Cookies on the Bupa website

We use cookies to help us understand ease of use and relevance of content. This ensures that we can give you the best experience on our website. If you continue, we'll assume that you are happy to receive cookies for this purpose. Find out more about cookies


Consultant recognition

Bupa recognition is a mark of quality from which our customers can be reassured that they are getting access to quality healthcare, and that the doctors who treat them are competent and experts in their field.

Bupa recognised doctors meet the recognised medical professional standards set by the General Medical Council - the UK’s medical regulator - and any relevant specialist bodies. Bupa recognition is built on a uniform set of criteria that are in line with legal and regulatory requirements to practise in the UK.
Doctor reviewing patient clipboard

Benefits of recognition

Bupa recognition can help you build and promote your practice. It enables you to:

  • raise the profile of your practice
  • receive agreed fees for the care and treatment that you provide
  • receive payment of your online invoices within seven days of approval using the secure BACS system
  • promote your practice online to Bupa customers, GPs and the public
  • access a website offering all the information you need to manage your relationship with Bupa

Before you apply

You can apply for Bupa recognition online in just four simple steps which should take less than an hour, depending on the complexity of your practice.

How we choose consultants

We promote many of the consultants that we work with when our customers call us to authorise treatment. We offer this service to Open Referral customers and any other customers who want us to help them choose a consultant.

Our Open Referral is a simple, straightforward authorisation process, which we developed in response to a request from a corporate client to assist them in managing their healthcare costs and ensuring that their employees would not face unexpected charges from consultants whilst maintaining quality of service.

We currently offer it as an option for our business customers, many of whom are large employers who provide health insurance to their staff. Open Referral is similar to services offered by several health insurers, many private hospitals and the NHS. We also use the following criteria:

Review and removal of Bupa recognition

We work with many consultants in the UK who practise privately.

We have a structured process for recognising consultants and we review their practice on an ongoing basis. There are occasions when we need to suspend or review a consultant’s Bupa recognition. This happens very rarely.

Our policy for suspension and/or removal of a consultant’s recognition is based on GMC licensing and standards, and British Medical Association (BMA) guidance.

If, for example, a consultant does not have, or loses, their GMC Licence to Practise we will not recognise them. We may also remove or suspend a consultant’s recognition if we identify treatment practices which represent a threat to patient safety or if fees are excessive, causing complaints from customers about shortfalls or their out-patient benefit being eroded faster than should be expected.

We may also suspend or remove recognition if, for any reason, we believe that it is not in our customers best interests to continue to recognise a consultant, for example if we receive a serious complaint or a consultant’s practise is under investigation by a regulatory body.

Before removing any consultant’s recognition for matters relating to their business practice, we engage in extensive communication with them to try and reach a resolution. Where the matter is related to patient safety or other potential clinical concerns, sometimes we have to act more quickly.

Each year a small number of consultants choose to stop treating Bupa customers and the most common reasons for this are retirement, gaining an academic appointment or no longer continuing in private practice.

Ways to get in touch…

^Calls may be recorded and may be monitored