Frequently Asked Questions
We hope you'll find all the information you need on Reading Shoulder & Elbow here on our website. Please see below for answers to a number of frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for, please call us on 07555 547321 and we'll be happy to assit you further.
How do I book an appointment?
Do I need a GP referral?
No, it's possible to seek private treatment from a consultant or specialist without being referred by your GP. However, the British Medical Association (BMA) believes that, in most cases, it is best practice for patients to be referred for specialist treatment by their GP. Also, If you are insured, your insurance company may require you to be referred by your GP (please check with your chosen insurer).
Can my physiotherapist refer me?
Why do I need to complete a ‘Patient enquiry form’?
The ‘patient enquiry form’ collects together all the essential information that the hospital and surgeon will require in order to safely and efficiently deal with your particular issue. You can also provide these details to our secretaries over the phone on 07555 547321.
Will my health insurance company cover all costs and fees?
Health insurance companies reimburse (to a greater or lesser extent) the costs of your treatment which can arise from the hospital, the surgeon and the anaesthetist. The amount of reimbursement will vary between insurance companies and between types of policy. It is essential that you clarify with your insurer what they will or will not cover before embarking on treatment. See here for more information
What are your fees?
It is now mandatory that all ‘providers’ of healthcare make their fees available to all patients. The fees that will apply will depend on whether you have health insurance or are funding the consultation and / or surgery yourself. Any such fees - hospital, surgeon and (potentially) anaesthetist - will all be sent to you before your first appointment. See here for more information
Why should I come to Reading Shoulder & Elbow?
We have experience dealing with the whole spectrum of shoulder and elbow conditions and injuries. The outcomes of all their major operations are recorded on national registries and all are actively involved in ongoing local and national research audit projects.
We can offer you a convenient appointment in a state of the art facility and organise any investigations or therapies promptly with local recommended experts.
Where is Reading Shoulder & Elbow based?
Reading Shoulder & Elbow is primarily based at CircleReading Hospital and Spire Dunedin in Reading. Please call us for more information.
Do the hospitals have parking facilities?
Yes both hospitals have free onsite parking although (as with most sites in Reading) it can get busy and you are advised to arrive early to allow for any potential delays.
Where is the Circle Reading?
The hospital address is:
Circle Reading hospital
100 Drake Way
For sat nav please use postcode: RG2 0GQ
Where is the Dunedin Hospital?
The hospital address is:
Spire Dunedin Hospital, Reading
On average, how long does it take to get an appointment?
Generally new patients are seen within a week of contact.
Will I need an X-ray?
Most shoulder and elbow problems and injuries require an X-ray to be taken. If you have not had one recently or it is not available to the surgeon you may be asked to attend 30 minutes before your appointment time to get one done as you arrive at the hospital.
Can I get an ultrasound on the day?
We routinely offer ultrasound scans at you first appointment. It does require an extra charge and you will need to contact your medical insurance provider to obtain approval before the appointment. In most cases it does allow us to reduce further appointments and travel for further tests
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound scan is a type of scan that uses sound waves to look at soft tissues. It safe and often used in pregnancy to look at the growing baby. We use ultrasound scans to examine the muscles and tendons of the shoulder in clinic. Often a simple X-ray and an US scan is enough for a definitive diagnosis. Occasionally an MRI or CT scan is needed.
What is a MRI scan?
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body/shoulder/elbow. It is particularly good for the ‘soft tissue’ parts of the shoulder and elbow – tendons, ligaments, muscles and the articular cartilage (joint surface).
An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan and will be able to talk to the radiographer through an intercom. The scan will last between 15 and 90 minutes.
However, not everyone can have an MRI scan and they are not always possible for people who have certain types of implants fitted, such as a pacemaker.
What is a CT scan?
A CT scan is a test that uses x-rays to build a three dimensional image of your shoulder or elbow and is very useful in the assessment of arthritis. It does carry a slightly higher X-ray dose than a normal X-ray and is not recommended in pregnant women or those hoping to get pregnant.
How do I book a MRI or CT scan?
Is it important where I have my MRI scan?
Today most MRI scanners produce images that are of good quality but it is important that the correct sequences (picture set up) are performed for each joint and that these images are interpreted by a consultant radiologist (X-ray doctor) who specialises in such Orthopaedic images. The advantage of having the MRI scan done within Reading is that a good working relationship already exists with our Radiologists and these images will be interpreted by someone with appropriate expertise.
I am claustrophobic and cannot have a normal MRI. What other options are there?
An MRI scan is a painless and safe procedure but you may find it uncomfortable if you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces). Most people find this to be manageable with reassurance but if not, a referral to a specialized ‘open’ MRI scanner can be made.
What happens following my MRI scan?
Your consultant will call you to discuss the result on the phone, write to you, or (more usually) a further appointment will be made in a couple of weeks to both review and discuss the results of the scan.
How long does it take to get an MRI scan?
It is usually arranged within a few days of your consultation at a time suitable for you. If you haven't already done so, you will need to call your medical health insurer for authorisation beforehand. The fee for the MRI scan is sent from the hospital and this is separate from the consultant’s fee.
How long does it take to get the results after an MRI scan?
It can take a week or longer for us to get the final result.
Do you see children’s shoulder and elbow problems at your clinic?
While we do see patients aged 16 and over and those close to skeletal maturity, bone and joint problems in children and young adolescents are best treated by orthopaedic surgeons specialising in paediatric orthopaedics. We would recommend Nev Davies and Richard Dodds as highly experienced surgeons for children and adolescents. We do work with these surgeons if there is a complex shoulder or elbow problem. Click here for more information.