP.

*Not all NHS treatments are available at private hospitals. Please visit for a full list of treatments.

At present the e-Referral Service does not cover NHS patients in Scotland or Wales.

Broken Toe Symptoms, Signs, Treatment, and Healing Time.

Broken toe overview

  • Often, a broken toe is caused by injury or trauma. Repetitive movements over a prolonged period can result in a hairline or stress fracture.
  • Broken toe symptoms include having difficulty walking, a toe being deformed in some way, bruising on the toe or foot, stiffness, swelling and pain.
  • Complications can occur with broken toe injuries including arthritis, deformity of the toe, infection, compound fracture and nail injury.
  • Seek broken toe NHS treatment if your toe has suffered an open fracture, if it is bleeding, or has an odd sensation such as pins and needles or numbness. If the toe is pointing in the wrong direction, or the area of the injury is blue or grey in colour.
  • Diagnosis of a broken toe is done via a combination of x-ray and medical examination.
  • For a broken toe what to do to manage the pain yourself is keep it raises, apply an ice pack, and stay off it.
  • For a severe injury such as a broken big toe joint the toe may need to be put back in place. Complex fractures may require surgery to do this.
  • Over-the-counter painkillers are a good broken toe treatment for managing pain.
  • Buddy taping is a good treatment for toe fractures. For example, taping a broken 4th toe to a healthy 3rd
  • Broken pinky toe healing time as well as the rest of the toes, is on average six weeks.

What is a broken toe?

A Broken Toe overview guide

Toes are a commonly injured part of the foot. Each toe has 26 bones, and these bones are called phalanges. 14 of these are at the front or tip of the toe, and 5 of them, the metatarsals are at the back of the toe. Trauma such as a stubbed pinky toe is the most common reason for a fractured toe to occur.

What are the symptoms of a broken toe?

To answer the question is my toe broken? You need to know the symptoms, which are:

  • There will be difficulty in walking, especially if you have broken your big toe, which is crucial to balance. There will be pain, stiffness and swelling. To answer can you move a broken toe? Depends the break. A broken pinky might be much less painful and will be able to move and bend when you walk with little discomfort.
  • Other broken toe symptoms include:
    • Bruising on the toe
    • Bruising of the skin around the toe.
    • A toe bent out of shape due to a displaced bone.
  • A fractured toe can cause other problems, these complications will either happen during recovery or further into the future, possibly many years later.
  • People who have weak bones are likely to fracture a toe more often.

What are the causes of a broken toe?

Blunt trauma such as jamming or stubbing the toe, or having a heavy object falls on the toe are common causes of a toe fracture. Our toes, located at the front of our feet, are easily damaged during an accident involving the foot.

Stress and repetitive movements over a long period of time can result in a stress or hairline fracture of the toe. Certain people with medical conditions such as osteoporosis are at risk of developing hairline fractures simply through walking if they are wearing the wrong kind of footwear.

Do I need to call a doctor if I think I may have a broken toe?

The question, should I go to hospital for a broken toe? is that even if you can still walk on your injured toe, it is best to have it checked over anyway. Only a doctor can answer the question is my big toe broken? for you.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should visit the hospital, a sprained big toe vs. broken big toe share many common symptoms so it is best to be sure:

  • For a broken toe little in the way of symptoms may be visible. But for a complex or compound fracture, there may be an open wound, with blood loss, on or near the toe.
  • Your toe may have an odd sensation such as pins and needles, numbness or cold.
  • The skin may be discoloured, being grey or blue.
  • Your toe might be pointing in the wrong direction, or it could be pointing straight up or straight down.

Do you need to know what can a doctor do for a broken toe? If you have any of these symptoms:

  • If the pain of your broken toe keeps getting worse, and painkillers are no longer having an effect.
  • There is an open wound, soreness or redness near the toe.
  • There seems to be blood underneath the toenail, and the toenail has become very painful.
  • The broken toe cast or splint that your doctor fitted has broken, or come off.

How is a broken toe diagnosed?

