General

What is Psychiatry?

Psychiatry literally means the ‘medical treatment of the mind’, so it is the medical speciality devoted to the treatment of disorders of the mind. Psychiatrists are therefore doctors who specialise in the medical treatment of such conditions.

How does online psychiatry work?

The stages that we follow for online consultations are very similar to the process you would follow if you were referred by your GP or decided to pay for private psychiatric treatment through a clinic.

To read the stages we follow in more detail please visit our ‘How it Works‘ page

Tell me more about the psychiatrists that you use?

Psychiatry-UK has over 80 specialist consultant psychiatrists, all experts in their fields and with their own areas of special interest. Unlike many other areas of medicine, psychiatrists do not need to physically examine a patient as talking, listening and vision, rather than touch, are required.

As a result, being able to speak to a psychiatrist through video conferencing is ideal – you not only get to see a psychiatrist faster, but you also get to see the most appropriate specialist for you, although they may be many hundreds of miles away.

At Psychiatry-UK we believe that patients should see the consultant first and have the most effective treatment prescribed from the beginning. Psychiatrists are medically trained and can therefore prescribe medication, so we provide an online prescription service as well as providing access to a full range of accredited and supervised tele-therapy services through the same secure online portal. This cuts down on time wasted whilst patients needlessly suffer through not having rapid access to the most appropriate treatment.

As doctors, they all take their responsibilities with regard to confidentiality particularly seriously. You can talk to our psychiatrists about anything and remain absolutely secure in the knowledge that, as long as you’re not intending to harm yourself or others it will remain confidential.

Do I need special equipment?

No. Providing you have access to the internet, and a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam (either internal or external) and a microphone, then you will be able to attend a consultation.

Most up-to-date computers and laptops will already have a camera and microphone installed. The only other special instruction will be for you to ensure that you are running the newest version of Microsoft Edge, which you will need to open your meeting link if you intend using a desktop computer. If you intend to use a tablet or phone you will first need to download our app. You can then access your meeting using a special code that will be sent to you before your appointment is due to start.

Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed a link to access your meeting at the appointed time. If you have any problems setting up your computer, we have support staff on hand to give you step-by-step advice before your consultation commences.

We strongly advise all clients to test their equipment prior to the consultation and you are welcome to contact our support team for assistance with this. We cannot be held responsible for the failure of equipment locally due to lack of preparation and we are unable to return deposits in these circumstances. However, in certain situations due to technical failures beyond anyone’s control, the appointment can be re-scheduled or continued by telephone at no extra cost.

Right To Choose

What is Right to Choose (RTC)?

If you live in England, and your GP refers you for a physical or mental health condition, in most cases you have the legal right to choose the organisation (qualified provider) you would like to go to, giving you greater control over your care. Please note that RTC does not cover Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Psychiatry-UK has NHS contracts to provide adult ADHD diagnosis and treatment services with a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups in England and therefore fulfils the criteria to be a qualified provider under NHS Right to Choose. As long as your GP will make a referral to us, we will be able to get your ADHD treatment paid for by the NHS.

How do I exercise my Right to Choose?

Note: in order to be accepted your referral must:

  • Be addressed to Psychiatry-UK
  • State that the patient is to be referred to Psychiatry-UK for an ADHD assessment under the NHS Right to Choose legislation
  • Be signed off by a GP
  • Include a completed ASRS form
  • Include a patient summary, along with patient contact details (phone and email address)

Where should my GP send the referral?

Your GP should send the referral by email to: p-uk.righttochoose-referrals@nhs.net (please note: this address is for professional use only).

Alternatively, referrals can be sent by post to:

Psychiatry-UK LLP, Trewalder Chapel, Trewalder, Cornwall, PL33 9ET.

Does my doctor need to apply for funding?

Your GP does not need to get prior approval for your referral from the local Clinical Commissioning Group and we do not need to seek their approval before starting your treatment.

Once we receive the referral from your GP, we will contact you and ask you to complete some further questionnaires. We will then arrange an appointment for you to be assessed by one of our ADHD consultants and commence treatment if indicated.

Can my child be seen under NHS Right to Choose?

At present we can only see adults under Right to Choose according to the terms of our contracts. We do, of course, have child and adolescent specialists available on a private basis.

Children can very often be diagnosed through the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) via school referral.

My GP won’t refer me. What can I do?

Assuming that your GP is refusing to refer you due to funding concerns and not a clinical reason, you can ask them to read the NHS information governing patient choice. Common causes of confusion are the fact that we are not commissioned in your CCG, which is not relevant, or that the GP is only aware of applying through an IFR (Individual Funding Request) and asking the CCG for permission first, which again is not necessary.

