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Private Medical Insurance Information


Increasing numbers of Private Medical Insurers now recognise The Whiteley Clinic and the quality of our work.

The Whiteley Clinic have contracts with several private medical insurers, please contact us for details

We have made our reputation introducing cutting edge technologies and treatments to the UK, researching and auditing them to ensure our patients get the best and most effective treatments.

It is with great pride that we offer our patients the very best that is available in the UK.

Our results speak for themselves – our success in doing so can be seen by our:

Private medical insurance should cover most of these techniques and those medical insurers that come and talk to us and who understand our research and audit, and who want their clients to get the excellent care that we provide, cover our clinic. This cover should pay for consultations, tests and treatment of your veins (as well as the associated problems such as leg ulcers, phlebitis, venous eczema etc).

Of course private medical insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures and so thread vein treatments are not cover by medical insurance.

Medical Insurance Guidelines

It is necessary that you advise your insurance company that you are attending The Whiteley Clinic Ltd for consultation and possible diagnostic tests before your visit. Please confirm with your insurance company if there is an excess to pay. Your insurance company will tell you whether your policy will cover the treatment and how to make a claim. There may be some aspects of the treatment, diagnostic tests or pharmaceutical items which are not covered by insurance, and these will be payable by you personally (see also “Treatment Costs/Procedural Specific Notes” below).

Patients with private medical insurance must provide a GP referral letter at least 7 days prior to their first appointment together with any confirmation of eligibility such as membership number and pre-authorisation or a claim reference number. If you are unable to produce your referral letter or your insurance does not cover the cost of your treatment, we will charge you according to a self-funding patient agreement as detailed above.

Cover by your insurance company must be agreed with your insurance provider prior to booking any stage of treatment. Please also be aware that you are responsible for the outstanding balance of any procedure or consultation should your insurer not settle your account in full for any reason. It will be your responsibility to confirm cover with your insurance company, as we are unable to negotiate this on your behalf. It is important that you check with your insurance company as to whether there is an excess payable on your policy, whether your cover is adequate (for example whether there is an annual out-patient charge limit) and that they will cover all the required tests, as not all insurance providers do so (see Treatment Costs/Procedural Specific Notes below.)

If your treatment is covered by your insurance company, the cost of your initial consultation, investigations and follow-up consultation must be paid in full before we are able to book your subsequent treatment schedule. In order to speed up this process you may select to pay these charges personally and receive a receipt from us to present to your insurance company for reimbursement.

NICE Guidelines For Varicose Veins

A specialist vascular service is a team of healthcare professionals who have training and experience in diagnosing and treating varicose veins. The Whiteley Clinic therefore are fully compliant with being a “specialist vascular service” as far as varicose veins are concerned.

If you have varicose veins that are bleeding your healthcare professional should refer you to a vascular service immediately.

Your healthcare professional should also refer you to a vascular service if you have any of the following:

  • Varicose veins that are causing pain, aching, discomfort, swelling, heaviness or itching (whether or not you have had varicose veins before)
  • Changes in the colour of the skin on your leg that may be caused by problems with the blood flow in the leg
  • Skin conditions affecting your leg, such as eczema, that may be caused by problems with the blood flow in the leg
  • Varicose veins that are hard and painful and that may be caused by problems with the blood flow in the leg
  • A healed or unhealed ulcer (a break in the skin that has not healed within 2 weeks) below the knee.

See details here: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg168

If you fall into any of these diagnostic categories and wish to be referred to our specialist vascular service at The Whiteley Clinic, then anyone preventing such a referral with that they be healthcare professional, medical insurance company or any other person or agency is breaking NICE guidelines and should be to explain this fully. If such an instance should arise, please also contact The Whiteley Clinic with full details so that we can investigate this further.

What to do if your private medical insurance says “No”

There are several reasons that your private medical insurer might say no to your claim for veins.

If it is because your private medical insurance doesn’t cover you for veins, or there are other exclusions that are contractual, then you will need to check your insurance contract and see what you agreed to in your initial agreement when you took out the insurance.

On the other hand, if your claim is acceptable, but you directed elsewhere or are told that you can have treatment but not at The Whiteley Clinic, then you should not accept this without question.

In the UK, it is the Patient’s Choice that is paramount. Your right as the patient to choose who treats you is more important than any commercial agreement or choice of doctor of facility that your private medical insurance company might have made for you. Thus if you want to see an expert at The Whiteley Clinic and your insurance company tries to direct you elsewhere, you should check with the Insurance Ombudsman if they are allowed to do this when you have made your choice.

One of the major problems with private medical insurance companies telling you where to have your treatment is the liability if something goes wrong. The Whiteley Clinic provides very specialised investigations and treatments based on our own experience, protocols, audit and research. If it is your choice to have us treat you, then your wishes should be agreed to.

However if your insurer (or anyone else for that matter) directs you elsewhere, then they are taking some responsibility towards your medical care by influencing your decisions. Provided you are happy with any subsequent treatment, then there would be no problem. However, if anything goes wrong with your subsequent treatment, then some of the responsibility and liability for any resulting problems will need to be shared by whoever influenced your decision.

Useful link: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

We have been told by patients insured with some private medical insurance companies to say that having been refused funding for treatment at The Whiteley Clinic and they have contacted the Insurance Ombudsman.

In the cases we have been informed about, the Insurance Ombudsman contacted the private medical insurance companies that had refused funding and a subsequent offer for some funding for treatment at The Whiteley Clinic was then made to the patients.

We have not been involved with these discussions directly as it is a matter soley between the patient, their private medical insurance company and the Insurance Ombudsman.

However it does appear that patient choice is being given a higher priority than the choice of insurance companies as to where they wish to send people insured with them.

Recently there has been some debate between the insurers and Consultants where insurers are looking increasingly to recognise a reduced range of consultants. In principle we do not have an issue with this as long as the criteria for inclusion on the reduced list are made on the basis of quality as well as cost.

The Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO) is a medical organisation representing the majority of the medical professional’s organisations in Britain that have private practice committees.

FIPO seeks to work constructively with all independent hospital providers and the private medical insurance industry and has this to say on the subject:

“You should note that just occasionally some insurance companies might make comments about the consultant to whom you have been referred, sometimes implying that they are expensive or that they are not on one or other of their “Partnership” lists.

You should not be deterred from your choice by any such comments and you should expect an explanation of whether or not your treatment will be paid.”

For the full transcript, please read here.

With continuous dialogue, we are hopeful that in the future, we will be able to work with all medical insurers to enable all of our patients to have the chance of treatment at The Whiteley Clinic.

We keep our charges very competitive compared with anyone offering the same standard of treatment.

At The Whiteley Clinic, our prices include:

  • Surgeons fees
  • Anaesthetic fees
  • Hospital fees

If you are not aware of this, then comparing our all inclusive fee with fees quoted by surgeon (who quote surgical fees only) or hospital (who often quote hospital fees and not professional fees for the surgeon and the anaesthetic) then we can appear expensive.

In addition, we do not charge any extra for recurrent varicose veins over primary varicose veins – we just charge for the procedures that are done.

We are always happy to explain our treatments and treatments plans, to go through our charges and results, to anyone who is interested.

Until such time we will continue providing the same excellence we have always done, will continue our research and development making sure our patients have the very best diagnosis and treatment that is available, for the best price that we are able to provide.