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Benefits of paying for yourself

Read more about the benefits of paying for your healthcare, whether you're paying for yourself or through private medical insurance.

close up of radiologist operating MRI scanner and analysing results

If you're asking yourself the question 'Is private healthcare worth it?', the short answer is yes.

We've rounded up what we see as the key benefits of going private, and you'll find a more detailed explanation of each of these points below:

  • Shorter waiting times for treatment
  • Fast access to consultant-led treatment
  • The ability to choose your consultant
  • The choice of which hospital to use
  • Bespoke treatment plans, built around you
  • Comfy private rooms should you need to stay overnight
  • More one-on-one time and a better consistency of care
  • Access to new technologies and state-of-the-art facilities
  • A focus on specialist aftercare to enhance your recovery

If you've already decided to go private and you're wondering which hospital to choose, this page will show you why Circle Health Group is the best private healthcare provider in the UK.

Self-pay is when you pay for private healthcare without insurance, using your own money. You might also hear it referred to as paying for yourself, self-funding, or pay-as-you-go private healthcare.

Using self-pay offers all the benefits listed above, and there are also additional benefits for self-funding patients that you might not get if you use another method to access healthcare with Circle Health Group:

An easy way to access private treatment

The main benefit of paying for yourself is that it gives you easy access to private medical care.

Self-pay at Circle Health Group is available to everyone, it can be used to cover the cost of private treatment at any of our hospitals and with any of our consultants. Whatever medical condition you have and whatever treatment you need, you can simply pay for it using your own money.

This is not true of private health insurance cover, which generally will not pay for pre-existing medical conditions (for example heart disease or diabetes) or cosmetic surgery, for example.

In fact, many people with private medical insurance will still use our self-pay services for access to private treatments that aren't covered by their plan. Using self-pay does not affect your private health insurance plan or premiums in any way.

Peace of mind, without insurance premiums

Many people want to know they'll have access to private treatment when they need it, but are put off by the monthly cost of insurance plans.

This is where self-pay can be a more attractive option, because you only pay for healthcare when you need it. You can still pay monthly for healthcare using our flexible payment plans (more below), but you won't run the risk of paying for more than you need or use.

Fixed-price packages (with no surprises down the line)

If you choose self-pay, we will put together a fixed-price package that covers any treatment you need as well as follow-up appointments and aftercare.

You'll pay for your initial consultation (and any diagnostic tests done at this time) separately, but once we have reached a diagnosis and devised your personalised treatment plan, a fixed price will be confirmed to you in writing.

This means you will know exactly what you have to pay before you agree to have treatment with us, and you won't experience the nasty surprise of unexpected costs later on.

Affordable monthly repayment plans available

We work with Chrysalis Finance to offer flexible payment plans, meaning you can get a loan that covers the costs of your treatment at any of our hospitals.

You can spread the cost of treatment over a period to suit you, making for monthly instalments that are easier to manage. Find out more in the section below.

Six months of aftercare included to speed up your recovery

At Circle Health Group, we put a real focus on aftercare and rehabilitation to support our patients in making the fastest and fullest recovery possible.

If you choose one of our self-pay fixed-price packages, you'll get six months' aftercare included. So you can focus on getting better without worrying about hidden or unexpected costs popping up down the line.

Go back to the NHS any time you want

You don't have to leave the National Health Service behind just because you pay for a private consultation or procedure. Using private healthcare has no effect whatsoever on your status as an NHS patient.

Many people choose to move between private and state healthcare, and neither Circle Health Group nor the NHS have any problems with you doing the same.

We offer flexible payment plans that can help you to spread the cost of your private treatment. If you don't want to pay all at once, you can split the price into more manageable monthly instalments.

We do this via loans, which we offer in partnership with Chrysalis Finance.

You can spread the cost of treatment across a period to suit you, from 10 months to five years, with interest-free credit for the first 10 months.

Find out everything you need to know about our flexible payment plans.

Paying for private healthcare without private medical insurance is simpler than you might think.

If you're interested in paying for your own treatment but aren't sure how to get started, follow our step-by-step guide to paying for yourself.

If you are looking for the prices of specific treatments, we have more information on private healthcare costs here.

Absolutely. Whether you have a personal insurance plan or one through your employer, you can use your private health insurance to pay for treatment at any Circle Health Group hospital.

We work with all major providers, and medical insurance pays for thousands of procedures each year across our hospitals.

Everything you need to know about using PMI at Circle.

The number one benefit of private healthcare for most people is that you'll experience a shorter waiting time for treatment. We don't have long waiting lists, and in general you'll simply get treatment as and when you need it.

