Lots of people experience mental health issues at some point in their lives, be it in the form of depression, anxiety, sleep issues or something else. It’s important that you seek out help when you feel like your mental health is taking a toll, and there are a few ways you can do this. Firstly, you can reach out to your local GP and receive treatment on the NHS, but the waiting lists are long and during the time it takes for you to get an assessment and receive treatment, your mental health could deteriorate.
Your next option is to seek private mental health care. This isn’t an option for everyone due to the costs involved, but if you are in a financial position to undertake a private mental health assessment, it could prove to be beneficial and allow you to access treatment faster than on the NHS. In this blog, our experts are going to explain more about how to get a private mental health assessment.
How to get a private mental health assessment
The route to getting a private mental health assessment is similar to getting one on the NHS, but without the added wait times.
Speak to a GP
The first step in receiving help for your mental health is to contact your GP, whether you want to receive private treatment or help from the NHS. There are a number of reasons why speaking to a GP first is recommended, with the main one being that they can give you a referral. Not all private mental healthcare service providers require a GP referral in order to undertake private assessments, but it’s useful to have as it provides more information on your current condition, as well as your medical history. This will help your mental health specialist get a better idea of your overall health history and could help to inform your treatment plan.
Finding a private mental healthcare provider
Speaking to your GP can also help you find a good private healthcare provider for mental health. It’s often the case that private clinics and the NHS work closely together, either because the NHS outsources care to private providers, or because NHS patients want to access specialist private healthcare which requires the NHS and the private provider to work in tandem to ensure care continuity. With this in mind, your GP might know of a suitable specialist in the private sector.
Alternatively, you can reach out to a private provider yourself simply by calling them or making an online enquiry. At Dementech Neurosciences, we aim to see patients on the same day they make contact with us wherever possible. If you require a mental health assessment quickly, call us on 0203 848 4500.
Attending a private psychiatric assessment
At Dementech Neurosciences, when you attend an appointment with a consultant psychiatrist at our clinic, we will aim to carry out your assessment on the same day. During the first appointment, you’ll meet with one of our friendly specialists in our state of the art clinic. We endeavour to make every visit feel warm and welcoming, and we aim to be efficient in our service so treatment can start as early as possible.
If you can’t attend the clinic in person, our doctors do offer our private patients the option for a video conference call, but you may need to attend in person for your assessment and tests.
The assessment will entail overseeing the referral you have from your GP (if applicable), and asking you questions about your current condition. Any relevant tests, such as blood pressure or blood tests, may also be carried out; the results of which are available within 48 hours.
Following your private consultation, you will receive a diagnosis and a plan of action will be put into place. We will consult with you about the appropriate treatment recommendations that our specialists think will be best for you, ensuring to keep your loved ones informed and supported as well as yourself.
Why choose private mental healthcare over NHS mental health services?
There are several reasons why you might choose to opt for private care for your mental health instead of through the NHS. They include:
- Shorter waiting lists than those in your area for mental health therapies on the NHS
- Access to more intensive treatment
- Ability to undertake treatment for a longer period of time
- Access treatment that isn’t available on the NHS
- Availability of a second or third opinion
- More choice in the treatment and/or provider you get
It’s important to note that when you choose to see a private psychiatrist for mental healthcare at Dementech Neurosciences, the help you receive on the NHS won’t be affected. This means you won’t be removed from NHS waiting lists and still receive NHS support, even if you choose to go for a private assessment.
Paying for a private mental health assessment
Unlike the NHS, you do need to pay for private mental healthcare. This means you need to liaise with your chosen provider and get a breakdown of the fee structure beforehand so you can determine whether it’s an affordable option for you. At Dementech Neurosciences, we are transparent about our fee structures and happy to provide further information on request.
Generally speaking, you have two options for private healthcare payment.
Pay out of pocket
Your first option is to pay out of pocket. This means you’ll need to pay your provider directly and upfront – typically before any appointments or treatment have been undertaken. Some providers may offer plans where you can pay for your treatment in instalments, but we do not have this option.
Pay through private healthcare insurance
Your second option is to go through your insurance. This means you need to pay into a health insurance scheme, but that doesn’t necessarily entitle you to psychiatric help. Some insurers don’t provide cover for mental health related issues, and others won’t cover pre-existing conditions (if you have previously been diagnosed with a mental health problem and now want to undertake further treatment for it, you may not be covered, even if the insurer does cover mental health). If you choose to go down the private medical insurance route, make sure you read the fine print beforehand to ensure you can adequately pay for your specialist treatment.
Mental health assessments at Dementech
If you’re interested in learning more about how the Dementech team could help you with arranging a mental health assessment with one of our medical professionals, be it for obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, ADHD or another condition, please get in touch.