Referring a patient for private healthcare

Whether you’re a GP, therapist or dentist, you can refer your patients to us for a wide range of healthcare services.

When to refer a patient

Your patients may ask to be referred to us because they:

  • have health insurance and wish to claim for their treatment (including mental health therapy)
  • want to pay for their own private treatment
  • want a second opinion on their diagnosis or treatment plan from a private healthcare professional
  • want a health assessment to help them make improvements to their health and lifestyle

Referral to: A consultant

When your patients need to see a specialist under their health insurance policy, they’ve three referral routes: Expand all
  • You give the patient a referral letter for further investigation and/or treatment with a named consultant. The patient then needs to call us to pre-authorise the consultation or treatment, and check that it’s covered by their policy. If the consultant isn’t available under their policy, we can offer them a choice of those who are or they may need to return to you.
  • For suspected cancer, mental health symptoms, and muscle, joint or bone symptoms – the patient simply calls our member services helpline, and depending on their policy and symptoms, they may be able to access investigations and treatment without the need for a GP referral first.

  • All you need to do is determine the type of consultant the patient needs to see for further investigation and/or treatment and notify the patient of the specialty required .

    When the patient calls us to pre-authorise the consultation or treatment, we use this information to offer them a choice of up to three recognised consultants with the clinical skills and expertise you specified. The patient can use Finder, our comprehensive online directory of recognised consultants, therapists and healthcare services across the UK, to decide who they’d prefer to see.

    Some of our customers have an Open Referral health insurance policy, which means that they’ll be offered a choice of recognised consultants rather than having a consultant named on their referral letter.

    Open Referral is popular because we’ll ensure that patients who follow this route see a consultant who charges within our benefit allowances. We call these consultants “fee-assured”. This means that customers won’t receive any additional unexpected surgical or anaesthetist bills for eligible treatment. The consultants we offer them also meet additional criteria for how their clinical practice and customer experience compares with other consultants in their field.

Cataract surgery

If you’re an optometrist and would like to refer your insured patient for cataract surgery, simply ask them to call our Specialist Eye Care Team on: 0345 600 7267^. We’ll offer them a choice of recognised fee-assured consultants qualified to perform the surgery.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Bupa health and dental centres

Our health and dental centres are open to everyone, not just those with private health insurance.

They offer specialist treatment services including: physiotherapy and sports medicine, dental treatment, private GP services, cosmetic treatments, seasonal flu vaccinations, business or occupational health, cardiology, dermatology, urology and musculoskeletal services, health assessments and fitness assessments.

Use Finder, our online directory of healthcare professionals and healthcare services, to search for a Bupa Centre by location, or by the specialist services offered at the centre.

Cromwell Hospital

The Cromwell is a private hospital. Find out how to refer a patient or find out how to access Cromwell Direct for urgent admissions.

How to get in touch

†Direct Access telephone services are available as long as the symptoms are covered under the policy. If a member’s cover excludes conditions they had before their policy started, we’ll ask them to provide evidence from their GP that their symptoms are not pre-existing for a period of up to two years from the policy start date (or five years in the case of mental health) before we can refer them to a consultant or therapist through the Direct Access service. For rolling moratorium underwritten members we will ask for evidence each time the member claims for a condition not claimed for before. Members must always call us first to check eligibility.

Bupa health insurance is provided by Bupa Insurance Limited. Registered in England and Wales No.3956433. Bupa Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Arranged and administered by Bupa Insurance Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales No. 3829851.

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