Your visit to our centre

Men usually come to The Prostate Centre for one of the following reasons:
  • you may be troubled by symptoms and wish to have these investigated
  • you may already have a confirmed diagnosis and wish to explore treatment options
  • you may be looking for a second opinion
  • you may feel perfectly well, but wish simply to be reassured that you and your prostate are in good health.

When you become a patient here, your health is of course our first concern. Our second concern is to make your visits, diagnosis and treatment as pleasant, efficient and stress-free as possible. Our patients often tell us that they arrive anxious but leave feeling positive and reassured, with a new confidence in their future.

You can help to prepare yourself by reading through the following sections, which will give you an idea of the kind of things to expect when you come to The Prostate Centre.

At The Prostate Centre

  • Before you arrive icon plus

    We suggest you start by taking a good look through our website, noting in particular our information on PSA testing.

    When you telephone for an appointment, our experienced Patient Liaison team will ask about your symptoms, take some basic details, explain the procedure for your visit and schedule an appointment with the appropriate specialist.

    • You’ll need a letter of referral from your GP or specialist. This is not just helpful to us when we meet you; it is considered good medical practice by the General Medical Council (GMC). Later, we’ll be sending your GP copies of our letters to you as it’s important for him or her to know about your tests and treatments. But you can ask us not to do this if you wish. Please note, you do not need a referral letter if you come for one of our “well man” health checks as insurance policies do not cover screening.
    • Health insurance companies usually want to know that you have been appropriately referred, and you may find you are refused benefit if you cannot provide this. You should call your claims team and let them know when and why you have made an appointment, and ask for pre-authorisation.
    • Do make sure you have read our Terms and Conditions (a copy is available from our team). It’s important that you understand these before you decide to come to us.
  • Your first visit icon plus

    You’ll need to fill in some forms on arrival, so please make sure you come with full details of your GP, other relevant specialists and of course your insurance. One of our nursing team will have a preliminary chat with you, noting your medical history and current problems, before you meet your specialist.

    • Patients with prostate trouble will probably be asked to perform a urinary flow test, and you must have a full bladder for this. So it’s best not to go to the WC the minute you arrive! If you begin to feel uncomfortable, just let us know.
    • Sometimes the doctor will ask for tests to be arranged in advance of the consultation, in which case the nurse will take samples of blood and/or urine eg for PSA, cholesterol etc. (You will need to have fasted for about 12 hours beforehand if you are having a cholesterol test.)
    • Any further tests will be carried out by a nurse or doctor, and depending on your condition may include further blood/urine tests, an ECG, ultrasound studies etc. We wouldn’t want to repeat tests unnecessarily, so please let us know if you have had any of these recently.
    • You can expect to have a physical examination. This will involve a digital rectal examination, where the prostate gland is felt by the doctor with a gloved finger while you lie on your side. Most men prefer to undergo this examination in private, so if someone has come with you we will normally ask them to leave the room while it is performed. However, if you would like them to stay with you, or indeed if you would like another of our staff to be present, please let us know.

    The first time you come to us you should be prepared to be with us for a couple of hours (follow-up sessions are likely to be shorter). We do our best to keep to time, but inevitably sometimes we need to give more time than we planned to a particular patient, and this can upset the schedule.

    While you’re waiting between tests and appointments, we offer you freshly brewed coffee, a variety of teas and cooled water. You may find something interesting to read on our bookshelves, or ask to watch one of our specially commissioned patient-focused DVDs.

  • Further investigations icon plus

    If the PSA is raised above normal levels, one option we will discuss with you is whether or not you should have a biopsy, whereby tiny samples of prostate tissue are collected via a series of 8-12 needles. We will explain what is involved and, if you are happy to go ahead, prescribe a short course of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.

    • We can arrange the biopsy either later in the day or on another date to suit you. We make every effort to make it a painless experience for you; our radiologists are highly experienced and you will be given a local anaesthetic.
    • We have access to some of the most sophisticated pathology expertise in the country. The laboratory will fast-track the analysis and provides exceptional service to ensure that in most instances your biopsy results can be known within 48 hours.
    • We are also one of a limited number of centres that can offer the PCA3 test, which involves collection of a small amount of urine passed after a prostatic massage. You can read more about this test elsewhere on this website, but you should be aware that because it is relatively new it may not be covered by your insurance.

    Some patients may need a bone scan, MRI or CT scan; these are not performed on the premises but at one of the state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging centres nearby, and reported to us.

  • Reviewing your options icon plus

    Once all your results are in, you’ll want to discuss them with one of our specialists or nursing team, either by telephone or at a follow-up consultation. You will be given a full explanation of potential treatment options, the decision-making process being a joint undertaking between you, your family and your specialist.

    We hold regular multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss the management of many of our cases, which should give you an extra level of safety and confidence.

    This is the time when it’s often a good idea to see other members of the Prostate Centre team. For example, you may want to learn about the help we can give with sexual rehabilitation after your operation, or how to cope with potential incontinence. If you’re scheduled for surgery we may arrange for you to meet your anaesthetist for instructions on how to help yourself prepare.

    We will never pressurise you into embarking on any course unless and until you are happy with it. If you want a second opinion we know who best to refer you to, in the UK or overseas. Every so often we pick up on other problems you didn’t know you had, in which case we can refer you to a top specialist in the relevant field, many of whom we know personally.

  • Operations icon plus

    Operations are not performed at The Prostate Centre, but at a selection of premier private hospitals nearby, primarily The Princess Grace Hospital and the King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes.

