Please see below for commonly asked questions.
What is a psychiatrist?
A psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in mental health problems and is trained to deal with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional disorders. A consultant psychiatrist is a doctor who has reached a senior position in terms of qualifications, treating people, training other doctors and helping to organise and run services. (see Royal College of Psychiatrists). UK consultants have the initials MRCPsych or FRCPsych after their names.
What is a clinical psychologist?
A clinical psychologist is a psychologist who has undergone specialist training in the treatment of people with mental health problems. Psychologists observe and measure human behaviour scientifically and produce models and therapies based on this knowledge. (see the British Psychological Society).
A chartered counselling psychologist has trained to deliver different types of psychotherapy such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
Can you see people urgently?
Generally on the same day, subject to there being a space available. We aim to avoid a waiting list. Where we do not have the required expertise we will always seek to check and advise on where to find it outside our clinic through our extensive clinical connections. Where there is a high level of active risk we recommend a visit to an A/E department, rather than delay to attend our outpatient service.
Can you recommend any self-help books?
In the Resources section, we have described a number of reference texts that we regard to be very useful, across a range of mental health conditions.
Do I need a referral from my family doctor (GP)?
Yes. This is good practice and we follow it. Exceptions are people coming from abroad without a UK family doctor, and people who are not presently registered with a family doctor (we can help you to locate one). Some people will be referred from another specialist or professional and this usually suffices, and we would tend to write back to that person and let your family doctor have a copy of that correspondence. Sometimes health insurance companies insist this is done.
What age groups do you manage?
Our services are provided for age 18+. We also have a specialist service for older age mental health conditions.
What are your opening times?
The Sloane Court Clinic is open Monday to Saturday inclusively. We are able to offer early morning appointments from 08.00am and evening appointments until 21.00. (For the duration of the COVID crisis we are not open on Saturdays but our usual opening hours are slightly shorter on Saturdays.)
Who are your consultant psychiatrists?
Our team are generally current or former consultants from the Maudsley Hospital / South London and Maudsley (SLAM) Trust and or Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). They include medical authors, professors, and current and former clinical academics, many who are key opinion formers in their fields.
What insurance companies do you work with?
All of the UK medical insurance companies and many non-UK ones as well. This includes Aetna, Alliance, Aviva, AXA, AXA International, BUPA, BUPA International, Cigna, Cigna International, CISI, GeoBlue, Healix, HTH, Vitality and WPA but do contact us to check if yours is not listed here.
How much do appointments cost?
Our current schedule of charges can be obtained through a call or email to Reception, however in general we charge an inclusive fee of £300–£425 per hour of psychiatrist time, £180–£225 per half hour, and £180–£210 per hour of psychologist time - this depends on which psychiatrist or psychologist is seen.
Appointments are scheduled at 60 minute or 30 minute intervals and include a short interval allowing for patient changeover, delays, note writing, etc. VAT is not chargeable on medical services.
For legal reports and interviews the fee is £200-240 per hour although this can vary particularly for publicly funded Legal Aid Authority (LAA) cases, where they are around £95 per hour..
We are able to accept all major credit cards including American Express, and also take Paypal.
Are there other costs?
Not generally. We do not charge for short enquires to clinicians and other necessary out of appointment contacts. We do charge for out of appointment prescriptions and more prolonged clinical contacts on the telephone, and for certain other services which are detailed on a schedule of charges made available at the Clinic.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes, we operate a strict 24 hour* cancellation policy for private appointments.
Cancellations made within this period will be charged from 1/3 to 100% of the overall fee depending on the clinican. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
This policy operates for all psychiatrists and psychologists.
*Some psychologists have a differing cancellation policy which is detailed on their individual page on this website and in the introductory appointment letter.
Do you have a waiting list?
It is our policy not to have a waiting list, but it can be unavoidable in certain situations. If you need to be seen urgently we aim to be as flexible as possible.
Do you do ADOS assessments?
Yes we have specialist psychologists who have undertaken the ADOS training and who routinely use the ADOS 2 assessment in their work.
Call Reception to learn more.
How do prescriptions work and is there a fee?
Prescriptions can be issued for patients who are in active management by your doctor, otherwise if not in treatment your general practitioner would be the person to prescribe for you. We do not charge for prescriptions issued during outpatient appointments. At all other times there is a charge of £25 per prescription.
