If you have significant knee symptoms, the option of seeking an opinion from Simon funded by yourself may be appropriate. This will allow a rapid assessment of your knee problem and provide direct feedback from an expert knee surgeon giving an opinion about the most appropriate way forward.
An initial consultation with Simon will cost £225. This will include taking a complete history about your knee problem followed by a clinical examination and a comprehensive letter to you and your general practitioner giving an opinion about the cause of your knee symptoms and a potential plan for management.
If you have already had imaging of your knee or a previous opinion Simon will be grateful if you could ensure that he has the opportunity to review the images and the previous opinion when you are seen in clinic. His practice manager will be able to request transfer of images to the hospital where you are seen to ensure that Simon has these available.
Sometimes further imaging is required and Simon will discuss the cost of this with you. The options are to consider funding the imaging yourself or discussing the requirement for further imaging with your general practitioner who could potentially request the images through the NHS and then refer you back to see Simon as an NHS patient.
Should you decide to fund further images privately, Simon will arrange to see you with the results in order to formulate a management plan specific to your knee problem.
If after discussion you decide to go forward with a surgical procedure funded by yourself, the hospitals in which Simon works have packages to cover the surgery you require. Click here to access the self-pay price for KIMS Hospital, scroll down to Orthopaedics and click here to obtain the self-pay price for the Spire Alexandra Hospital you will need to contact the hospital to obtain a quote.
Simon's practice manager will be able to help you with the costs involved. Should you decide that you are unable to fund the cost of surgery then Simon would suggest that you return to see your general practitioner to ask if they could refer you for surgery to see Simon as an NHS patient through the "Choose and Book" scheme (link to paragraph about nhs treatment). Simon's practice manager will be able to help you to progress through this route.
Simon is recognised by all of the private healthcare provider insurers to give advice about knee conditions. You should be aware that although Simon's fees fall within the limits set by your insurer, many policies require you to pay an excess which would be payable directly to Simon in the majority of situations.
Simon’s practice credit controller, Karen, will contact you directly if this is the case. It is important to check with your insurers prior to your initial consultation what your policy covers as some policies set limits to what you are entitled to – for example some policies require you to pay for the initial consultation.
If Simon has recommended that you need an MRI scan, it is usually possible to arrange this within a week of your initial consultation and Simon will see you again with the results. During this follow-up consultation Simon will discuss the treatment options with you and if he recommends either injection treatment or surgical treatment generally that should be covered by your insurance policy – but you will need to contact your insurers for authorisation.
Sometimes physiotherapy is necessary and for the vast majority of insured patients this initial physiotherapy treatment would be covered as part of the referral process – but, again, please check with your insurer first.
If surgery is required, Simon will discuss the procedure with you in detail along with risks and benefits at your follow-up appointment, and arrange to send you further information about the procedure.
Should a decision be made to go forward with surgery, you will have the opportunity to discuss the timing of surgery with Simon directly and a date for your procedure can be set immediately at the time of your consultation.
Once again the hospital fees, anaesthetic fees and Simon's surgical fees should fall within the fees acceptable to your insurer.
Although Simon left Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in March 2016 having been a consultant for 20 years, he continues to offer treatment to NHS patients through the "Choose and Book" network at each of the hospitals where he works.
The “Choose and Book” scheme allows your general practitioner to make a referral to Simon through the electronic referral system to either KIMS Hospital or the Spire Alexandra Hospital for you to be seen. This referral and subsequent treatment is fully funded by your general practitioner and allows Simon to request further investigation which would include scanning of your knee as well as a follow-up appointment to discuss the results and then plan surgical treatment if this proves appropriate.
It should be noted that the “Choose and Book” scheme does not yet allow treatment by physiotherapy without a surgical procedure and if Simon recommends that route, you may need to return to see your general practitioner to discuss the next step.
There is a distinct difference between a “Choose and Book” referral through the NHS pathway and funding treatment yourself. The NHS referral route allows an initial outpatient consultation at no cost to yourself with Simon and further imaging which may be required to make a definite diagnosis. In contrast to funding the pathway yourself, the NHS route does take longer for imaging and subsequent review in accordance with the “Choose and Book” pathway.
If following the initial consultation and any imaging required Simon considers that surgery would be the appropriate treatment for you, he will discuss this in detail along with risks and benefits and arranged to send you consent information about the proposed treatment.
At the time of making a decision to go forward with surgery Simon will discuss a date for treatment based on the NHS pathway and treatment timescale. It is likely that treatment will be arranged at around 3 months following your initial general practitioner's referral. Treatment will be provided by Simon in the hospital at which you were seen for consultation.