FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
London Pain Clinic
Q How do I make an appointment with London Pain Clinic?
A You can make an appointment with London Pain Clinic by telephoning us on 0207 118 0250.
Q What if I have healthcare insurance?
A We are registered with the majority of healthcare insurance companies. We will require your policy/membership number and a pre-authorisation number. This will be given to you by your healthcare insurance company at the time of making a claim for a consultation. Some few healthcare providers will send you a claim form which you will need to bring to the clinic for the consultant to complete and send off. Geraldine will talk you through any problems you may encounter regarding your healthcare insurance.
Some insurance companies will require a referral from your GP.
Q What if I don’t have healthcare insurance?
A We are happy to see you as a self funding patient, although we will require payment at the time of booking your consultation. This can be done over the telephone by debit or credit card. Payment for all appointments is due at the time of booking for self funding patients.
We do not require a referral letter from your GP as we will obtain all the relevant medical history we require from you in the form of two pain questionnaires that we will send to you with confirmation of your appointment.
Q Once I have agreed a date and time for my appointment, what happens next?
A Written confirmation of your appointment date, time and location will be sent to you by e mail (or post if you do not have email). This will include instructions of what you need to bring with you and essential information to read.
On your confirmation letter will be a link to the online questionnaires (a general history questionnaire and a pain inventory which asks you to score your pain), which you are asked to complete and which are sent to us electronically. These questionnaires cover a lot of background information regarding your situation and how your problem began. They have been selected to provide the information we require in order to gain a good understanding of how your problem affects you 24/7. If you require the questionnaires to be posted to you rather than completing them online, please let us know – in that case you can bring them along to your consultation with you.
If you do need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, we require at least 24 hours notice or you will be charged in full. This is because it is unlikely that we are able to rebook the appointment within 24 hours. We have also found that in the past when a patient has failed to arrive and has not contacted us, we have turned patients away that could have taken the appointment. Also, as our Doctors offer appointments at various locations we hire our consulting rooms on a sessional basis, rather than per patient and we therefore still have to pay for the clinic room whether a patient attends their appointment or not.
Q What happens at the consultation?
A The consultant will discuss your completed questionnaires with you and view any copies of investigations that you are able to take with you. Where appropriate, an examination will be carried out. Women can bring a chaperone if they require. The consultant will then discuss his thoughts and findings with you regarding a diagnosis and whether any investigations would be recommended in order to obtain a diagnosis. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions that you wish that may not have been covered in the consultation.
Q What happens after the consultation?
A The consultant will have already discussed his recommendations with you. These may include the following:
Medication: Where a course of medication is suggested, a report will be sent to your GP via fax within 24 working hours of your appointment with a request to prescribe the medication regime. Halfway through your course of medication, you will be contacted by London Pain Clinic for a brief progress report and request to arrange a review consultation just prior to the end of your course of medication.
Physiotherapy: A referral will be made to our physiotherapy team within 48 working hours of your appointment. A member of the physiotherapy team will contact you direct to arrange a convenient date and time. Our physiotherapy team will send us periodic reports to keep us informed of your progress.
Investigations: Where it is recommended that further imaging (MRI, CT, ultrasound, x ray etc.) would prove beneficial in forming a diagnosis, a referral will be made to the appropriate department and hospital to contact you direct to arrange a convenient date and time for your investigation.
Minimally invasive pain management techniques: London Pain Clinic will contact you shortly after your consultation to arrange a convenient date and time for your admission. The majority of procedures are classed as a day case and you will be discharged home within 1-2 hours of your procedure. Some procedures require a sedative, this is not a general anaesthetic, and it is therefore advisable that you have someone to escort you home following your procedure. You may feel some pain once the local anaesthetic wears off and you will be given some pain killers to take home with you. You will be contacted again approximately 3-4 weeks after your procedure to check on your progress and to arrange a review consultation.
Referral to another specialist: If it is recommended that an opinion from another specialist, e.g. consultant orthopaedic surgeon, consultant gynaecologist etc., a referral will be made to one of our specialist colleagues, who will contact you direct to arrange a convenient date and time for your assessment.
A written report is sent to your GP and any other specialists currently involved in your care/treatment. A copy of the report will also be sent to you.
Q Can I transfer back to the NHS?
A You are free to transfer back to the NHS at any time. You will, however, need to be referred via your GP. Some patients choose to have an assessment with London Pain Clinic in order to obtain a diagnosis and receive appropriate medication via their GP, and then transfer back to the NHS.
Q What if I have any concerns and my review appointment isn’t for another few weeks?
A London Pain Clinic has an ‘open door’ policy with regard to assisting patients with their concerns. If you have any worries about your care and/or treatment or if your pain becomes worse, you can contact us and we will endeavour to assist you, but please note that if you haven’t seen your consultant for more than four weeks he will most likely need to review you formally before further advice can be given.