As a private patient, you shouldn't experience long waits between appointments. We can usually offer your initial consultation within days of you getting in touch, and we'll book you in for the treatments you need on a date and time that suits you. It's highly unlikely that your surgery will be cancelled or postponed unexpectedly, except in the case of an emergency.

Reduced waiting times not only cut down on the stress and worry of waiting for medical treatment, they also reduce the chance that your symptoms could get worse while you wait. And of course, the sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can get back to doing the things you love./p>

When you choose Circle Health Group, your treatment will be led by an experienced consultant from start to finish. Our consultants are all respected specialists in their field, and the consultant leading your treatment will have extensive experience in treating the condition you are dealing with.  

When you pay for private healthcare, you may also get access to treatments, medications and technologies that would not be available to you at an NHS hospital. 

Our specialists work alongside multidisciplinary teams to support you in a holistic manner throughout your treatment as well as your recovery journey.  

Once you know what treatment you need, you can make a choice of which specialist you would like to see. Our handy consultant finder will help you to narrow down your search by speciality and hospital or area.

If you need a GP referral for treatment, you can ask your GP to refer you to a specific consultant of your choice.

You can also choose where you receive treatment. For most people, this will be the hospital nearest to where they live. But it doesn't have to be. There are many reasons why one hospital or another might be the best option for you, and that's absolutely fine. The choice is yours.

At Circle Health Group, we don't believe in one-size-fits-all medicine.

Each of our consultants is committed to creating a bespoke treatment plan for each specific patient.

During your initial consultation, they will get to know you as an individual, learning about everything from your medical history and current symptoms to your hobbies and interests, and what you hope to achieve with treatment.

They'll use this information to create a bespoke treatment plan, tailored to your personal circumstances and needs, which they will discuss with you in detail to make sure you are happy with it too.

Our private rooms are one of the things our patients say make the biggest difference to their experience.

If you need to stay overnight at any of our hospitals, you'll have a private room as standard. You'll have access to a bath or shower room (typically ensuite), a TV and radio and free WiFi.

There's no need to worry about bad hospital food because our menus are something to write home about. Our onsite catering teams prepare delicious, nutritionally balanced meals every day, and our menu can be tailored to any dietary requirements you have.

You'll find that Circle hospitals are calm and peaceful, spacious and clean, and filled with friendly faces. We can't take all the stress out of having treatment, but we aim to do as much as we can.

We value compassion and the personal touch in our care just as highly as we do clinical excellence.

When you have treatment with us, you'll be supported by a multidisciplinary team of friendly and experienced healthcare professionals. You'll get more face-to-face time with our team, and wherever possible we'll see to it that you see the same friendly faces from start to finish.

This includes your consultant, who will be there for you from start to finish, guiding you through your treatment journey.

At Circle Health Group, we're investing millions of pounds into the technologies and facilities across all of our 50+ UK locations.

As a patient with us, you'll benefit from the latest diagnostic and imaging equipment, as well as state-of-the-art physiotherapy equipment such as anti-gravity treadmills and 3D gait scanning technology.

Our consultants are leaders in their respective fields, keeping up to date with the latest medical developments and embracing pioneering technology, such as robotic surgical tools.

All of our hospitals are maintained to strict standards of cleanliness, and we follow stringent infection prevention protocols.

Aftercare is a vital part of your overall recovery from trauma, surgery or illness. Post-treatment support has been shown to improve recovery in both the short and the long term.

When you choose Circle Health Group, you gain access to tailored, specialist aftercare from a multidisciplinary team of experts. Depending on your individual needs, you might see physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, doctors and pharmacists.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people on waiting lists for knee surgery has dramatically increased.

Circle Health Group is working closely with the NHS to try and take the pressure off, and many NHS patients have received free healthcare at our private hospitals, including a large number of knee surgery patients.

However, there is still a significant wait to get knee replacement surgery and other knee operations on the NHS. This means thousands of people in the UK are living with chronic knee pain and stiffness while they wait to be seen, with a significant proportion waiting longer than the recommended 18 weeks.

Knee pain can have a huge impact on your quality of life, stopping you from doing the things you love, interrupting your sleep, affecting your relationships and career, and in turn damaging your mental health.

If you're currently on a waiting list for knee surgery and are finding it hard to manage your pain, treatment from an expert consultant at a Circle Health Group hospital can offer a fast and safe alternative to public healthcare.

Remember, we offer flexible payment options that allow you to spread the cost of treatment, so private healthcare might be more affordable than you think.