If you need to visit the hospital to get treatment for broken toe injuries the following procedure will usually be followed:

  • The doctor will ask you questions about how the fractured toe occurred. If it is a broken toe in child then the parents will also answer these questions. The toe will be examined to see if there are any additional injuries.
  • You will be given an x-ray so that the broken toe images they produce will let the doctor know how badly the bone is broken. However, for minor breaks such as a pinky toe, an x-ray might not be required, as the doctor will simply treat it.
  • For hairline and stress fractures, an x-ray may not uncover them so an MRI will need to be used instead.

Which specialities of doctors treat a broken toe?

When you first report your broken toe, you will usually do so to either a Primary Care Provider (PCP) such as your GP or to a child specialist for injuries in young children. You will then be referred to an orthopedist, who specialises in musculoskeletal issues, or to a podiatrist, who specialises in foot issues.

If you have gone straight to the Accident & Emergency Department of your local hospital, you will be seen by a member of the general nursing staff, and then referred to a radiologist for x-ray or MRI tests. However, these will report directly to the doctor managing your case.

What is the treatment for a broken toe?

In many cases, a fractured toe can be cared for at home. Simply reducing the swelling and alleviating the pain are the only requirements. In these cases, the answer to the question how long does it take for a broken pinky toe to heal? Would be only as long as it is still causing pain as it is a very trivial injury. An ice pack, keeping the foot elevated and resting the foot is all that is needed to treat a minor injury.

For more severe injuries, the toe might need to be put back in place and a special cast or splint used to immobilise. You may also be given a special broken toe boot or broken toe shoe to help support the toe until it heals.

Can I care for a broken toe at home?

Many minor toe fractures such as a stubbed pinky toe can be cared for at home. If you suspect you have a more complex fracture, you should seek medical attention. If you are treating a broken toe what to do is the following:

  • Keep the foot well rested. Avoid walking on it, and don’t take any form of exercise. You may be able to get around by using crutches or a special broken toe boot or broken toe shoe. If you are using some sort of walking aid, make sure not to put too much weight on the affected foot.
  • You can take ice straight out of your freezer, and put it into a plastic bag. Take this bag of ice, and then place a towel over the skin of the fractured toe. Then apply the bag of ice to the towel. Don’t apply the bag of ice directly to the skin. Do this every couple of hours, for 15 to 20 minutes each time. You can use a bag of frozen vegetables instead of ice if you wish.
  • Keep your foot well elevated, ideally well above the level of your heart. This will reduce the blood flow to your foot, and will help to reduce the swelling and also lessens the pain to some degree. The best way is to be in a reclining position and prop your foot up on a small stack of pillows or cushions.

What is the medical treatment for a broken toe?

Toe Injuries Guide
Toe Injuries Guide

Depending on where the toe fracture has occurred, and how severe it is, then the doctor may need to realign the bones of the toe before it can heal. Once this has been done, a splint or a broken toe cast will be applied.

It the answer to is my big toe broken? is yes, then you may well need surgical treatment to make sure the bones are pinned in place as they heal. The big toe carries much of our weight as we stand and walk, and it needs to be secured in place to begin healing.

If you have a compound or open wound fracture, a course of antibiotics might be described to prevent infection from setting in.

What medications can I take for a broken toe?

Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are generally all that is needed to deal with the pain of a toe fracture. In severe cases, the hospital doctor may prescribe some stronger painkillers for the first few days of broken toe recovery time.

Buddy tape for a broken toe

  • Buddy taping is the process of taping a broken toe to an adjacent toe for support. This is generally the treatment used for a minor injury it would not work for more severe injuries such as a broken big toe joint.
  • A buddy taped toe can have the tape repaired or reapplied after bathing if the tape has become loose or come off entirely. Check with your doctor to make sure this is safe in your specific case.

How to buddy tape a broken toe

  • Put a piece of gauze or cotton wool between the two toes which are going to be taped together to prevent chafing, and blisters from being caused.
  • Using tape frugally, gently wind the tape loosely around the broken toe and the one adjacent to it.
  • Don’t tape too tightly as this can stop blood flow, or cause the toe to swell up.