    The theatre and nursing teams at these hospitals are highly experienced and have worked with us for many years. They have benefited from a high volume of our patients, which has contributed to their expertise.

    In the post-operative period we’ll be monitoring your progress regularly, and you will be visited in hospital by one or more of the team on a daily basis. A resident doctor will be on hand there at all times; both nursing and medical staff at the hospitals are well versed in the specialist care of our patients and will make sure we are kept informed.

  • Follow up icon plus

    We are committed to your long-term health and will be pleased to see you for follow-up, either in relation to a prostate disease or to monitor your overall fitness.

    You should telephone to book a follow-up consultation at any time if you experience problems or have particular concerns; otherwise follow the instructions of your specialist for routine follow-up periods.

    You may need a PSA test, bladder ultrasound and flow rate test when you come for follow-up; if so please make sure you arrive with a reasonably full bladder.

    Please note: Because our model of care is based on a co-ordinated team approach, follow-up consultations are provided by all members of the team and you will not necessarily see your original consultant for routine aftercare. Your specialist will of course be kept fully informed of your case, and for new or non-routine issues you may request to see him or her personally.

Fees and Insurance

We like to think our services and facilities are “five-star”. However, you will be reassured to know that the majority of our clinical charges are agreed with, and covered by, the major UK-based healthcare insurers, so that subject to any limitations on your policy, these fees should be fully reimbursable. Please be sure to contact your insurer prior to your visit and obtain the necessary pre-authorisation, failing which you will be asked to settle your account on the day of attendance.

Insured fees
If you are insured and would like us to send our invoices direct to your insurer, you must provide all your membership details, pre-authorisation numbers and evidence of any excess or limitation which applies to your policy. Any shortfall, for whatever reason, must remain your liability. We regret that we are unable to deal direct with any overseas insurer.

Insured patients should be aware that their insurer is unlikely to pay for all the services we provide. Medical insurance policies do not usually provide cover for problems relating to sexual function, for example, or advice on nutrition, or pre-operative health assessments and other consultations with an anaesthetist. Health screens, including our Prostate and Prostate+PLUS health checks, are never covered by insurance. All such sessions must be paid for on the day of attendance, as must any take-home medication from our Pharmacy.

Patients paying for their own treatment

You will be expected to settle your fees on the day of attendance. Cheques (drawn on a British bank account only), debit cards, Visa/Mastercard, American Express, cash and travellers’ cheques are all accepted forms of payment.

It is very important that you should understand the cost of any tests that are recommended by your consultant, so please ask for these to be explained in advance to avoid any misunderstanding or difficulty.

Paying for medical treatment

Operation fees
The Prostate Centre does not submit invoices for operations. You should contact your surgeon or one of our Patient Liaison team to enquire about costs, insurance eligibility and payment policy. You’ll find that top specialists may charge fees over and above the levels set by some insurers – sometimes by a considerable amount. We will therefore inform you of the relevant fees in time for you to decide whether or not to proceed, and would strongly urge you to ascertain the level of cover to which you are entitled, including cover for the hospital you choose, before committing to treatment.

We shall be happy to process your insurance claim forms, so please bring these with you, with the patient’s section completed and signed, when you attend. You can ask to speak to one of our Patient Liaison team if you would like further clarification on any account issues.

Cancellation policy
Please be aware that we require 24 hours notice of any cancellation, otherwise a fee of £100 will apply.

Other useful information

Office hours

Our offices are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Outside these hours, our answering machine gives an emergency contact number for our patients. We have provision for disabled patients to use the full range of our services.

We welcome feedback from patients and visitors to The Prostate Centre and will be pleased to receive any comments you may wish to make on any aspect of our services. Satisfaction survey questionnaires are available in the waiting room and on our website; please use them to let us have your views. A summary of the survey results will be produced annually and may be obtained from the Centre Manager and online.

Feedback & Complaints

We pride ourselves on the dedication of our staff and the high quality of our patient care. However, please do not hesitate to let us know if for any reason you are not happy with our service. You can write to our Centre Manager, use one of the survey questionnaires or tell us in person. Your concerns will be taken seriously and we will inform you of the action we are taking as a result. Please ask to see our full Complaints Policy, which is available for you to inspect at any time.

Feedback and complaints

Our staff

Prostate Centre staff all wear name badges for identification. They will address you by your title and surname unless you indicate otherwise. They will respect your privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs at all times.

Local hotels

We have negotiated significantly lower rates for our patients at various hotels nearby.

Data protection

The Prostate Centre complies fully with the Data Protection Act 1998. All our data and medical records are maintained in accordance with legislation to ensure the total privacy of the individual. You have the right to see your medical records in accordance with the Health Records Act 1990. Copies of correspondence about you will be sent to you, unless you expressly request otherwise (we will not mark correspondence “Private and Confidential” unless you ask us to); test results and X-ray/scanning images are your property and will be returned to you.

No Smoking Policy

We have always had a No Smoking policy, and this is now enshrined in law. You may not smoke anywhere in the building.

CQC registration

The Prostate Centre is registered with the Care Quality Commission, Finsbury Tower, 103-105 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TG, telephone 020 7448 9200. The Centre is subject to regular inspections and the results of these may be obtained from the above address or online at

Contact The Prostate Centre

If you would like more information about The Prostate Centre or would like to book an appointment, contact our team who will be happy to help

Call our team

020 7935 9720
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