Your General Practitioner may refer you to see a rheumatologist. You may get to choose, using the Choose and Book appointment system, which specialist you see at which hospital. Dr Richards see rheumatology referrals at Poole Hospital and CFS/ME referral at Wareham Hospital.
Private consultation FAQs
Do I need a doctor's referral?
Yes, or a referral from another healthcare professional such as your physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath. Many medical insurance companies want the referral to come from your GP.
How much does it cost?
Rates vary depending on the typical length of the consultation and the investigations needed which in turn depend on the nature of the condition.
Can I claim back costs of treatment through health insurance?
Yes you can claim back the cost of treatment through health insurance. Dr Richards is registered with AXA, Norwich Union, Simply Health, Alliance Surgical etc and is a BUPA partner.
Where will I be seen?
Dr Richards has consulting rooms at The Harbour Hospital, St Mary's Road, Poole VIEW MAP and occasionally at The Nuffield Hospital, 67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth VIEW MAP . Treatment, including interventional pain management procedures, can be undertaken at either of these hospitals.
What happens in a consultation?
Typically at a first consultation you will need to describe the problems you are having, be examined and discuss investigations, diagnosis and treatment options. You can discuss any questions or worries you may have.
How long does a new consultation last?
For most problems a new consultation lasts up to 30 minutes. For some problems such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome it may need up to an hour.
What about follow-up consultation?
These are typically shorter than new consultations and will be arranged to discuss the results of investigations and to monitor the progress of your treatment.
What treatment or procedures are available?
Apart from the appropriate medicines, you may be referred to another member of the healthcare team such as a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or surgeon. Joint and soft tissue injections can be undertaken as an outpatient. A variety of interventional pain management procedures can be performed in theatre, including epidurals and facet joint injections, usually as a day case.
Do I have any choice or say in what will happen to me?
Of course. Your doctor will always take your wishes into account. Nothing will happen to you until you understand and agree with what has been planned. Your doctor will only offer investigations and treatment which are appropriate for you.
Will my GP know about my diagnosis and treatment?
Yes, they will be kept fully informed by letter.
Where can I get more information?
On the 'Resources' page of this website there is more information available.