The argument for free consultations: on the one hand, patients may feel that they may not strike up a rapport with the surgeon or the surgeon may not be able or willing to give them the result that they are aiming to achieve and so they do not want to risk paying a consultation fee if they are not going to go ahead with surgery at that facility. It is important to get a feel for the place where you are going to be treated and to make sure that the staff are polite, attentive and professional. This applies not only to the surgeon, but also to the rest of the outpatient and hospital staff. First impressions are important, and if you don’t get a good one, you may regret paying £100 or more for the privilege!
The argument against free consultations: on the other hand, many surgeons feel that they should be paid for their professional opinion and we have costs such as secretarial fees, consulting room rental and medical indemnity that have to be covered. Furthermore, there is the concern that patients are less likely to attend the appointment if it is free as the value is cheapened when patients are not paying. There is also a concern on the wider scale, that some clinics may be offering free consultations in order to attract patients and then using ‘hard sell’ tactics to encourage patients to undergo procedures. There should never be any pressure or incentives given to make patients feel that they have only a limited time to make a decision on what is often a life-changing event.
Why I charge for the initial consultationI can see both sides of the argument. They say that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and so if clinics are going to offer free consultations, then they will presumably expect a significant proportion of patients to go ahead with a procedure. This is something that I really try to avoid. I think that it is important to see every patient and give them the best advice. We are doctors first and there must be no suggestion that any decision that we make, or advice that we give, has been given with any pressure or agenda, other than the patient’s best interest. A good consultation is one where the patient has left feeling supported, informed and educated, whether or not they choose to have surgery.
I do charge for consultations and will give you my professional opinion and as much time as you need. I only charge for the initial consultation, and so you can come back and go over things as often as you need if you have questions or queries. In fact I encourage you to come back for a second consultation to go over things. I do not charge for follow-up consultations. I also give patients my email address if they have any questions or concerns that I can answer by email. You can ask me about my qualifications and experience and we can talk about your expectations and whether surgery might be able to fulfil your goals. You will only see me, there will be no sales people or patient advisors and there will be absolutely no pressure to proceed with anything. If you think that surgery might be right for you and you would like to go over things again, then you can come back and see me as often as you need for no extra charge. I also offer a cosmetic surgery counselling service and your initial consultation fee covers the cost of two sessions with a psychotherapist who specialises in cosmetic surgery. This allows you the opportunity to talk to someone about your feelings and your goals who can give emotional support with, what is often, a life changing decision.
My initial consultation fee is £120 and consultations are held in ourboutique plastic surgery clinicin Edgbaston.
You canbook a consultation onlineor by calling 0121-270 2867. We would love to hear from you.