FOR DETAILS OF THE SPECIFIC TREATMENTS OFFERED AND THE OPERATIONS MOST COMMONLY PERFORMED, PLEASE SEE 'TREATMENTS' SECTION
Q. Why go privately?
A. Private Healthcare allows you to see me at the time of your choice and in the private hospital of your choice local to you without any delay, and usually the same week as your GP referral or your contacting my secretary.
All of your care, both at the time of your initial consultation and at all follow up visits, will be undertaken by me personally.
I will be able to offer you all the latest treatments and diagnostic tests and all of this will be undertaken without any waiting lists (often on the day of your consultation) or at a time that is convenient to you.
All the private hospitals I work at pride themselves on their clean and comfortable surroundings, with private rooms and en suite facilities for all patients. MRSA rates in the Private Hospitals I work at are NIL.
The nursing staff are caring and very experienced, and every effort is made by them and the hospital clerical staff to make your visit a pleasant and unflustered experience.
Small things like free and unlimited parking and waiting areas and clinical areas that are uncluttered, spacious and comfortable for all add to your whole hospital experience.
NHS waiting lists now operate within an '18 week pathway' from the time your GP refers you to when you are seen and treated in hospital, and most patients are seen and treated at the limits of this time frame. NHS Trusts locally and nationally are facing increasing difficulties in keeping within these targets, especially with the relative decrease in NHS funding planned for the next few years under current Government financial constraints.
Local NHS Hospital services are under no obligation as to which NHS hospital you are seen at or by which doctor you are seen by, as long as you are seen before this time period elapses - if patients are waiting too long to be treated in one particular hospital, your GP has to refer you to another Hospital in or outside the district until the waiting times drop again.
Many Ear, Nose and Throat operations (such as grommet insertion and particularly procedures seen as 'cosmetic' such as septorhinoplasty and rhinoplasty) are seen as 'LOW PRIORITY PROCEDURES' (or LPP ) and of dubious benefit by commissioning bodies in financially constrained times, despite their obvious beneficial effects for patients. They are now only available in very specific circumstances, and I can only see this list growing as commissioning bodies and the local Primary Care Trust (PCT) have to make large year on year savings for the foreseeable future.
For more information and a more definitive list of the procedures no longer funded in the NHS in Kent and Medway please see http://bit.ly/dbgaDi
For the reaction of surgical representative bodies to this, please see http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/29/surgery-denied-nhs-trusts-cut-costs
Q. Do I need a referral letter?
A. Strictly speaking you don't and I am happy to see patients without a referral letter if you wish to arrange your own consultation.
In particular, many patients requesting cosmetic nasal or ear surgery don't come via their GP, but via recommendation from their friends or my ENT colleagues.
I would in general, however, encourage you to see your GP prior to booking a consultation with me, to discuss your problems and to request a referral letter.
Please note that a GP referral letter is mandatory for those patients with Private Health Insurance to allow you to claim on your insurance cover.
Q. If I see you privately, can I then swap back to the NHS for future treatment or surgery?
A. Yes you can, but the rules governing this are very much stricter than they used to be, to prevent patients being seen to be 'jumping the queue' for NHS treatment.
If you see me for a private consultation, if you then want to be transferred back to the NHS this has to be done via your GP, who can then if they wish re-refer you back to me in the NHS system once I have seen you.
All your notes and results from your private consultations will however be forwarded to my NHS Secretaries, so there will be no duplication.
Q. Why come to a Specialist Rhinologist and Nasal Plastic Surgeon?
A. I have specialist expertise in the management of nose and sinus related problems, and in Private Practice and my NHS practice have close working relationships with colleagues in allied medical and surgical disciplines who strive for such similar subspecialist excellence.
I have spent a large proportion of my career, both in training and as a Consultant, developing my specialist knowledge and surgical skills in nasal disorders and have worked with and trained under world experts in the field.
The function and shape of the nose are intimately related, and only an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon with training and an everyday interest in these issues can offer the most up to date and bespoke diagnosis and treatment for you - this is the service I aim to provide in The Canterbury Nose Clinic.
Q. Can I see before and after photographs of your previous cosmetic work?
A. Yes, I'm happy to show you before and after pictures of patients who have had cosmetic nasal and ear surgery under my care.
For reasons of patient confidentiality, I have only offered a flavour of Rhinoplasty surgery in my 'Gallery' section on this website, but have a representative sample of my previous work for your interest at the time of your consultation if you wish to see it.
Q. Can I see the possible results of my rhinoplasty surgery before my operation?
A. Yes, I can show you what can (and can't) be achieved by surgery on your pre-operative photographs by means of 2D digital image manipulation on my laptop computer.
My Private Patients find this especially useful to see what they will look like after surgery, and it is a facility offered by only a handful of other ENT or Plastic Surgical colleagues in this country.
(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0-NPaSp9no&feature=related for a similar 3D version used by a surgeon in Texas, USA.)
Latest News & Views
'To Mr Sharp and his team ... I want to thank you for my surgery on my nose that I had done at The William Harvey Hospital. You have changed my life.' M. S