We make booking a private psychiatrist quick and easy:
We offer fast-tracked private consultations and assessments with our team of highly trained consultant psychiatrists. Appointments can be in-person at our clinic in London or online using a video platform of your choice. We can usually offer appointments with very short notice, depending on the psychiatrist you want to see.
You don’t need a referral to book an appointment with a private psychiatrist. However, if you have a referral letter from your GP or other professional, you are welcome to share it with us.
Personalised treatment plans:
Our psychiatrists specialise in providing personalised treatment plans tailored to your individual needs and preferences. Some of the approaches we use include:
- Psychoeducation: support and information about your condition or symptoms to help you understand and manage them better.
- Psychotherapy: all of our psychiatrists generally integrate principles from different psychotherapy (psychological talking therapy) approaches into treatment. Some of our psychiatrists have also completed additional psychotherapy certifications, and several hold dual qualifications in medical psychotherapy (link to /services/medical-psychotherapy).
- Psychosocial support: focus on interpersonal relationships, support networks and understanding yourself better.
- Lifestyle interventions: focus on improving sleep, exercise, diet and nutrition or supplements. Other evidence-based treatments could include using a lightbox for depression or integrating time for hobbies, music and the arts, which frequently help with managing and expressing emotions.
- Medication: the need for medication will be assessed depending on the severity of symptoms and your personal preferences.
FAQ: Understanding Private Psychiatry
How do I find a private psychiatrist?
You can choose a psychiatrist who specialises in treating a specific condition or uses a particular approach from our large team of highly qualified consultant psychiatrists (link to /specialist-type/psychiatrists). We can also arrange a brief courtesy call directly with one of our therapists so you can decide for yourself if you feel comfortable talking to them before booking an appointment. During the courtesy call, you can discuss your current situation or ask about treatment for a child or a loved one.
We understand that choosing the right psychiatrist and treatment approach can be confusing. If you’re unsure which psychiatrist you would like to talk to, our friendly team of medical secretaries can guide you through some questions to determine which psychiatrist is the best match for your needs.
What’s the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist?
A psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor who can diagnose and prescribe medication to treat mental health conditions. A psychologist provides talking therapy to treat mental health conditions (also called psychotherapy or simply therapy), but they aren’t medically trained and cannot prescribe medication.
At the London Psychiatry Clinic, most of our psychiatrists can also provide talking therapy during treatment.
Can a private psychiatrist prescribe medication?
A private psychiatrist can prescribe medication and provide ongoing prescriptions, similar to a psychiatrist working in the NHS. However, private patients need to pay for their own prescriptions or claim the cost of prescriptions through their private health insurance.
In some cases, private patients can request their psychiatrist to write a letter asking their NHS GP to prescribe their medication instead.
FAQ: Booking & Paying for Your Appointment
What’s the waiting time for a private appointment?
On average, the waiting time for an appointment is less than a week, but this will depend on which psychiatrist you want to see. Sometimes we can offer same-day appointments, or sometimes it can take several weeks (for psychiatrists with a waiting list).
We try to keep waiting times as short as possible. If a particular psychiatrist has a long waiting list, we can suggest another appropriate psychiatrist with more immediate availability. Our medical secretaries will be happy to discuss your needs in detail and provide an exact timeframe.
How much is a private psychiatrist appointment?
The cost of your appointment will vary depending on your psychiatrist, the time required and the type of appointment. The fees for appointments are listed on our psychiatrist’s individual profile pages (link to /specialist-type/psychiatrists). For example, autism and ADHD assessments can be more time-consuming and typically take place over multiple appointments, so they have different costs than normal appointments.
We are completely transparent about all fees associated with appointments, prescriptions or treatments. There is no difference in costs between in-person and remote video consultations, nor between self-funding and insurance patients.
For new patients, we will confirm your fees in writing. For a detailed quote or more information about our fees, you are welcome to contact our friendly team of medical secretaries, who will be happy to help you.
What’s included in the cost of a private appointment?
Our fees include all the standard procedures involved in psychiatrist appointments (such as assessments, diagnoses, prescriptions, therapy, or the creation of GP letters). We also include the following services in the cost of your appointment to ensure that we provide you with the highest standard of care, which are listed below.
Before your consultation, your psychiatrist will:
- Review your medical history.
- Send you questionnaires to complete and review your responses.
After your consultation, your psychiatrist will:
- Discuss your treatment plan.
- Write a letter detailing their clinical assessment, recommendations, and the next steps to you and your GP (if appropriate, and if you provide consent). We can also send this letter to other professionals (such as your therapist), with your consent.
- If required, refer you to other medical professionals (such as a therapist).
- Provide feedback on medication or other medical questions you may have about your treatment between appointments via email or phone call.
What isn’t included in a private appointment?
While our team of private psychiatrists and consultants at the London Psychiatry Clinic is generally happy to offer advice and help as much as possible, certain services aren’t included in our consultation fees. Some examples include issuing prescriptions outside of appointments, long telephone calls with your psychiatrist outside of appointments (over 10 minutes), or writing complex letters and reports to other medical professionals outside the dimensions of a standard consultation.
