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[Top List] Of The Best Private Hospitals In London 2024

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 12th March 2024

List of Private Hospitals

Welcome to our newly updated guide to the best private hospitals in London. Offering the best private healthcare in the Capital.

The NHS guarantees healthcare to everyone in the United Kingdom, but that care can be limited. Some kinds of procedures, like cosmetic procedures, fertility treatments, and more, may be unavailable.

Others have mile-long waitlists. Given the national and global shortage of qualified healthcare professionals, these issues will only worsen.

It’s no wonder that many people in the UK are turning to private healthcare and, in turn, looking for private hospitals.

The Benefits of Private Hospitals in London

It’s worth knowing the tangible and intangible differences between public/NHS and private healthcare facilities when considering healthcare options and facilities. Is there a clear winner?

1. Care and Qualifications

This, fortunately, is an area where there isn’t much difference.

Anyone practising any form of medicine in the UK needs to be registered with the General Medical Council, which ensures that all care providers maintain at least a minimum level of quality of care, and those minimum standards are quite high.

In London, where competition can be fierce, healthcare providers are held to some of the highest standards.

Care and Qualifications

Similarly, the facilities themselves must adhere to high standards. There will always be variations from one facility to another, but that’s true even within the categories of NHS and private hospitals.

Every facility has its management, and management makes different decisions for investing in specialisations, hiring individuals with key talents, and updating tools and practices.

You can’t clearly say that NHS or private facilities are better; it’s very much a per-facility basis, and every facility on our list today is considered excellent in some way or another.

2. Patient Ratios

One area where there may be a tangible difference between NHS facilities and private facilities is in the balance of providers to patients. In every facility, one nurse will handle general care for several patients at a time.

This varies depending on the patient load on a given day, as well as the acuity of care necessary for any given patient; someone in the ICU with active health struggles might need a dedicated nurse to watch them every second until they’re stable while a dozen people with RSV can be overseen by a single nurse.

Private Facility Care

Typically, however, NHS facilities are going to have a worse ratio. This comes from two directions. Private facilities are often considered – realistically or not – to be better, so nurses are going to work for them if they can preferentially, so fewer nurses want to work for NHS facilities.

From the other direction, more people use NHS care than purchase their own private medical care, so patient loads are lower in private facilities. 

When a nurse can dedicate more time to you and your care, they can know your details more specifically, provide more tailored care, and build more of a relationship with you during your stay. 

3. Privacy and Luxury

While few people would consider a stay in a hospital to be a luxury, there are different scales of facilities here. NHS facilities, which see higher volumes of patients, may put more effort into function over form.

They may be more austere, and you may end up in wards where you’re essentially in an open booth rather than a room to yourself. This, again, varies based on your needs; some people, particularly those with longer stays, are often granted more privacy.

Privacy and Luxury

Private facilities tend to have lower patient census numbers and typically have more private rooms and even more spacious facilities available for patients.

If you’re only in the hospital for a day or two after surgery, it’s one thing, but if you’re in a long-term stay for one reason or another, this can make a significant difference to the perception of the quality of your care during your stay.

Unfortunately, even if the actual quality of care and the standard of medicine are identical, having it happen in a nicer room leaves a more favourable impression.

4. Waiting Times for Treatment

One of the greatest criticisms of the NHS is the long wait times before you can be seen for any particular issue, problem, or procedure you need. While some are obviously urgent enough to receive immediate care, the less urgent your need, the more likely you will be waiting weeks or months before you can be seen.

Navigating waiting times, your rights to speedy care based on certain elements of your needs, and advocating for yourself are all very complex topics. It’s hard to generalise, and it changes from year to year.

Fewer qualified healthcare professionals are entering the field, more are leaving the field, and urgent needs like the ongoing fallout of the COVID pandemic all put pressure on the NHS, often making it worse across the board.

Waiting Times

Private facilities are not exempt from this trend. Where just a few years ago, you might be guaranteed same-day or at least same-week visits and treatment, the waiting times are now often measured in weeks to, in some cases, months.

Increasing dissatisfaction with the NHS has led more people to pursue private options, increasing the burden on those private facilities. 

So, while shorter waiting times are typical in private versus NHS facilities, it’s not a same-day utopia some describe it to be.

5. Available Treatment Options

One of the nice parts of private medical facilities throughout the UK, specifically in London, is that they tend to attract the best specialists in their fields.

This, along with increased investment that promotes cutting-edge technology and technique, means you’re more likely to get novel or updated treatment from a private facility over a public facility. Public options often rely on standard treatments, which may not always be the best treatment option for you.

Available Treatment

That said, the top-of-the-line NHS facilities also offer the best options, just with longer waiting times. Private facilities usually have shorter wait times for those same treatments.

