The Royal College of Surgeons has published some very useful advice. Everyone thinking about  cosmetic surgery should read it. Click here to go to the RCS website

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There is a great deal more to making the decision of which insurance policy is best for you than simply price. At the heart of the decision you make is trust. Do you trust the insurer and do you trust the advice you get? Have a look at an interesting article before you decide to move insurer.

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PPF has added some links and updated others on our useful links page. We are keen to add to the mobile services – an obvious direction being taken in modern practice. Please let us now of your experience of such services – we will add more links if we get recommendations.

We have also added a link to a free service for people needing help with addiction. Again, PPF is very keen to hear of similar services and any direct experience to help others in making choices.

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With private healthcare providing so much first class care, it is a great pity to see this story in the Daily Mail.  Clearly Mrs Booth has had a very bad time – happily not most people’s experience of private healthcare. But there is another theme in the piece written by Rachel Ellis. That is about “Fee Assured” consultants and what is called “Open Referral”.  PPF has taken the view – expressed in our commentary on the issue – that the key point is that the implications of all this should be clear to people in private medical insurance schemes including, especially, those in schemes provided through their employers. The time to find out is not when you are ill and, possibly, at your most vulnerable.

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Affordable Privare Healthcare Guide

Up-to-date guide now available online: Affordable Private Healthcare Guide (note: it is a pdf and is 5Mb)

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For some time, PPF has recommended that people thinking of buying private medical insurance should look at the Association of British Insurers guidance. We have signposted that guidance from our ‘How to choose insurance‘ page. It was useful therefore for PPF to put ABI faces to names and to exchange views on the private healthcare market.  ABI learned how, currently, complaints about insurers dominate PPF’s “postbag”. Not all the sector insurance companies are members of ABI but there is value in patients knowing about the organisation that aims to provide consumers with general information on insurance and to promote best practice, transparency and high standards within the industry. Good, too, that ABI knows about PPF and what patients are saying about insurers.

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PPF’s policy is to help generally when we see a number of complaints about the same issue. We do, when we can, help with individual complaints. It is good that insurance companies and hospitals are responsive. It does matter that everyone takes complaints seriously and so PPF was pleased to receive a ‘thank you’ from someone we helped. Have a look at the response.

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Last week PPF was invited to meet with three key members of the Financial Control Authority staff at the FCA’s elegant headquarters in Canary Wharf. This meeting was important because the FCA is the supervisory and standards setting authority set up to protect consumers from the harm that can be caused by bad conduct in the financial services industry. That means that they oversee the key providers of private medical insurance (Bupa, AXA/PPP and so on).

The Manager, an Associate and a Technical Specialist were able to give PPF an insight into how the FCA works. PPF was able to share views and the experience of patients with the FCA. This proved to be useful for both the FCA and for PPF.

If you are so inclined, a visit to the FCA website will enable you to see what they do and to look at  firm level complaints which tell you about how well insurers deal with the complaints they receive.

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PPF’s director will be speaking at the Private Healthcare Summit on 23 June in London. He will co-present with Keith Pollard, CEO of Intuition Communication Ltd, on encouraging patient feedback. There is much going on in private healthcare so take advantage of special discounted rates for this summit by emailing or calling  01442 817817 to secure the PPF special rate.

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Improving Patient Safety in Independent Healthcare

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Hallam Conference Centre, London

Chaired by Fiona Booth Chief Executive of AIHO (the trade association for independent hospitals), the conference will hear speakers from providers, regulators, the NHS and from a legal perspective on how patient safety will continue to be at the centre of the independent sector’s operations. Attendees will be taken through national updates and case studies, and identify how independent healthcare organisations can use techniques such as risk assessment, incident reporting and root cause analysis to identify risk and improve patient care. The event will also hear from Matt James Chief Executive of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) on how transparency is being driven in the sector.

A reduced rate of  £250* is available to PPF members: quote hcuk250PPF when booking(*offer available for new bookings only, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, not available to commercial organsiations.  Full T&Cs available on request)

For further information and to book your place visit or email  

Follow the conference on Twitter #PrivateHealthcare

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