If you request anything that isn’t included in the cost of your appointment, we will always notify you in advance and confirm that you are aware of the additional cost.
How can I pay for my appointments?
You can pay by card, via Direct Debit (GoCardless) or bank transfer. If you are funded by medical insurance, we require a pre-authorisation number to secure your appointment. Please note that you may be liable for payment if your insurer does not cover the fees.
Can I cancel or reschedule my appointment?
We require at least two working days notice if you wish to reschedule or cancel your appointment.
If you cancel or reschedule your appointment with less than two working days' notice or don’t attend, you may have to pay a cancellation fee (generally the full appointment fee).
For appointments on a Monday, we require notice on Thursday before 5 pm. Please bear in mind that most insurers will not cover a potential cancellation fee, and in these cases, you may need to pay the cancellation fee yourself.
Will my private medical insurance cover my appointment?
All of our psychiatrists are covered by private medical insurance, but not all insurance providers will cover mental health appointments for all mental health conditions or problems.
Each of our psychiatrists has the providers they are insured with listed on their profile pages. Please contact your insurer before your consultation to check the terms of your policy, particularly the level and type of outpatient cover you have, including any reimbursement limits on individual consultation fees. Generally, your insurance provider will issue a pre-authorisation code to cover your appointment. Please note you are responsible for any fees not covered by your insurer.
What happens if I travel outside of the UK?
For remote appointments, we require that you let us know at the time of booking if you will be outside of the UK when the appointment takes place. This is because some of our psychiatrists are not indemnified to see people who are not in the UK at the time of the consultation.
Some of our psychiatrists hold medical indemnity insurance that allows them to provide psychiatric assessments and advice to patients based overseas in certain cases. If your situation is stable, your responsible psychiatrist may, at their clinical discretion, be able to provide a prescription for up to 3 months of medication during a prior consultation.
What happens if I live outside of the UK?
If your place of residence is outside of the UK, we ask that you let us know ahead of your initial consultation so we can discuss your situation before booking an appointment. Some of our psychiatrists can provide a remote consultation for a patient overseas, but this depends on their medical insurance and varies between countries.
If you are outside of the UK, we strongly advise (and expect) that you seek the help of a local psychiatrist or medical doctor who can assist in the event of an emergency, monitor your progress, and prescribe medication if required. Any involvement from psychiatrists at the London Psychiatry Clinic (such as emails or remote consultations) is for support purposes only and is not a substitute for appropriate medical care in your country.
FAQ: Medication & Prescriptions
How can I receive my prescription?
- By First Class Post to your home address (please note we are sometimes unable to send prescriptions via recorded delivery, so we discourage this method of delivering prescriptions as it may not always be completely safe). We suggest you allow at least 2-3 working days for your prescription to arrive.
- Digital prescription, via a provider such as Clynxx, which you can take to most pharmacies in the UK. Please note this is not an option for Controlled Drug prescriptions.
- You can also receive the medication via courier or post directly from the Pharmacy. We work with several courier pharmacies that can mail or deliver medication within the UK. Please be aware that there may be an associated cost in some cases, which you need to discuss with the pharmacy.
Can my NHS GP prescribe my medication?
NHS GPs can usually prescribe psychiatric medication if they have a letter from a psychiatrist with the medication name, dosage and reason for the prescription. We are happy to write a letter to your NHS GP to request that they take over the repeat prescription of medication, but the decision will be at the discretion of your GP.
Please note that some GPs may not feel comfortable prescribing certain medications if they are off-licence (for example, Adderall, Bupropion or Pristiq) or if the dose you are taking is above the maximum recommended dose. Please note that some prescriptions, such as ADHD medications, require a Shared Care Agreement. See the FAQ below for more information. Your private psychiatrist will be happy to discuss this with you in these cases.
Can my GP prescribe my ADHD medication?
GPs are not legally able to provide new prescriptions for certain ADHD stimulant medications such as Methylphenidate (Ritalin), Medikinet, Concerta, Amfexa (Dexamfetamine) or Elvanse (Lisdexamfetamine). However, if you already have a prescription for your ADHD medication and your psychiatrist has stabilised the dosage, your GP may be able to take over the repeat prescription of your medication.
If your GP agrees to take over the repeat prescription of your ADHD medication, they will need to regularly monitor your health by performing physical checks or tests, such as monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure, and weight. In these cases, your private psychiatrist will still be responsible for overseeing the medication and will be required to write to your GP regularly. In this case, your GP will require you to see your private psychiatrist for a follow-up psychiatric appointment generally every 6-12 months. This is called a “Shared Care Agreement” between your NHS GP and your private psychiatrist. All psychiatrists at the London Psychiatry Clinic are happy to engage in these types of agreements with NHS GPs.
FAQ: Confidentiality and GP letters
Is seeing a psychiatrist confidential?
All medical doctors, including psychiatrists, are legally bound by a duty of confidentiality toward their patients, so no information will be shared without your consent. Your private psychiatrist will always request your consent and document it on the clinical notes before discussing any aspect of your care with any third parties, including your GP, other medical professionals, your therapist or even family relatives or friends. In some cases, your psychiatrist may ask you to sign a consent form if you wish to provide (or withdraw) consent for them to discuss your care with a third party.
