Updated: Jan 2
Whether it be an ophthalmic surgeon for cataract surgery, seeking the latest technology in laser eye surgery and refractive surgery or looking for cosmetic eyelid surgery, Harley Street is a world famous medical heartland.
The medical enclave of Harley Street in London expanded long ago
World class medical care has expanded from Harley Street to Wimpole Street and the surrounding Marylebone area in London. King Edward VII's Hospital for example is frequented by royalty and has a rigorous policy on confidentiality. It is found on Beamont Street and not Harley Street.
Those looking for a private eye clinic may find the selection difficult with the range of clinics available. So how do you choose? Private patients should choose an eye clinic that offers the service you require for a start. Word of mouth is still very important despite the age of the internet. There is no greater recommendation than from someone who has used that service, who you know and trust. Looking online for reviews is also important. Try and use a trusted source of reviews where each review is independently verified.
Think about a Consultant Ophthalmologist that offers the same procedures to private patients and the NHS
Consider going for a consultant ophthalmologist who also works in the NHS in the specialisation that you are seeking. This is because jobs for eye surgeons in prestigious NHS Hospitals in the heart of London are actually very competitive. In the same way see if they have been trained in famous centres such as Imperial College Healthcare Trust or Moorfields Eye Hospital. If you re looking for blepharoplasty surgery, find surgeons who perform this in the NHS and privately. Seeing a doctor who specialises in macular degeneration or retinal detachment in the NHS but offers eyelid surgery privately may not be the best to go for. On the other hand most ophthalmologists offer cataract surgery and lens replacement surgery as this is a very common procedure that is performed.
Check if they have their private services in clinics that are inspected by the Care Quality Commission which is a government body that assesses the quality of care on a regular basis.
Look if they operate in private hospitals that are also inspected by the Care Quality Commission that have a good reputation.
Think about Ophthalmic consultants that have an informative website with an open and transparent pricing policy so that you don't get an unwelcome surprise when it comes to the bill.
Private healthcare can be costly. Eye care and eye treatments may be covered by your private medical insurance so check if your consultant is registered with your insurer and if your private treatment would be covered.
Above all seek an ophthalmic surgeon that is accessible and that you feel comfortable with and trust in. Ophthalmic care for your eye problem may require regular follow ups and you need to comfortable with the treatment options that are offered. The patient experience as well as the use of the latest technology are key factors in your care.
Should I choose an independent clinic of private eye hospital?
There should be no difference in the quality of care between a private eye hospital and an idenpendant clinic in Central London. Many eye clinics have state of the art equipment and offer you the choice of which private hospital to have your surgery in. For example cataract surgery can be offered in a number of locations and you then have the choice of which is most convenient to you and when it can be done. Your ophthalmic surgeon should offer you the choice of where to have your ophthalmic procedure whether they see you in a private eye hospital or an independent clinic. At the end of the day the patient experience is the most important factor and make sure you choose a consultant who finds this as important as you do and is happy to support you on that journey.