6. Costs

The crux of the issue is, as is so often the case, the cost. As you read the above, you may feel like it’s a simple choice; why would you ever go with an NHS facility if a private facility is available and can provide better treatment sooner with more attention in a better location? 

Costs

NHS treatments, of course, are free to residents of the UK. Private treatment is very much not. Private health insurance coverage can cost £90 or more per month, with rising costs as you get older.

That, too, is just for the insurance coverage; the cost of out-of-pocket procedures can also be very significant. It’s also frequently limited and won’t cover certain kinds of procedures or illnesses at all. Getting an MRI might be £500, and something age-related like a hip replacement can be £10,000 or more.

Obviously, the amount that your insurance covers will vary.

An Inside Look At Private Healthcare In Queen Square Private Hospital London

Finding the Best Private Hospitals in London

Once you’ve decided to go for private treatment, whether or not you have private insurance, it becomes a matter of picking the best place to have that treatment performed.

You don’t necessarily need to go to a specialist or high-tier hospital for routine care, but when you have a specific issue, seeing a facility that offers the best possible treatment for that issue is ideal.

So, with that in mind, here is a list of top-tier private hospitals in London as a starting point for your further research into which one best suits your needs.

1. Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care

This facility has been repeatedly listed as one of the best places in the world to go for heart and lung problems.

Royal Brompton

In particular, cardiology is their speciality, and they’ve not only provided the best possible care but are leading the way in research and advancing our understanding of how the cardiovascular system works and how to treat the issues it can develop. 

Moreover, you’re not limited to just one facility; this organisation has three different facilities in London and more throughout the UK. Patients can often get in for same-day appointments to see specialists, a rarity even amongst the high-end private care facilities.

2. London Bridge Hospital

Though the facility looks old from the outside, London Bridge Hospital’s interior shows that looks can be deceiving.

London Bridge Hospital

With state-of-the-art capabilities, high-end care, and a dedication to rapid assessment and treatment for a wide range of critical care needs, London Bridge is an excellent facility for a wide range of issues.

Moreover, while they’re one of the top private facilities in London, they’re also relatively inexpensive compared to other comparable facilities, making them a great choice.

3. The Portland Hospital

Unique among the facilities on this list, Portland – despite being a private facility – is still limited in who can access care.

Portland Hospital

Specifically, The Portland Hospital is dedicated entirely to women and children.

From neonatal and maternity to children’s and family healthcare, Portland is world-class, and no small number of London’s residents were born there. They’re also one of the best facilities in the country – if not the world – for premature infant care.

4. King Edwards VII’s Hospital

King Edwards VII’s Hospital is the leading hospital in the UK providing services to Armed Forces veterans. With global conflict rising over the last decade, this need is more prevalent than it has been in a while.

King Edwards

In addition to offering private care to veterans, they also offer a variety of treatment options supported by donations.

Also noteworthy is their nurse-to-patient ratio, which is one of the best in the UK.

5. The London Clinic

The London Clinic is staffed with consultants who provide expert-level care in virtually any field, with 24/7 care and over a thousand highly-trained support staff.

London Clinic

They hold themselves to a higher standard than even those of other private healthcare facilities and can be considered one of the best private hospitals not just in London, not just in the UK, but around the world.

In fact, many of their staff are members of the General Medical Council Special Register, and their expertise helps guide NHS policies.

6. The Queen Square Private Hospital

Many private hospitals in London and elsewhere are specialists in some form of care or another. In the case of Queen Square Private Hospital, that speciality is primarily in neurology and neurosurgery.

The Queen

They are, in fact, directly adjacent to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and there are a lot of crossovers in expertise, staffing, and care.

They lead the charge in research, treatment, and care for various neurological and neuropsychological ailments, some of which can be difficult to find care for elsewhere in the city.

A Video Tour Of London Bridge Private Hospital

Preparing for a Longer Life

If you’re seeking medical care in London, and you’re having that care provided by one of the top healthcare facilities in the city, there’s a good chance that you want to live as long as possible.

A long, full life is a boon and a blessing, but it also gives us plenty of time to think about what comes after. After all, even the best facilities in the world have yet to cure death itself. 

Insurance Hero

So, while you’re spending savings on private health insurance and treatment, one question remains: what do you leave behind? Your spouse, children, extended family, business partners, and friends; who takes care of them when you’re gone?

One of the best answers to this question is, well, you. Through the power of life insurance, you can provide a payout upon your passing, which goes to the beneficiaries of your choice.

Whether you need to help alleviate the costs of end-of-life treatment and funeral arrangements, make up for a loss of savings spent on private care, or help cover housing or other expenses for your family when you’re gone, life insurance coverage can be an excellent way to do so.

Of course, when you’re dealing with medical issues, the last thing you want to do is wade through dozens of insurance provider applications. That’s where we can help at Insurance Hero.