"NHS Choose and Book"

About: Spire Gatwick Park Hospital

I had a minor achilles operation at the Spire Gatwick through the NHS Choose and Book . It’s a very nice hospital. The NHS pays and -in theory- I could have the operation and get back to work quicker.

I was initially told I should be fully recovered in 3 months, then 3 to six months, then 6 months to a year.

The big issue is that Spire don't want to be involved, unless they are paid, in post-operation treatment and they have no connection with NHS post-op treatment.

The Consultant who did the operation told me I would see a physio a few weeks after the op.

Spire were confused when I said I thought the NHS was paying for the physio and said I should talk to the Consultant. The Consultant happily told me they would arrange it all with the NHS and the clinic I would be attending. They said they would phone me shortly. A couple of week later I managed to get through to the NHS clinic they told me that had received a letter but my treatment wasn’t urgent so I would have to wait months.

More than 3 months after the operation I finally saw an NHS physio who had no access to the Consultants notes, what they had done or to the ultra-sound scans so they’re a bit lost. They didn’t understand how the Consultant could sign me as Ok when I couldn’t walk up a flight of steps without being in pain.

More than 6 months after the operation and I’m considering I might be able to go back to work but before the operation I could jog 2 km without feeling any pain now I can hardly run about 100m.

If you think you will get treated and avoid the NHS queues by Choosing to Book the operation at Spire then consider that you’re going out of the NHS loop and once you leave Spire’s hospital you’re the NHS’s problem. To the point where the Ward Sister refused to provide crutches for me to take with me.

I would have been treated quicker, better and with far less confusion if I had stayed within the NHS.

Story from NHS Choices

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