General FAQs

  • Is a GP referral required for my child? icon plus

    Not necessarily, it's best to check with your consultant and your insurer as to whether they require a GP referral. If not, a GP can be accessed through our Urgent Care Centre for Children.

    Children may also be referred to the hospital by one of the following methods:

    • General Practitioner — your GP will refer you directly to a Consultant Paediatrician with admitting privileges at The Portland Hospital.
    • Embassy — by sponsorship and referral by an Embassy. In this case a letter of guarantee is required.
    • Consultant — a general Consultant Paediatrician may refer to a more specialised Paediatrician for further diagnosis and treatment.

    For a child who already has a lead consultant and you wish to have a procedure or surgery at the hospital, the consultant's secretary will schedule the booking directly with our hospital Reservations department.

  • How do I book an appointment for my child? icon plus

    HCA UK provides services to insured patients and those paying for their own treatment.

    To arrange an outpatient appointment with an appropriate Consultant Paediatrician, please call our appointments team on 020 7390 8020. 

    Alternatively please use our consultant search under the required area of paediatrics e.g. asthma. You can make an appointment with our booking team or directly via the consultant's secretary.

    There is no accident and emergency department at The Portland Hospital, however our Urgent Care Centre for Children is open 8am to 8pm every day.

  • Can I get a same-day appointment? icon plus

    Please call our appointments line on 020 7390 8020 who will try to find you an appointment at the earliest opportunity.  

    For immediate care, you can walk into our Urgent Care Centre for Children, which is open from 8am to 8pm every day. 


  • Do you have car parking facilities? icon plus

    Visitors can park in the nearby Union Carparks in Devonshire Row Mews.  

    For further information, including pricing, please visit the Union website. 

  • What are the visiting times? icon plus

    It is open visiting. However, we do recommend that visitors leave by 10pm so both parent and child can settle for the night.

    Should you wish to stay overnight with your child (we actively encourage this). a bed will be provided for one parent to stay.


  • Are there local hotels I can stay in? icon plus

    We understand the importance of being close to your family at this important time. This is why The Portland Hospital has negotiated special rates with all the following hotels and apartments to make your time with us a little easier. In order to receive these special rates, please contact the hotels below and quote 'The Portland Hospital'. Please note that all room and apartment rates are subject to availability.
  • How to give feedback, comments or make a complaint icon plus

    Whether you're a patient, relative or a visitor to one of our facilities, we want to ensure that your experience is a positive one.

    We value all feedback following your visit to one of our facilities. We ask that if you do encounter any problems, however small, you let us know. We are continually striving to improve our service and care, and your comments and feedback are invaluable in helping us to do this.

    If you would like to provide feedback, comments or make a complaint, please contact our team on

    Click here for details on our full process and guide to making a complaint.

Admission FAQs

  • What do I need to bring with us? icon plus

    You will need a nightie or pyjamas and toiletries.

    If your child has got a favourite toy or a comforter, do bring them in. If you have a portable games machine or electronic device like an iPad, you can also bring these in.

  • Will I be able to stay when my child goes to theatre? icon plus

    Yes, parents are very welcome to go to the anaesthetic room; and you can stay until your child is asleep, after which the nurse will accompany you back to your room.
  • Will I be able to stay with my child overnight? icon plus

    Yes, a bed will be provided for one parent to stay overnight.
  • Why should my child not eat/drink before an anaesthetic? icon plus

    It is important that your child's stomach is as empty as possible, as this reduces the risk of vomiting during the operation. As a general rule, no food or milk should be taken for six hours before surgery, but water and / or clear fluids can be given up to two hours before surgery. However, please follow any advice or instructions given by your child's consultant or the pre-assessment team prior to admission.
  • How will my child react to anaesthetic? icon plus

    Modern anaesthesia is very safe and complications are rare. The anaesthetist is an experienced doctor who is trained to deal with any complications. 

    Your child will either have an anaesthetic gas to breathe or an injection depending on age. Anaesthetic gas takes a minute or two to work. The anaesthetist uses a face mask to give the anaesthetic gas, while your child is in your arms or sitting on your lap.

    If your child is having an anaesthetic by injection, 'magic cream' is put on the hand about an hour before surgery. This numbs the skin so that a small plastic tube (cannula) and needle can be put into the vein. The anaesthetic is injected through this cannula.

    While your child is asleep, pain relief is given to help make him/her as comfortable as possible after surgery. The type and strength of pain relief given depends on the procedure or operation and this will be discussed with you beforehand. 

    Most children recover quickly and are soon back to themselves.

  • How will my child recover from anaesthetic? icon plus

    Most children recover quickly and are soon back to themselves after an anaesthetic, however some may suffer after effects. After effects can include headache, sore throat, dizziness and some children may feel sick and/or vomit.

