If my GP or midwife refers me to a gynaecologist, can I choose who I see?
Yes. Choice is a very important aspect to healthcare and this should extended to who YOU wish to see. Our consultants work extensively in the NHS and private sector and are subspecialists in their area of gynaecology. It is worth seeing if your GP or midwife can provide information on the choices available for your condition and request a one-to-one consultation with our experienced gynaecologists, and urogynaecologists.
Can I request someone else to be present when the doctor is examining me?
Yes. A woman can be accompanied by a relative, friend or nurse when they come to see our consultants. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a chat or an examination it’s important that our patients feel as relaxed as possible when they come to clinics. A chaperone is always present when you are being examined by a consultant.
Are medical students or other doctors being present?
Observing senior doctors and consultants at work is an essential part of training for medical students and trainee doctors. However, it’s your decision as to whether they are present during all of your appointments or whether they stay for some and not for others in the NHS. At the London Women’s Centre there are no trainee doctors or medical students that will deliver your care. Your procedures will only be carried out by senior consultants.
How do I see a private gynaecologist or obstetrician?
Your GP will know the names of accredited specialists who undertake private work in your area. They will then send a referral letter to the private clinic and an appointment will be arranged thereafter. Alternatively, you can directly contact one of the private hospitals where the London Women’s Centre delivers care and book an appointment yourself via the hospital’s outpatient departments.
How do I get a second opinion after I’ve seen one specialist?
It’s not an uncommon request and it’s certainly within your rights to ask for a second opinion. You can either ask the specialist directly or you can ask your general practitioner to arrange it.
Can I ask the doctor not to inform my GP or other healthcare professional about my treatment, condition or medical history?
Yes. According to the Good Medical Practice guidelines, you have the right to ask your consultant not to inform your general practitioner or other healthcare professionals about your condition or treatment. While we don’t openly advocate this, our patients have the authority to make this decision.
Will I see the letters written to my doctor after a consultation?
If, on the other hand, you are happy for your private medical notes to be sent to your GP, then we will follow the NHS’ Copying Correspondence policy. This means that our patients can request to have a copy of all official letters sent to their GP (unless in exceptional circumstances when the doctor doesn’t feel that it would be in the patient’s interest). This should happen automatically, but to be sure, you can mention this at the time of your consultation.
Are language translators available if necessary?
If you are not a native English or Greek speaker then it may be worth asking for a translator to accompany you to your appointments. This should be done well in advance of your consultation so we have time to find an appropriate interpreter. While many people prefer to rely on a family member or friend you may prefer to have a professional who will be able to translate medical terms etc. If you use British Sign Language as your first and preferred language then again we can find a qualified interpreter on your behalf.
Do I have a choice of treatments?
Yes. Our gynaecologists and urogynaecologists will discuss the full range of treatments that are suitable for you. They will explain to you the advantages of each option (including the success rates, simplicity and speed of recovery), along with the associated disadvantages (including possible complications, side effects and complexity).
Your ongoing care will be carried out in partnership between you and your consultant, following a treatment course that is most suitable for you. You do not need to make an immediate decision. At The London Women’s Centre we advise our patients to consider all the options after your appointment and further discussions can be had if needed. We will also supply you with additional information which you can take home with you, as well as resources downloadable for free from our website.
If I find information about my situation on the internet or elsewhere, can I share it with my consultant?
As you know, a lot of information people find on the internet is either not helpful, out of date, or doesn’t quite relate to your individual symptoms. Nevertheless, if you come across something which has caught your interest then our consultants will be more than happy to discuss the information with you.