We are unable to renew prescriptions at short notice or at the weekend and suggest as guidance that requests for repeat prescriptions are made 5 working days before they run out.
Our nearest pharmacy is Andrews Pharmacy at the Sloane Square end of Sloane Street. Our experience is that this pharmacy generally carries a good stock of the medication prescribed by the clinic. An alternative is Boots Pharmacy on Kings Road, near Peter Jones. There is also a 24 hour pharmacy, open 365 days a year on the Old Brompton Road, near Earls Court Underground station, called the Zafash Pharmacy.
What can you do for corporate clients?
We have extensive experience in working with senior executives, but also in working with Human Resource departments and Occupational Health doctors. We can also conduct occupational health assessments and write reports.
Are you CQC registered?
Yes we are. Search with our name on the CQC website - http://www.cqc.org.uk
How can I make a complaint?
Complaints and indeed suggestions may be made in writing or by email to our Manager. We have a Complaints Procedure that we can supply to you and this is outlined also in the Patient Handbook kept in the Waiting Room.
Do you have facilities for disabled access?
Unfortunately we do not as the clinic is accessed by a short external staircase. Where possible, we would be pleased to escort you down the stairs. We can in some circumstances arrange an appointment in an alternative local venue or arrange a local home visit.
What happens in a counselling session?
Counselling sessions, or psychotherapy, involve conversations in which the clinician (clinical psychologists in the SCC) and patient assesses the problems and their context. Together, they develop a formulation within the context of contemporary forms of psychotherapy, typically cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or its derivatives. A resolution of the symptoms / problems should be achievable, setting out an approximate estimate of the duration. The aim is that both will contribute actively, and the clinician will often set "homework" for example further reading, suggestions on alternative forms of thinking or acting, or provide insights to reflect on.
How do I know which therapist is best for me?
Generally you would not know this, although we provide their CV's. The majority of people will have an initial assessment with a psychiatrist to achieve an initial formulation, who will advise on which therapy is likely to be most suitable and who might provide. The psychiatrists can rule out an underlying medical condition, and have detailed knowledge of the clinical psychologists' background and expertise. Where we do not have the right clinical psychologist / therapist, we would refer you to someone outside the clinic, or help you find someone suitable on the website of the BPS - British Psychological Society. This may be relevant where the requirement might be outside London.
Are my sessions confidential?
They are confidential. Your clinical information is likely to be shared on a need to know basis if a referral is being made from a psychiatrist to a psychologist, but this would not be initiated without your consent, indeed at your request. All clinicians are bound by their duty under Safeguarding rules, and would be expected to consider breaking confidentiality if you are at risk or could put someone else at risk. We have a Confidentiality Policy that describes this.
What happens if I do not get on with my therapist?
We would advise you to consider discussing the issue with them, but if that might be uncomfortable or unlikely to result in improvement we would of course endeavour to help you find someone else suitable.
Can I speak to someone before I come?
Reception staff have been trained to answer many questions, and the manager can help if that is insufficient. However if more detail is needed or it would be uncomfortable talking to a non-clinician, we can try to quickly connect you to a clinician.
How experienced are the practitioners?
The clinicians are selected to work at the clinic on the basis of their extensive experience and training background. All have clinical doctorates in their subjects or the equivalent level of training if trained abroad where doctorates are not awarded. The CV's are available to read through on the Our Doctors page. As indicated above, our team are generally current or former consultants from the Maudsley Hospital / South London and Maudsley (SLAM) Trust and or Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). They include medical authors, professors, and current and former clinical academics, many who are key opinion formers in their fields. Our psychologists are highly experienced and carefuly selected on the basis of their training experience, postgraduate clinical experience and years of specialisation.
I only want one appointment. Is it possible?
One appointment is certainly possible. In that session, we would endeavour to make an assessment but not treat you. What we would aim for is to provide you with an opinion on treatment. Where a "second opinion" is required on existing treatment we would usually advise that the current clinican is informed so that they can provide notes and documentation that would make the second opinion more valuable. It is appreciated that sometimes this is not possible.
Do I have to contact my insurance company before I come, or can you arrange this?
Yes and they will provide you with authorisation that they will cover the entireity or part of the cost of your care. This is usually indicated with an authorisation reference number. We can advise you on how we work with insurance companies.