If I was assessed and diagnosed privately, would I qualify for NHS treatment at a later date?

Yes, it is possible. Once the psychiatrist is satisfied that the medication they have prescribed is working, we ask your GP to enter into something called a shared care agreement. This would then allow you to get medication through the NHS and still have private consultant care.

The other option is to continue with private treatment while your GP refers you to the NHS, so that you will still be receiving ongoing medication in the meantime, albeit at a higher price.

Fees

How much is an assessment?

In the majority of cases, adult clients will need up to a one-hour assessment. This will cost £360.00, which is payable at the time of booking. This cost will include a written opinion or assessment letter, a suggested treatment plan and a formal diagnosis where indicated.

There may be additional fees payable after the assessment, for which you will receive an invoice: for example, the costs for prescribing and titrating medication. This will be agreed between you and the psychiatrist during your assessment.

You could also be charged, by the minute, for any extra time spent in the consultation if the meeting runs over one hour, but this is at the discretion of the doctor. Read our full schedule of fees here.

For children or adolescents, there is always an initial 30-minute assessment consultation for the child’s parent or guardian, together with a letter setting out a proposed plan. For this, we charge £200.00 at the time of booking. An estimate of the likely cost of any proposed treatment plan is then provided after that initial discussion. You can read more about the treatment of children here.

What is included in the price?

  • In the majority of cases, adult clients will need up to a one-hour assessment. This will include a formal diagnosis from your psychiatrist, where indicated, with a written opinion or assessment letter and suggested treatment plan. The fee is £360.00. You will receive an electronic copy of your assessment letter via the patient portal, which you will be able to download. A postal copy is available on request. A copy of the letter will also be sent to your GP via NHS email or post, if needed.

    Please see our schedule of fees for more information, or call us on 0330 124 1980 to discuss.

Can I get help with costs?

If you are being assessed for Adult ADHD, are registered with a GP surgery in England, and you are referred by a GP to a consultant or specialist in mental health, you have the legal right to choose the organisation (qualified provider) to whom you are referred, as long as that organisation is providing that service in another part of England.

As we have NHS contracts to provide adult ADHD diagnosis and treatment services with a number of Clinical Commissioning Groups in England, we fulfil the criteria to be a qualified provider under NHS Right to Choose. So, as long as your GP will make a referral to us, we will be able to get your ADHD treatment paid for by the NHS.

If you are a private patient, with private medical insurance, we can work with most of the providers to get them to fund all or part of your treatment.

For other mental health issues, you may be able to approach your GP and request that they apply for an Individual Funding Request (IFR), but this is not guaranteed. There may be other options available to you through your local area authority.

Do you offer payment plans/credit?

Initial assessments require payment at the time of booking, so we currently do not offer any type of payment plan.

Booking

How do I book an appointment?

Bookings can be made via our website or by phone:

  • Book online if you know what you want to discuss and which psychiatrist you would like to book an appointment with.
  • Call 0330 124 1980 and speak to one of our trained advisors (8am-8pm weekdays), who will arrange an appointment with you.

As a general rule, you will be required to undertake a full initial one-hour consultation. Payment in full is required at the time of booking, so please have your card ready when you call.

Peace of mind guarantee – what if I change my mind?

Statutory 14-day ‘Cooling Off Period’

You are automatically entitled to a 14-day ‘cooling off period’ when you buy goods or services online. This means that you have a statutory right to cancel your appointment within 14 days from the day on which you entered the contract, without giving any reason.

If you wish to book an appointment that is less than 14 days from the date of booking, you do have the choice to waive these rights. By booking the appointment, you acknowledge that you have waived your statutory right to cancel during the cooling off period. 

Don’t worry – you also have a legal right to cancel a booking that you have made with us within 7 working days of the date the booking was made. However, if your use of the service commences within that 7-day period your right to cancellation is lost.

If you wish to cancel a booking within this period, you must contact us in writing by sending an email to support@psychiatry-uk.com. If you send your cancellation notice by email, your cancellation is effective from the date and time that you sent the email. You may wish to keep a copy of your cancellation notification for your own records.

In the event of such a cancellation, you will receive a full refund for the cost of the services. We will process the refund as soon as possible and, at the latest, within 30 calendar days of the day on which you gave us notice of cancellation.

However, if you fail to attend a booked consultation without giving us notice of cancellation of the booking, we are within our rights to charge you the full cost of the consultation. Any decision to vary this, to take account of particular circumstances beyond your control, is at the discretion of Psychiatry-UK LLP.

Can I change my appointment?

