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Consultant recognition


Bupa recognition is a mark of quality, reassuring our customers that they’re getting quality healthcare from doctors who are competent and experts in their field.

Bupa recognised doctors meet the medical professional standards set by the General Medical Council (GMC) - the UK’s medical regulator - and any relevant specialist bodies. Our recognition is built on criteria that are in line with legal and regulatory requirements to practise in the UK. For example, consultants need to appear on the GMC specialist register.
Doctor reviewing patient clipboard

What we offer you

Bupa recognition can help you build and promote your practice. The benefits include:

  • access to a large share of the health insurance market
  • raising the profile of your practice through your personal page on Finder, our online directory of Bupa recognised consultants, therapists, hospitals and healthcare services, which is used by our customers, GPs and the public and receives 50,000 visits a week
  • payment of your invoices within seven days of approval using the secure BACS system
  • access to our Providers Online website and other online resources to make running your private practice simple and straightforward.
picture of a lady lying back in a chair

What we need from you

  • keep your information up to date and accurate, including your contact details and your profile on Finder
  • invoice us within six months of the first treatment date so we can pay you quickly
  • charge the fees set out in your agreement with us so we canset and manage expectations for our customers
  • agree to our terms and conditions

Before you apply

You can apply for recognition online in 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 their 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. We developed it 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, while 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. When we help our customers choose a consultant, 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 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 doesn’t have, or loses, their GMC Licence to Practise we won’t 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.

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, sometimes we have to act more quickly.

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

Ways to get in touch…

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