WARNING: If your doctor gives you advice on how best to buddy tape a broken toe then make sure to follow it.

Casting a broken toe

It is not usually a requirement for broken toe treatment to apply a cast. Buddy taping is usually enough. However, a doctor might suggest you use a special boot or shoe that will support your broken toe as it heals, especially if the toe is very swollen.

A plaster cast (or surgery) might be needed for severe toe features such as a broken big toe. If the fracture is in the joint, surgery might be required to realign the bones so they heal straight.

Reduction for a broken toe

  • If the toe fracture has left the two ends of the bone displaced, or the fracture has resulted in the bones twisting apart from each other, a doctor will need to reduce it, this is the process of moving the bones to the right place so they can heal correctly.
  • You may be given a local anaesthetic to make sure your toe is numb before the doctor performs the reduction.
  • A splint or cast is applied after reduction, to prevent the bones from moving out of place again.

What are the possible complications of a broken toe?

Complication can occur with a broken toe injury such as a broken 4th toe. These complications will either occur fairly immediately in the course of short-term recovery or much later, sometimes many years in the future. Even the best treatment for broken toe can result in complications such as:

  • Injured nail – when blood collects underneath the toenail and cannot escape, this is a subungual hematoma. A large subungual hematoma can be extremely painful, and they will need a doctor to drain the blood from them. This is generally done by drilling a small hole in the toenail to let the blood escape. In more serious cases, the entire toenail may need to be removed.
  • Compound fracture – when the bone of the toe sticks out through the skin. This is quite rare, but it will need emergency surgery to correct.
  • Arthritis – a long-term side effect of a broken toe, leaving the toe joints stiff and painful.
  • Nonunion – when the two parts of broken bone fail to knit together because they were too far apart.
  • Malunion – when the two parts of the bone knit back together crookedly, leading to a deformed toe.

How Long Does It Take For A Broken Toe To Heal?

To find out about broken pinky toe healing time you should take to your doctor so that they can evaluate the healing, and make sure all is OK. If any complications occur before your next appointment, you should go to the A&E department of your local hospital.

Most broken toe injuries heal within six weeks. A further x-ray may be needed to check if your fracture is healing correctly. Your doctor will evaluate the healing, and let you know when he feels you are coming to the time to have your cast removed.

Simple fractures, almost always heal with no complications of ongoing health problems. Compound and complex fractures may result in the toe losing flexibility, and one or more of the long-term side effects of a broken toe setting in, such as arthritis.

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Recent Health News

NOAH Health NewsKeeping informed with the latest developments in the field of medicine and the health industry is extremely important. Not only does it mean that we are serious about taking good care of our health, it is also important if we want to make sure that we do not end up catching a disease that may be recently discovered. Some of the news shared here is of the same exact nature and it is also the reason why we should keep ourselves updated at often as possible. To find out about the recent developments in the health sector, read on.

New Aggressive HIV Strain

In a recent study, scientists have found a new strain of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV in Cuba and it is believed to be extremely aggressive. The scientists have said that the virus is capable of spreading so fast that it can already form symptoms of HIV before the person who has contracted it even knows about it. The formation of this new strain is said to have been caused when a person has unprotected sex with several infected partners and as a result of this the virus develops within the person and forms the new aggressive strain. According to the research, the result of getting infected with this aggressive strain is that the person has a lot less number of healthy years as compared to a normal HIV infected patient and the amount of virus infection found in the people infected with this strain is also very huge. The need to get tested has now become all the more important and scientists have declared that the people who are used to having unprotected sex with multiple partners should get themselves tested immediately in order to avoid any complications in the future.

