Frequently Asked Questions
We hope you'll find all the information you need on the Reading Hip & Knee Unit here on our website. Please see below for answers to a number of frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for, please call us on 0845 388 6102 and we'll be happy to assit you further.
How do I book an appointment?
Do I need a GP referral?
No, it's possible to seek private treatment from a consultant or specialist without being referred by your GP. However, the British Medical Association (BMA) believes that, in most cases, it is best practice for patients to be referred for specialist treatment by their GP. Also, If you are insured, your insurance company may require you to be referred by your GP (please check with your chosen insurer).
Can my physiotherapist refer me?
Why do I need to complete a ‘Patient enquiry form’?
The ‘patient enquiry form’ collects together all the essential information that the hospital and surgeon will require in order to safely and efficiently deal with your particular issue. You can also provide these details to one of our secretaries over the phone on 0845 388 6102.
Will my health insurance company cover all costs and fees?
Health insurance companies reimburse (to a greater or lesser extent) the costs of your treatment which can arise from the hospital, the surgeon and the anaesthetist. The amount of reimbursement will vary between insurance companies and between types of policy. It is essential that you clarify with your insurer what they will or will not cover before embarking on treatment. See here for more information
What are your fees?
It is now mandatory that all ‘providers’ of healthcare make their fees available to all patients. The fees that will apply will depend on whether you have health insurance or are funding the consultation and / or surgery yourself. Any such fees - hospital, surgeon and (potentially) anaesthetist - will all be sent to you before your first appointment. See here for more information
Why should I come to the RHKU?
Our consultants have over 50 years combined experience dealing with the whole spectrum of knee and hip conditions and injuries. The outcomes of all their major operations are recorded on national registries and all are actively involved in ongoing local and national research audit projects.
We can offer you a convenient appointment in a state of the art facility and organise any investigations or therapies promptly with local recommended experts.
Where is the RKU based?
The Reading Hip & Knee Unit is primarily based at Circle Hospital in Reading, but some of our consultants also work at Spire Dunedin Hospital (also in Reading). Between the five consultants they have clinics on most days of the week. Please call us for more information.
Do the hospitals have parking facilities?
Yes both hospitals have free onsite parking although (as with most sites in Reading) it can get busy and you are advised to arrive early to allow for any potential delays.
Where is the Circle Reading?
The hospital address is:
Circle Reading hospital
100 Drake Way
For sat nav please use postcode: RG2 0GQ
Where is the Dunedin Hospital?
The hospital address is:
Spire Dunedin Hospital, Reading
On average, how long does it take to get an appointment?
Generally new patients are seen within a week of contact.
Will I need an X-ray?
Most knee problems and injuries require an X-ray to be taken. If you have not had one recently or it is not available to the surgeon you may be asked to attend 30 minutes before your appointment time to get one done as you arrive at the hospital.
What is an MRI scan?
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body/knee. It is particularly good for the ‘soft tissue’ parts of the knee – menisci, ligaments and the articular cartilage (joint surface).
An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan and will be able to talk to the radiographer through an intercom. The scan will last between 15 and 90 minutes.
However, not everyone can have an MRI scan and they are not always possible for people who have certain types of implants fitted, such as a pacemaker.
How do I book an MRI scan?
Is it important where I have my MRI scan?
Today most MRI scanners produce images that are of good quality but it is important that the correct sequences (picture set up) are performed for each joint and that these images are interpreted by a consultant radiologist (X-ray doctor) who specialises in such Orthopaedic images. The advantage of having the MRI scan done within Reading is that a good working relationship already exists with our Radiologists and these images will be interpreted by someone with appropriate expertise.
I am claustrophobic and cannot have a normal MRI. What other options are there?
An MRI scan is a painless and safe procedure but you may find it uncomfortable if you have claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces). Most people find this to be manageable with reassurance but if not, a referral to a specialized ‘open’ MRI scanner can be made. call you to discuss, write to you or a further appointment...
What happens following my MRI scan?
Your consultant will call you to discuss the result on the phone, write to you, or (more usually) a further appointment will be made in a couple of weeks to both review and discuss the results of the scan.
How long does it take to get an MRI scan?
It is usually arranged within a few days of your consultation at a time suitable for you. If you haven't already done so, you will need to call your medical health insurer for authorisation beforehand. The fee for the MRI scan is sent from the hospital and this is separate from the consultant’s fee.
How long does it take to get the results after an MRI scan?
It can take a week or longer for us to get the final result.
Do you see children’s hip and knee problems at your clinic?
Yes we do. Nev Davies and Richard Dodds specialise in children’s and adolescent orthopaedics. Click here for more information.