As a patient, you may be aware of a growing trend for consultants to
form themselves into groups, loosely know as ’Chambers’.
Partnerships of doctors in general practice are of course well established
and accepted. However, patients are normally referred to individual
consultants and you should not be confused or deterred by the fact that
some consultants are working in groups.
Your relationship with your consultant should
be no different to that experienced previously. Your GP will recommend
a consultant or group of consultants who are best suited in their opinion
to deal with your clinical condition.
There are several clinical benefits that can be achieved by consultants
working as groups or Chambers. For example, some conditions such as
cancer require the expertise of different specialists, such as surgeons,
physicians, radiologists, pathologists and oncologists. Groups working
together can more effectively monitor their treatments and results,
and hold audits and other appropriate meetings in line with new stringent
regulations imposed by the Care Standards Act.
Working in Chambers will also allow arrangements for consultant cover
during annual leave or periods of illness and can provide suitable rotas
for emergency cover by consultants so that this does not clash with
their NHS or other commitments.
There are other economic reasons why consultants may wish to work in
Chambers. Some consultants in the same specialty may need to purchase
and share expensive equipment. Others may be sharing expenses of their
support services such as secretarial, rental and administrative costs.
Chambers help consultants keep their private practice cost effective.
Being referred to a consultant working in a
chamber should not incur you any additional costs.
This website contains a database of active consultant chambers which
can be searched by area, services and specialties.
an appropriate Chamber near you...
Further Patient Information
If you would like to know more about accessing private medical treatment,
please visit the FIPO web site:
Information on private medical treatment and insurance