Black market for blood in China amid a shortage of healthcare

Blood in ChinaIn the recent times, China has seen a very large increase in their requirement for healthcare and a shortage of blood in the market has led to the formation and growth of a black market for blood. The fact that it is an extremely important commodity in the health sector means that there is no way of stopping people from buying blood off the black market and this can lead to problems that are harmful to both the economy and the health sector. However, the doctors themselves are now saying that since there isn’t enough blood to supply to patients using traditional means, the fact that the patients are buying blood themselves is actually very helpful for them. In addition to this the multiple scandals that have been surrounding the different health organisations like the Red Cross in China have also been worsening the situation. With a loss of credibility and several incidents of unhygienic and unethical practices surfacing, it is becoming more and more difficult for the authorities to control this growth of this new black market. The question now is that whether or not the black market will do any good for the healthcare industry and if the problem will be solved before the country falls into a healthcare crisis.

New device research to help deaf children in hearing

Device Help For Deaf ChildrenAngelica Lopez is a 3 year old child who is helping in the recent breakthrough that scientists have made in helping deaf children gain the power of hearing. Having undergone a brain surgery, Lopez has an implant in her brain which bypasses the part of her ear where the wiring is missing. The tests have shown her hearing sounds for the first time and mimicking them using this technology called an ABI or auditory brainstem implant. The device was approved 15 years ago by FDA and after years of development, this proper testing has shown that the implant certainly has the potential to work. However, the technology is still limited and the amount of complexity involved in training the child is immense, meaning that a lot of work needs to be done still before it can be declared a success. One major concern here is also the fact that it is very delicate surgery and involves going into the deeper parts of the brain. The safety of performing such procedures on children and the potential hazards involved in it have also been pointed out by the researchers of University of South California (Los Angeles) who are performing the study. Whatever the case, the development is certainly an amazing breakthrough and if it can be made safe, it is definitely worth the effort and sacrifice.

To find out more about recent developments in the health sector, you can visit this link.

The Dangers of Obesity

Dangers of ObesityObesity is in essence the abnormal accumulation of fat in the body and it shouldn’t be too hard to understand that anything abnormal in the body is a danger to it. It is very crucial to understand this issue properly if we are to combat it with successful results. In order to help you with that, we have decided to provide you with a comprehensive outlook on obesity so that you can plan your fight against it in a better and more effective manner.

Understanding obesity and its causes

Obesity is basically the accumulation of excessive amount of fats in the body which lead to a person gaining an abnormal amount of weight. It is actually considered to be a disorder and that alone should give an idea about its seriousness. While most people may think of it as a cosmetic problem, the health risks related to obesity are actually very serious.

There are a number of different reasons that can lead to an onslaught of obesity and each and every one of them needs to be tackled differently since all of them have different parameters. The reasons that lead to a person becoming overweight or obese include the following.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: Being a couch potato it seems is becoming the biggest reason of all in the occurrence of obesity. With so much ease provided to us in our daily lives by technology, we have become used to not moving around as much as we once used to and that has led to a piling up of the calories we consume, the level of which has obviously not gone down.
  • Pregnancy: It is a very common thing to see women who are pregnant gaining weight. This is actually necessary too since the extra food consumption is what is required to keep the fetus healthy. However, once they have given birth, most women find it very difficult to lose the weight that they have gained and that leads to obesity.
  • Medical reasons: There are several medical conditions that upset the body’s energy balance and while a person may have had a good healthy lifestyle, the disease can take all that away and bring about a sudden gain in weight. This can lead to a proper development of obesity in those people and both men and women are equally vulnerable to this problem.
  • Unhealthy eating: This is one of the most common known reasons for obesity now, especially in the first world countries. With food chains providing foods that are rich in bad calories and have very little nutrients, the ultimate result is an excessive amount of consumption and eventually, the onslaught of obesity.

The above reasons can also provide us with an idea of the type of people who are at a risk of becoming obese. If you have an inactive lifestyle, bad eating habits or other medical reasons, you are very much at the risk of becoming obese.

Health problems

Obesity can lead to several very serious problems if not tended to properly and on time. As far as the physical deterioration is concerned, since obesity is usually coupled with inactivity, it leads to deterioration in muscles which can be very problematic when you need to perform strenuous activities. Also the weight gain is in itself a very serious troublemaker since it can put a lot of stress on the bones, causing them to become weak. Last but not the least, the excessive fat that is being consumed leads to an abnormal amount of cholesterol precipitation in the blood vessels and that can lead to blockages and serious heart diseases too. Problems as serious and sometimes fatal as pulmonary embolism have been associated with cholesterol accumulation in the blood vessels that is caused by obesity.

