A country road leading off into the distance

The Journey

First Steps

You are probably reading this because you have a child (grandchild or friend's child) who has a health problem. This is unfortunately real life and produces a huge amount of anxiety. As a first step we suggest that you discuss the issues in detail with your GP. From time to time, a child may be receiving hospital treatment, or be waiting excessively to be seen in a hospital clinic.

You or your GP may want a fresh pair of eyes on the problems you are experiencing. I could never offer an opinion different to that, which I give in the NHS, each opinion is based on my best and sincere opinion. However, I can see your child much faster, and out of the usual office hours, with car parking (and this factor cannot be underplayed)! A further opinion might be useful to you at a time when you really need it and quickly bring some clarity (even if it is in terms of a plan to implement).

The goal of private healthcare

The goal of private healthcare is to provide what is needed, when it is needed, to accompany your family with expert advice and guidance during a difficult, but hopefully short time period.

Paediatric care should be unobtrusive, outside the family circle, but at the same level to enable free, frank, and honest communication. There will not be lots of staff to deal with, you will see the same consultant on each occasion, until the problem is dealt with, or it is clear that the problem is better dealt with by someone else.

The resources of The Thornbury Hospital enable us to perform a vast array of blood tests, scans (MRI, CT and ultrasound), x-rays and endoscopy tests on children, with short waiting times. All endoscopy lists are done under general anaesthetic, by a consultant paediatric anaesthetist and staffed by paediatric nurses and operating department practitioners trained in paediatrics.

All the imaging tests are reported and overseen by a consultant paediatric radiologist. We have access to specialist children's services privately in surgery, orthopaedics, dermatology, ENT, ophthalmology, general paediatric medicine, neurology and gastroenterology. In addition, you are not precluded from any NHS treatments if you consult a private doctor, but usually you end up being referred to the correct practitioner more quickly.

Bringing clarity

Sometimes medical plans can be mind boggling and the way ahead not clear, in the case of highly specialised paediatric medicine, this is best clarified with the team looking after your child, or with your GP. If however, the problem is not with a specialist team, or one specialising in gastroenterology, then it can help to talk through symptoms, plans, findings etc. Sometimes a detailed, jargon free, conversation can help inform the questions parents and children are needing to ask. It is surprising how often this is the case.

Combining private and NHS medicine

There is no expectation that all care is delivered through private medicine. A single consultation or a full treatment course can be followed; there is no obligation to continue in private healthcare. All information is fed back to your GP and made available to NHS health professionals. Only BUPA approved fee schedules are followed.

Forward together

It is our goal to offer the right treatment in a way that does not disturb the normal dynamic of the parent feeding the child an understanding of a very unfamiliar situation. Often it is the parent that needs help to filter and clarify the relevant facts and then they communicate to the child. As a child approaches adulthood, the need for direct communication with the child increases, but never overtakes the importance of what a parent or guardian says to the child.