What is a Private Scan?
A private scan is a medical imaging examination undertaken by a private healthcare provider where the cost of the examination is undertaken by the patient. There is a large number of private diagnostic imaging providers that offer various scans including private ultrasounds, CT and MRI.
What is a Scan?
A medical scan is a diagnostic imaging investigation employed to diagnose any internal abnormality that explains any symptoms you might be experiencing.
Different types of scans
There are various kinds of diagnostic scans but the most common are:
The ultrasound scan, mostly ascociated with pregnancy ultrasounds, is using sound wanes to obtain internal images of your organs. Uses no radiation and it is not known to be harmful to adults and most important unborn babies. You can find more information about ultrasound scans.
Unlike the ultrasound scan the CT scan uses radiation to obtaing images of the internal organs and be used in cases where ultrasound offer suboptimal imaging information. Due to radiation risk CT scans are limited to patients where the diagnosis outweights the radiation risks from the scan.
The MRI scanner used magnetic fields to obtain the required diagnostic information.
Can i pay for an scan?
Yes, you can pay to have a private scan but CT and MRI investigations will require a doctor's request. The majority of the ultrasound scan clinics do not require a doctors referral.
How much an ultrasound Scan cost?
Ultrasound scan prices vary quite significantly throughout the UK and mostly in London. The average price is however between £100 and £200.
Private hospitals will charge significant more than a private ultrasound clinic run by NHS sonographers. Sometimes more than 3 times. You also need to be aware of any hidden costs.
A few clinics offer significantly discounted examination, raising concerns not only about the quality of service but also diagnostic accuracy of the results.
Why should I have a private ultrasound scan?
The main reason patients choose to have a private ultrasound scan instead of one provided for free by the NHS is that the waiting times can be very long. Most NHS providers aim to offer an ultrasound within 6 weeks. It is unfortunately very common these days to hear stories of patients waiting for more than 6 weeks waiting. This can have significant impact on patients' health management.
Another reason is convenience. Although NHS is slowly changing, most imaging departments operate between 9 to 5 which is not always suitable with our fast and busy lifestyles.
How to choose a private ultrasound clinic?
There are so many ultrasound clinics in London offering scans and mainly private ultrasounds that makes it very difficult to choose the best.
What should you look for when you choosing an ultrasound clinic?
- Care Qualiy Commision registration
- Independent reviews to find out what users think about the service they received.
- If the sonographers or radiologists are experienced and knowledgable.
- How long they have been offering ultrasound services?