Treating obesity

Treating obesityIn simple words, the process required to control obesity has to be the complete opposite of the things that actually led to its development in the first place. To reverse inactivity, one has to change their lifestyle, stop being a couch potato and start exercising on a daily basis. The food consumption needs to be controlled and all the junk food needs to be replaced by fresh and healthy food. In addition to that the composition of the diet also has to be right, meaning that the right amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates should be consumed daily. As for those who have medical reasons, they must contact their physician immediately and discuss the problem to find a suitable cure.

If you are interested in further exploration on the topic, here is a link for UK government policies regarding the issue.

The Importance of Exercise

Healthy ExerciseAlthough there are all kinds of things, both natural and artificial that people do nowadays to achieve the perfect body and health, there is one particular activity that has been tested and proven its worth for many years without failing. This activity is exercise and the benefits and importance it carries are simply endless. Understanding why we need to exercise and then implementing it into our lifestyles is one of the most important goals of life and to help you with that, this article will describe all the crucial things you need to know.

Sedentary lifestyles

To understand the importance of exercise, we must focus on the problem that it is a solution to. With the advancements in technology, we have been provided with solutions to so many tasks that we would otherwise have to perform physically. While being physically involved on a daily basis we automatically kept our bodies active and strong, the lack of those opportunities has led to a sedentary lifestyle that is eroding our bodies in several ways. Therefore it is important that we realise why exercise is an important part of our life and what benefits it carries.

Benefits to health

Just like a whetstone is used to keep a blade sharp, exercise plays the most vital role in making sure that our body also remains at its optimum performance level. We move around and do even the smallest tasks using our muscles and it is exercise that keeps these muscles fully toned and ready to perform all kinds of tasks. If you do not sharpen a blade, it would start to get blunt and soon it would become useless. Similarly, if you do not use your muscles properly and spend your time relaxing all the time, you body will start to deteriorate and then when you will really need to perform physically, you won’t be able to do so. But this is just the core of the whole idea and the overall benefits that exercise has on our health are simply endless. Our bodies are not just strengthened physically but also mentally and when the two come together, we can not only fight off physical damage to our body but also be strong in resisting against chemical impacts like diseases.

Types of exercise and routine

Although exercise is very crucial to a healthy lifestyle, the simple rule of thumb that applies here like all other places is that excess of everything is bad. We should do exercise but only as much as we can afford to. No one is born with a body that can take endless endurance and it is only through time that we grow stronger. For all of you who are at the beginning stage of developing a daily exercise routine, you are advised to perform mild aerobic exercise like running or different warming up and stretching exercises. Taking on too much pressure can lead to muscular and other physical damage which is something you really don’t want.

Scientific evidence

Over the years, scientists have indulged themselves in countless tests to prove the fact that having an active body is much more important than we realise. The differences in terms of endurance, performance level and stamina that have been derived from countless researches show differences that are clear as day. Even if we look around, we can easily compare a person who has a sedentary lifestyle to one who has an active body and see how different the two really are. Presenting statistics would be pointless for something that is so clearly understandable but if you still want proof, you can find it anywhere.

Improved stamina

Exercise & Improved staminaRegular exercise leads to the development of stamina, something which can prove to be extremely crucial when you find yourself in a difficult situation. Having the strength to endure adverse environments for prolonged periods of time is very important for living long and healthy and if we look at the bigger picture, this is what the whole concept of natural selection and survival of the fittest is all about too.

Increased strength

We are often faced with situations where our physical strength is tested and if we are not properly trained to endure that strain then it could lead to a lot of problems too. But the simple fact is that a healthy body is not only useful, it is also very attractive and when it comes to social acceptance, we can clearly see that strong people are given more attention than those who are weak and unhealthy.

To find out what the Chief Medical Officer of the UK thinks about general physical activity requirements, you can visit this link.