Private or NHS Treatment in an Emergency
The NHS copes with several emergencies on a daily basis occurring in most hospitals, these emergency patients may enter through accident and emergency departments, occur in-house or happen because there are complications during operations and other procedures.
The private sector however does not have to face as many emergency situations, but the staff do have to be ready and competent if such a situation does arise.
What Types of Emergencies do Private Hospitals Not Face?If you have an accident that requires you to need an ambulance you will be taken to an NHS hospital. Private hospitals do not have casualty departments and cannot staff nor treat these patients. If you have private health insurance and find yourself being taken to an NHS hospital, you will not be treated as a ‘private’ patient, but as an NHS patient. The treatment you receive should be no different whether you are NHS or private.
If after you have received your initial treatment, are stable enough to be transferred usually with the help of medication and specialised doctors, the option of being transferred to a private hospital may be discussed, but there is no guarantee that you will be moved to a hospital of your choice.
In the event of a local disaster the NHS will deal with all patients if they can. It may be necessary to call-out private hospital staff from home if there are no beds left in the NHS, but this would only occur in a dire a large scale emergency.
Types of Emergencies That May Occur in a Private HospitalThere will always be the possibility of an emergency situation arising in a private hospital Patients are vulnerable when they are ill or compromised which leaves them at risk of many situations developing. To name a few there will always be a risk of sudden heart attacks, thrombosis, falls, allergic reaction, admission to the intensive therapy unit because of a medical problem that has occurred during the hospital stay and collapse.
The list of potential problems is extremely long and staff are vigilant at monitoring those most at risk and discovering these problems early so they can intervene and correct the issue when able.
Anyone who is having an operation is at risk as the administration of anaesthetic agents carries a risk and surgeons can never be 100% sure of each persons anatomy until they have visualised it.
Occasionally, though not often, there is a chance that there will be complications during the operation and it will not go as planned. These risks are explained to every patient before they are operated on and a legal requirement means that doctors must explore these possibilities with patients before they can give their consent.
What Happens If An Emergency Occurs During An Operation?In the event of an emergency arising during an operation that the surgeon cannot manage on his or her own it is usually necessary for the theatre team to call a specialist in from another hospital. All NHS hospitals that offer 24 hour cover, have a accident and emergency or maternity unit will have some form of medical cover round the clock.
In these instances, the surgeon will travel to the private hospital and treat the emergency in that setting.If the patient is stable but needs further immediate treatment it may be an option to transfer them to the nearest NHS hospital that can effectively treat the problem.
There are several situations when an emergency might occur in the private setting but commonly they are seen and treated in NHS hospitals.If you are a private patient or have private medical cover your needs can still be met through the NHS and the treatment received should be no different with regard to staffing issues.