    These effects usually last only a short time and a nurse will monitor your child's recovery, there are medicines available to treat these effects if necessary. Other complications may occur depending on your child's medical condition, the type of surgery and anaesthetic used. If there are risk factors specific to your child these will be discussed with you before surgery.

  • What will happen after the anaesthetic? icon plus

    Your child will be taken into the operating theatre. The anaesthetist will closely monitor your child's blood pressure, pulse, temperature and breathing throughout the operation, ensuring that he/she is safe and fully asleep.

    Your child will be transferred to the recovery room after their surgery. The plastic cannula may be left in place but it does not cause more than minor discomfort.

  • What do I do while my child is having their procedure? icon plus

    Many parents say that time seems to pass slowly while their child is having an operation. You can return to your room with the nurse and order some refreshments. You can prepare a bottle of milk for your baby while waiting. You can also go for a walk if you wish to, but if you do, ensure you leave a mobile number with the nurses.

  • What will happen after the procedure? icon plus

    Your child will be moved to the room adjacent to the operating theatre to wake up from the anaesthetic. Each child is closely looked after by a nurse until he/she is awake and comfortable enough to return to the room.

    The recovery room is a child-friendly environment. You will be called when appropriate to sit with your child until he/she has recovered and ready to go back to the room.

Billing and finance FAQs

  • Will my insurance company cover my child’s treatment? icon plus

    HCA UK has direct settlement arrangements for in-patient treatment with all major UK-based insurance companies. Prior to admission, it is essential you contact your insurers to confirm that your policy has a level of cover adequate to meet the cost of your child’s treatment.

    If your insurance company provide you with a claim form it must be completed and signed by your consultant (or in some cases GP) who will enter details of your treatment. Without this completed claim form your insurance company will not authorise us to deal with them directly. If the claim form has not already been submitted to your insurer you should bring it with you when you are admitted.

    If your claim has not been pre-authorised prior to your child's admission you will be regarded as a self-paying patient, and the appropriate deposit will be required. If by the date of discharge your cover has not been confirmed, you will be billed as a self-pay patient. You will need to settle the hospital charges and reclaim from your insurers.

  • How do I find out the cost of the treatment / procedure? icon plus

    Prices for your child's treatment and / or procedure can only be quoted by the HCA UK admissions department, and must be put in writing to you. For more information please call our self-pay department on 0207 390 6032.

    Your costs will be estimated as accurately as possible by your consultant. Any difference between the final costs and the estimated amount received on admission may be resolved before departure. This may mean that an additional deposit will be required during your child's stay. Any necessary refunds will be collected in the same method in which the initial payment was made.
  • How can I pay my account? icon plus

    Payment for your child’s account can be made via this link.

    Alternatively, payment can be made by bank transfer. Our bank details and address are as follows:

    HCA International Ltd The Portland Hospital
    205-209 Great Portland Street LONDON
    W1W  5AH
    Barclays Bank Plc
    St Johns Wood & Swiss Cottage Branch PO Box 2764
    Account Number: 80933279
    Sort Code: 20-74-63
    International Swift Code: BARCGB22
    IBAN Number:GB92BARC20746380933279

    Important Notice:

    • When transferring deposit/payments into our bank account, please ensure your patient’s name and account number are used as reference. Without these details we would not know which patient account to allocate the transfer to.
    • Please retain your card detail of transfer. In the event of a refund, these details will be required in order to process.
  • Do I need to pay a deposit prior to my child’s admission? icon plus

    All uninsured / self-paying patients are required to pay a deposit prior to your child's expected date of admission. The amount will be held on account as part payment for hospital charges. (Without prior agreement consultants' or anaesthetists' fees are not included.)

    You can pay the required amount by cash, bank transfer or debit / credit card.

  • Am I charged for telephone calls, visitor's meals etc? icon plus

    Costs for any extras such as telephone calls, additional newspapers (The Times is free of charge) and visitors' meals will be invoiced to you and payment collected when you leave the hospital.

    In order to assist in this process you will be asked to sign a credit card mandate on admission. The HCA UK Registration Guide, available to all patients, contains details of the hospital's general terms and conditions.

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A word about safety

Strict infection control measures are followed at all times. We ask all parents and visitors to use hand cleansing gels before entering and when leaving a child's room.


We pay vigorous attention to the safety and security of our patients and staff. CCTV, personal electronic security tags for doctors and staff, strict visitor identification procedures are employed and staff identification badges are mandatory. All children have a personal electronic security tag whilst they are in our care.

Request an appointment with a paediatric specialist

To request an appointment, call our team in the paediatric unit 

Call us on

020 3918 6525
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