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.