If you have private health insurance, either yourself or through your employer, you may prefer to use your private healthcare provider instead of the NHS.
Even if you don't have insurance, you may decide to pay for your own healthcare to get treatment more quickly, or to get a treatment that isn't available to you on the NHS.
What you can do
If you are considering 'going private' for your healthcare, it's important to look at the costs. Look carefully at your insurance policy and make sure that the treatment you want is covered - some policies may only cover a limited number of treatments or procedures, and many won't cover treatments for a long-standing condition that you had before the policy was taken out (known as a 'pre-existing condition').
If you are considering paying for your private healthcare directly, make sure you take into account not only the cost of the initial procedure or course of treatment, but also any follow-up treatment you might need, such as check-ups, scans or x-rays, and the costs of staying in a private hospital if necessary. Be certain that you understand what is covered by the payments you have made and whether you might need to make any further payments later.
If you can, shop around with different healthcare providers - not just to find the cheapest deal, but also to find the one which offers the best and most convenient treatment options for you.
Other information and advice
Money Saving Expert offers advice on what health insurance covers, how to buy it, and where you can get the best deals.