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If you have a question that isn't answered here then please do not hesitate to contact us.
What assurance do I have that I will receive a high quality of care that meets national standards?
All our medical staff are qualified clinicians with at least 5 years experience in private practice and/or the NHS. In addition, Doctor Today is registered with the Care Quality Commission and has passed the National Care Standards inspection for providers of health care. This inspection is very rigorous and few private medical centres have achieved this standard.
How do I make an enquiry about whether you can help me with my problem?
If you email a short description of your problem to us at email@example.com or simply fill in our contact us web form, our doctors will consider it carefully and give an outline advice of what is likely to be needed. We will then provide you with a quote for any services we are able to offer to help you. Alternatively please feel free to phone the practice on 020 7433 1444 to discuss your needs.
I would like a certain test which I have been told I need. I would like to have just the test without the consultation and be sent the result. What tests can I have without a consultation?
We can arrange any test you require. However, we may need to know why you think you need the test, and what you plan to do with the result. In line with best practice, we reserve the right not to perform certain tests without an appropriate consultation. For tests with major implications (such as HIV) we are obliged to make sure you understand the significance of what you are being tested for and what will happen once you have the result. A consultation for this type of test is mandatory since tragic consequences can follow from a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of a lab result. Even apparently simple tests such as a blood count, diabetes check or cholesterol level may have far-reaching implications (e.g. leukaemia or familial hypercholesterolaemia), so generally we would like to consult with you regarding your concerns or any symptoms, and advise you as to whether a particular test is right for you. Consultations are also mandatory for all tests involving internal swabs.
The costs of a post-test discussion of your results are included in the costs of a consultation.
If I have tests, how soon will the results be available?
You will be notified of the availability of your results as soon as we have received them from the laboratory. Usually this is within 48 hours. HIV results, for example, are usually available on the same day for those with weekday appointments before 2pm, and by 11am the next business day morning for those with appointments between 2pm and 7pm. Certain more complicated tests (e.g. those involving lab cultures) or cases where re-testing is necessary to ensure accuracy may take longer. There may also be delays due to laboratory closures over weekends and Bank Holidays.
Are you able to phone or text me with test results?
At our discretion, general tests like blood counts or tests of liver or kidney function may be given to you over the phone, or we can post the full result sheet to yourself or your GP. Tests of a sensitive or complicated nature may be best given personally by the clinician who ordered the tests for you, so that we can be sure you understand the implications of the results and be best advised as to what to do next. If you cannot attend (results consultations are free of charge) and would like to be informed by phone, you may set up a password so that results are not given to unauthorised persons.
Are you able to carry out other tests not listed in your services and prices and/or refer me to a specialist?
We can arrange most specialised tests, investigations and referrals through partner organisations. Normally, you would need to have a standard GP consultation with us (£80), after which we can refer you to the most appropriate facility or specialist. In some cases we may be able to satisfactorily resolve your concerns and medical problems without the need for specialist referral.
What travel vaccinations will I need and how long before travel must I start planning?
You can get a general idea of which vaccinations and anti-malarials you are likely to need by selecting your destination on the map on our travel vaccinations page. The advice given is not comprehensive, however, and your needs may vary according to how long you will be abroad, and your personal health status (e.g. other medication you may be taking, or if you are pregnant). Our travel clinic advisers have access to the specialist TRAVAX database (restricted to clinicians) and are trained in identifying your special needs. In terms of timing, it is wise to start planning at least 12 weeks before you leave, which gives plenty of time to space your vaccinations for maximum effect and safety. Accelerated regimes can be done in as little as 4 to 6 weeks, and in emergency in even less time, although this is not ideal. Our travel clinic consultations are free if vaccines and/or anti-malarial medications with a value of more than £35 are purchased; otherwise an advice fee of up to £35 applies.
Can I be sure that information about me will be confidential?
Your consultation will be held in a closed room and information entered on our computer systems is held in a secure EMIS database with restricted access. Any chaperones provided by us are bound by the same obligation to complete confidentiality. Generally information about your medical condition will be passed on to your NHS GP unless you specifically state that you do not want this to happen. This is so that interactions between various medications can be anticipated and your GP will have a better idea of how to manage your other problems in the future. However, if you wish any specific items to be withheld from your GP, please let us know and we will honour your request. We will not divulge any medical or other personal information about you to any other persons whatsoever, unless under court order, without your specific permission.
What is included in your prices? Are there any hidden extras?
We have endeavoured to make our pricing as transparent as possible - there are no hidden extras.
Note that if you pay for a consultation, associated expenses such as blood taking, swab taking, post-test counselling and prescription fee are included. Surgical procedures, ECGs, lab tests and the cost of medications are additional.
Also note that following a ruling by HM Revenue and Customs, from 1 May 2007, medical examinations and reports for third parties (such as insurance companies or employers) will be subject to VAT (more information).
I do not feel ill but would like to be sure I do not have any problems which should be treated before becoming obvious. What is your advice on health screening?
General screens may not help you unless you belong to a high-risk group. There is always the (small) possibility that a test may return a false positive result (that is a positive result in the absence of disease) and you will then be obliged to undergo further tests to prove this, during which time your anxieties may be increased unnecessarily. Similarly a false negative result (that is a negative result in the presence of disease) may give you a false sense of security and tempt you to high-risk behaviours.
However, there are times when it is very necessary for you to know that you "clear" from certain problems, particularly if they may be passed on to your partner without your knowledge (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia). We therefore recommend a general sexual health screen for any one who has indulged in unprotected sex with a new partner who is not known to be "clear". It may also be helpful when starting a new relationship for both partners to be "cleared" before proceeding - however, one should realise that even this is no guarantee that a very early stage infection may not be missed, so re-testing after a suitable interval may be necessary.
Another area where screening can be extremely helpful is blood pressure and cholesterol/blood lipid levels which, when raised, may predispose you to premature death or disability from stroke or heart attack. If you are feeling generally tired and lethargic and are not sure if this is due to disease (e.g. anaemia) or simply stress or depression, blood and urine tests to screen for diseases such as diabetes mellitus and thyroid under- or over-activity can be reassuring. Prostate screening in the older man is recommended only if there are symptoms of urinary problems such as increasing difficulty in passing urine. Cervical smear screening for women should be done every two years or so from the age of first sexual activity onwards.
If you have any symptoms suggesting possible disease, or there is a strong family history of heart disease or cancer, screening at appropriate intervals may be helpful, and advice relevant to preventing the problem may save your life later on.
It is always advisable to discuss your concerns with one of our advisors, who will be able to suggest the appropriate screens which may be helpful in dealing with your worries. For information on how to get in touch please see our contact us page.
Do you have practices located in any other towns or cities in the UK?
At present, Doctor Today has only one practice location, which is situated near Finchley Road tube (on the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines) in West Hampstead, London (see how to find us). We are thus readily accessible from all major railway stations in London (including Kings Cross, Paddington, Liverpool Street, Victoria, Charing Cross, Waterloo and Euston). Our premises are also near Finchley Road & Frognal (Silverlink) and West Hampstead (Thameslink) British Rail stations.
Many of our clients do travel long distances from towns and cities around the UK to see us to take advantage of our confidential consultations and our specialist services. Such clients are strongly recommended to telephone us on 020 7433 1444 to guarantee clinician availability at a mutually convenient time.
Do you offer termination of pregnancy (abortion) services?
We do not offer this service; we suggest contacting an organisation such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for advice.
I would like to give feedback regarding your website. Where should I direct my comments or suggestions?We value your opinion and are constantly looking for better ways to provide you with useful, easily accessible information. Please fill in our contact us web form or send your comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.