Self-referring for MRI scans
Increasingly, it is being recognised that patients wish to take greater control of their own health, and are becoming more aware of the opportunities to self-investigate their health issues, or simply reassure themselves that they are well.
We welcome patients who wish to refer themselves for MRI, but please be aware of and agree to the following important information prior to proceeding with a self-referral booking:
- Scans will be offered to all those aged 18 and above.
- MRI is extremely safe, and does not involve any radiation exposure. You will however need to complete a safety questionnaire at the time of booking which may exclude you from proceeding with the scan or delay the scan, depending on the information you provide.
- You will need to complete a self-referral form, detailing the reasons why you wish to have a scan. If it is for a medical complaint, this should be self-documented. If it is for reassurance, that too should be stated.
- You must be registered with a GP, or other responsible medical practitioner (e.g. for overseas patients), to whom a copy of the report will be sent. Should you not be registered with a GP or responsible medical practitioner, you must sign and agree to see our own private GP as a follow up to go through your report and any recommendations. It is a requirement for us to be able to communicate results to a doctor, professionally connected with the patient, so that they can make recommendations about future care. Therefore, we cannot perform scans if you cannot, or do not wish to provide the name of your doctor, nor agree to see our own private GP.
- Scans will only be performed on the areas which we routinely scan. The self-referral form will be protocol-ed, and you will be advised if we are unable to proceed with the requested examination.
- Self-referrals will not be accepted for monitoring of known malignant disease.
- You must understand that MRI scans may on occasion identify unexpected abnormalities which may or may not require further investigation. If so, these findings will be identified on the report and any recommendations arising will be followed up by your GP.
- You may bring a friend or relative with you, who may, if required, stay with you for the scan itself, subject to safety checks. Unfortunately you may not bring children under the age of 16 to accompany you.
- You must provide us with your contact details, and you will be asked to confirm your appointment 48 hours prior to the scan.
- You will be charged £250 if you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hour’s notice, and you will be charged the full cost of the scan if you cancel your appointment with less than 24 hour’s notice or fail to attend. This will be subject to discretion for unavoidable absence due to illness, travel disruption etc.
- The imaging report may contain medical terms that you may find confusing and possibly alarming, but neither the reporting radiologist nor the MRI staff are able to discuss the findings of the scan directly with the patient. All enquiries about the report’s content and recommendations (if any) must be conducted with your GP (or other responsible medical practitioner).
- Your GP will be at liberty to contact the reporting radiologist for further information as required.
- You will receive a CD containing your images following the appointment, and the radiology report and images will be sent to your GP within 3 days of the investigation.
- Neither the NHS nor private medical insurance companies will fund or cover self-referral. As such, all self-referrals are undertaken on a self-pay basis.