Interactions with the NHS
All of the consultants in Preston Pain Management Partnership hold substantive appointments in Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Preston Pain Management Partnership does not however provide care as part of the National Health Service. It is entirely private. We do not offer an NHS choose-and-book service.
There are excellent NHS pain clinics locally and if you are looking for treatment through the NHS, you should talk to your GP, or consultant. He or she will be able to advise you what your choices are and which clinic is most likely to suit your needs.
It is not uncommon for patients to ask their doctors for a referral to Preston PMP, but then to transfer to the NHS for treatment.
The NHS has quite clear rules about this: private patients transferring to the NHS for continuing care under the same consultant must not be advantaged, nor disadvantaged. This said, the NHS lists patients (clinical priority aside) by the date of listing and says that private patients listed for NHS procedures should be listed as if this had occurred from within the NHS.
One might think that this does give an advantage when there is a long wait to be seen in the NHS clinic: in practice, we find that the delay inherent in transferring a patient from the private sector into the NHS tends to make this a fairly worthless "shortcut" to treatment.
Our advice would be that, if you expect your treatment to be performed as an NHS patient, you should ask for referral to an NHS clinic.
NHS rules stipulate that for transfers into and out of the NHS one is only allowed one transfer for the treatment of a given condition. Having transferred to the NHS, you cannot transfer back to the private sector unless you ask to be discharged from the NHS clinic.
Occasionally, patients will ask to be transferred from the NHS to the private sector. Again, this is allowed, but having transferred out you cannot transfer back in to the NHS again.
We are allowed to see you privately while you receive NHS care for another episode. For example, if you had surgery on the NHS and developed chronic pain, it would be acceptable to ask your surgeon to refer you for private pain treatment, while you continued to be seen by him in the NHS.
What we cannot do is to see you in our clinic while you are receiving care from another pain clinic, whether in the NHS or in the private sector. The only exception would be where another pain specialist has specifically asked us to see you for some reason.
Please be aware that most NHS pain clinics will offer urgent appointments for certain conditions. This link gives details of the conditions that the Royal Preston NHS clinic treats as clinically urgent.
Again: our advice is that if your aim is to be seen and treated on the NHS, you should ask for referral to an NHS clinic and not to Preston Pain Management Partnership.