This is part two of a multi-part series about my experiences with private healthcare through Pall Mall Medical, based in the North West.
In my first article, I discussed my meeting with a consultant and how that went. Here I discuss my experiences of having a scan – in this instance, an MRI without contrast.
Scans are held at the Newton-le-Willows site. In my case, this meant a 25-minute drive. There’s on-site parking and a wheelchair ramp, so it’s easily accessible. Again, we found there was a speedy turnaround with minimal waiting. The whole process only took 15 minutes!
Prior to my test, I was given some paperwork to fill in, and then I was escorted through into the scanning room. I was advised this would be a relatively quick procedure (an MRI for the brain takes only 15 minutes) and I would get my results 3-5 days afterwards.
The test seemed to fly by. The noise was not particularly disturbing, although I know some people struggle with the thudding that the MRI produces. It helped that I had earplugs and noise-dampening ear protectors, but the trick is, I think, to let yourself relax as much as possible.
It was quickly over, and I was in and out within about 30 minutes total. The following week I had a phone call from my consultant, who advised that the test results were heartening (no signs of tumours, etc) and that my visual symptoms were almost certainly a result of migraine or something related to them. I was thus recommended to book a referral with a neurologist with such a specialty – which I could do either on the NHS or privately.
The call was professional but personal, and I really appreciated consultant Ankur Saxena’s advice, tone and time. I have all the patience in the world for our NHS staff, but again, I can’t impress enough how refreshing it was to have time. It does make it easier to be taken as a whole human being rather than a number or target (a fault of Government-enforced targets, I might add, not necessarily our healthcare staff).
This phone call was followed about a week later by a written letter confirming all of the above (also sent to my GP). This made it nice and easy to follow up, and it means I have the results in writing to refer to later, if I need to.
Sadly, due to the coronavirus situation, I’ve not yet booked the appointment (it doesn’t seem urgent enough at a time like this), but I have had a huge amount of relief from my experiences with Pall Mall and I highly recommend them to those who can afford or need to go private.
For more information, visit pallmallmedical.co.uk. Appointments are available six days a week, including outside work hours.
Manchester – 0161 832 2111 / Pall Mall Court, 61 King Street, Manchester
Newton-le-Willows – 033 00 58 44 55 / 1 Belvedere Road, Newton-le-Willows
Liverpool – 033 00 58 44 55 / 5 St Pauls Square, Liverpool