If you wish to change the date of your appointment, please contact the admin team via the patient portal as early as possible. Please note that your new appointment may be much later than the original booking as we will need to move you to the end of our waiting list.

What if I fail to attend a booked appointment?

If you fail to attend a booked appointment without giving us notice of cancellation of the booking, we are within our rights to charge you the full cost of the consultation. Any decision to vary this, to take account of particular circumstances beyond your control, is at the discretion of Psychiatry-UK LLP.

Can I make an appointment for someone else/on their behalf?

In the case of child referrals, a parent or guardian is required to make an appointment on their child’s behalf (under 18), although young people of 16 or 17 can in principle refer themselves – providing they are able to pay at the time of booking the appointment.

 If an adult wishes to make an appointment on behalf of another adult, we would need to ensure that the patient is aware that the appointment is being made. The email address used to create the patient’s record will receive the notifications we send during the patient journey and will give access to confidential information. We would therefore need to have the patient’s authorisation for this to go ahead. In this type of case, please make your booking by phone (call our support team on: 0330 124 1980) so that we can discuss the case and check the patient’s consent.

If you wish to pay for the treatment on a patient’s behalf, we can arrange for invoices to be sent directly to you. In these cases, the patient’s information is not available to the payer.

Can I use your service if I live outside the UK?

Although some of our doctors may not be physically located in the UK, our service is UK-based. We don’t have the jurisdiction to provide medical treatment to patients in other countries. 

We can assess and diagnose patients who are based anywhere in the world. However, if medication is indicated, you will have a letter from your consultant which you can take to your local GP who may agree to prescribe this for you. They are under no obligation to do so. 

If I were abroad, would I still be able to have the assessment and, if needed, start medication when I return to the UK?

Providing you are a registered UK resident, it is possible to have the assessment and receive the medication; however, we cannot send medication abroad, so it would need to be sent to the UK address of a family member, who would then need to send it onto you themselves. They will need to check the legality of doing this as there will be restrictions on sending medications across borders.

Treatments

What conditions do you offer assessment/treatment for?

We supply medical diagnoses and treatment recommendations for a wide range of mental health issues, including ADHD in adults and children, addictions, anxiety, ASD, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, memory loss, OCD, issues related to old age, perinatal mental health problems, personality disorders, phobias, psychological wellbeing, PTSD, schizophrenia and paranoia, stress.

How old do you have to be?

We offer a specialist diagnostic ADHD service for children and young people between the ages of 7-18, which fully complies with NICE guidance for the assessment and treatment of ADHD. Although ADHD symptoms may be noticed by parents while the child is still pre-school, most paediatricians and child psychiatrists are reluctant to diagnose this early, and medication is not recommended before the age of six years. Please note that the terms of our contracts do not allow us to see young people under the age of 18 under NHS Right to Choose at present.

We work in partnership with the Owl Centre for Children’s Independent Therapy to provide an online service for assessment of possible Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children and adolescents. The Owl Centre has bases in many parts of England and Wales, and offers school or home visits throughout Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Central London, North London, North West London, South London, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, South Wales, Surrey, West Midlands and Worcestershire; and in parts of Herefordshire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire.

We also have psychiatrists who specialise in working with patients who have mental health issues that are associated with having a learning disability.

Unless you are seeking a diagnosis of ADHD for your child, we can only take on full referrals from parents or guardians with the consent and support of a GP, although young people of 16 or 17 can in principle refer themselves – providing someone else agrees to pay.

If we are unable to see your child, you will be provided with a reason why and signposted to a suitable alternative service.

  • To book a child ADHD assessment, select ‘Child ADHD/ADD’ on the booking form. 
  • To book a generic child assessment select ‘Children and Adolescents’ on the booking form.

For more information, please see our Treating Children section.

Titration

What is titration?

Titration is the process that introduces your body to medication safely and works out the most suitable medication and dose for you. 

Safe clinical practice involves careful prescriber monitoring and supervision until you have reached a stable or ‘optimised’ dose to help you achieve the maximum benefit with minimum side effects. Your prescriber will ask you for regular feedback (including the reporting of any side effects).

Why have I been referred to a titration service?

During your assessment, you may discuss with your consultant whether medication would be appropriate to help you manage your ADHD symptoms. If you decide that you might find this beneficial, you will be referred to our titration team.

How long will the process last?

The titration process is personalised to the individual and we do not place a specific timeframe on the length of the titration journey. On average the process lasts 8-12 weeks, but the timeframe can be shorter or longer, depending on the individual.

Why can my GP not carry out my titration?

The medications used to treat and manage the symptoms of ADHD are known as controlled drugs and initially need to be prescribed through a specialist ADHD clinician. The medication needs to be titrated with careful monitoring, and not all GPs are happy to carry out this process.

I paid privately for my assessment: why am I waiting with NHS patients to begin titration?

Although you may opt to pay for your assessment privately, patients are added to our waiting list in order of the date that the referral is received and will be allocated to an available prescriber in the same order. We do not distinguish between private and non-private patients when allocating to a prescriber for titration.

When will I be able to access free NHS prescriptions?

The titration process typically takes 8-12 weeks. This will allow your body to adjust to the new medication and find your optimal dose. This means that you will feel maximum treatment effects from your medication with minimum side effects. 

At this stage, you will be referred back to your assessing consultant for an ‘end of titration review’.

If your consultant is happy that your treatment is now stabilised, they will write to your GP to recommend that your prescription be continued under a Shared Care Agreement. This means that ongoing prescriptions will be issued by your GP surgery, and there will be an expectation that your medication will be reviewed on a six-monthly basis by your GP. You will also be offered an annual review by Psychiatry-UK – or perhaps by another service, such as your local NHS team.

Why have I not been given an exact date to begin titration?

The titration service does not work within an appointment booking format. When you are picked up from the waiting list you will be contacted via the portal by a titrating prescriber. This is an effective and efficient system because it allows you and the prescriber involved in your care to be flexible in terms of exchanging information through the course of your treatment. It does not require you to take time away from your working day or usual routines at home or elsewhere to be in regular, direct contact with your prescriber. You will communicate with them through your portal notes.

When your treatment begins, the required time will not be dictated or restricted in any way. You will just be asked to complete a regular feedback form to update your prescriber weekly about how your treatment is progressing and iron out any problems along the way. We have found this to be an efficient and responsive approach to your treatment, compared to a traditional model based on follow-up appointments.

Why do I need to take blood pressure readings and how often?

Before starting your medication, we will ask you to send in some baseline observations including your blood pressure, pulse and weight. You may also be asked to send in the results of an ECG and/or blood tests if these have been advised by your assessing consultant. 

During the titration process, you will be asked to monitor and record your blood pressure, pulse and weight on a weekly basis, reporting back to your prescriber towards the end of each four-week prescription period, so you may find it helpful to purchase a blood pressure monitor to keep at home.

How much does it cost?

If you are a private patient funding your own treatment, titration costs £105 per month. This is payable at the start of each four-week period that you remain in titration. For some, the process will only involve one round of fees, but for others the process will take longer. There is no way for us to predict the final cost as it depends on your individual response to treatment.

If you are a Right to Choose (RTC) patient, titration will be provided under the NHS, with no charge to you. You may decide to go down this route while you are on the waiting list, but please note that you won’t be able to backdate RTC for any aspect of your care that you have already received and paid for. 

How long does it take to receive a prescription?

When you start the titration process, we will ask you to send in some baseline observations, including your blood pressure, pulse and weight. You may also be asked to send in the results of an ECG and/or blood tests if these have been advised by your assessing consultant. This information will be reviewed by your titration prescriber and, if your observations are within a normal range, we will send out your first prescription together with a treatment plan, which will give guidance on how and when to take the medication.

Please note that since becoming a Right to Choose provider, we have seen a sharp rise in the number of referrals received. Unfortunately, this has led to the development of delays for patients waiting for titration. We are investing heavily and ask you to please bear with us while we onboard new staff as quickly as possible to minimise these delays.

Feedback

How do I make a complaint?

Please tell us about any complaint you might have as soon as possible, so that we are able to resolve it quickly.

If you wish to make a complaint, please email us at support@psychiatry-uk.com in the first instance, giving as much detail as possible about the nature of your complaint. 

As registered healthcare professionals, our consultants will deal with any complaints appropriately, as per our complaint procedure.

We will investigate any complaint and keep you updated on the results of the investigation. We will also discuss the investigation with you. If we are in the wrong, we will apologise to you.

If the subject of your complaint relates to the professional standards or behaviour of one of our consultants and we are unable to satisfy you that we have dealt with it appropriately, you can report your concerns or make a complaint to the GMC here.

If any disagreement between you and Psychiatry-UK LLP arises in connection with these terms, we will attempt to resolve it by discussing it with you.

You may also submit a disagreement with us for online resolution to the European Online Dispute Resolution platform here.

These terms are governed by English law. This means that any dispute or claim arising out of it will be governed by English law and the courts in England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction over it.

How do I leave a review?

If you would like to leave a review you can submit this via our website, or via an independent website such as I Want Great Care or Trustpilot.