Please bear in mind that while doctors are bound by a duty of confidentiality toward their patients, they are also bound by a duty of care. If there is a potential risk to your health (for example if you are acutely unwell or have relapsed into severe addiction or have intense suicidal thoughts), your psychiatrist is responsible for ensuring you are receiving appropriate care. If this is the case, your psychiatrist may require you to provide consent to communicate with your GP (or another third party) to ensure your safety so that they can continue holding responsibility for your psychiatric care. In these exceptional circumstances, your psychiatrist will endeavour to discuss this with you in detail and aim to reach a mutually acceptable solution that you feel comfortable with.
Can I see a psychiatrist without my parent's permission?
If you are under 18 and seeking psychiatry treatment, we will follow the guidelines set out by the NHS:
Children aged 16 and 17: can seek treatment without the consent of their parents.
Children under the age of 16: are only allowed to seek treatment without the consent of their parents if they're believed to have sufficient capacity (intelligence, competence and understanding) to fully appreciate what's involved in their treatment.
However, if there is significant evidence to suggest that a child doesn’t have enough capacity (for example, if they have a learning disability) then parental consent may still be required.
Parental consent can be provided by individuals considered to have parental responsibility, including:
- The child's mother or father
- The child's legally appointed guardian
- A person with a residence order concerning the child
- A local authority designated to care for the child
- A local authority or person with an emergency protection order for the child
Will my private psychiatrist write a letter to my GP?
A private psychiatrist will generally write to your GP regularly as this is a requirement of good medical practice by the General Medical Council (GMC). If you have consented to share information with your GP, the doctor will send this letter (by secure fax or encrypted email) shortly after your consultation.
Can I review the letter before it is sent to my GP?
If you wish to review the letter before it’s sent to your GP, your psychiatrist will provide you with a copy of the letter to the GP following your consultation. We will ask you to review the letter for accuracy and let us know if there is any specific or private information you would prefer not to include in the letter. Please note that certain information, such as certain elements of the assessment, or your medication type and dosage, cannot be omitted from the letter.
What if I don't want any information being shared with my GP?
Doctors are bound by a duty of confidentiality toward their patients, but they are also bound by a duty of care. If there aren’t any potential risks to your health, your psychiatrist will only share information about your medical history, medications and personal circumstances with your GP with your consent.
However, if there is a potential risk to your health (for example if you are acutely unwell or have relapsed into severe addiction or have intense suicidal thoughts), your psychiatrist is responsible for ensuring you are receiving appropriate care. If this is the case, your psychiatrist may require you to provide consent to communicate with your GP to ensure your safety so that they can continue holding responsibility for your psychiatric care. In these exceptional circumstances, your psychiatrist will discuss this with you in detail and aim to reach a mutually acceptable solution that you feel comfortable with.
Can a psychiatrist breach confidentiality?
In accordance with the medical standards of practice for all doctors licensed to practice in the UK, your private psychiatrist may need to contact a third party in the event of an emergency or extreme circumstance. Usually, this would be the next of kin you have provided when you registered with us or a health professional involved in your care such as your GP or a therapist.
This can happen:
- If there is an imminent risk to your health or safety or that of others.
- If there is a safeguarding concern regarding a child.
- If there is a serious concern about your mental capacity (as per the Mental Capacity Act).
- If there is an urgent need for a Mental Health Act Assessment (as per the Mental Health Act).
Please note that, in all of these situations, your private psychiatrist will endeavour to discuss the issues with you in order to reach an agreement on the most appropriate course of action.
What if I’m not registered with a GP?
If you aren’t registered with a GP, your private psychiatrist or psychologist will generally still write a letter after the consultation, which will potentially be addressed to you.
A private psychiatrist is generally able to prescribe any required medication even if you aren’t registered with a GP, but in some situations, there may be exceptions to this. If you live in the UK, we strongly advise that you are registered with a GP, but this is not compulsory for using our services.
Can I be fully discharged to my GP?
You can fully transfer your care to your GP (NHS or Private) at any time. If you wish to do this, you can let your private psychiatrist know, and they will write a discharge letter for your GP.
Please note that depending on your specific circumstances, diagnosis and medication, your GP may not be able to assume full responsibility for your care and prescriptions, so it is advisable to discuss with your GP in advance.
FAQ: NHS vs Private Psychiatry
What’s the difference between private psychiatrists vs NHS psychiatrists?
The main difference is that a private psychiatrist is paid directly by the patient or through the patient’s insurance provider, while an NHS psychiatrist’s fees are paid by the NHS and so the patient does not need to pay privately.
You will need a referral from an NHS GP to see an NHS psychiatrist, but you can see a private psychiatrist even if you don’t have a referral. Private psychiatrists typically provide their services through private mental health clinics, hospitals, or independently through online psychiatry services. NHS psychiatrists typically provide their services through the NHS and are usually based in a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT).
There should be no difference in the standard of care provided during an appointment, whether you are seeing a private psychiatrist or an NHS professional. However, due to the high demand for mental healthcare in the UK, waiting times for NHS psychiatric appointments tend to be significantly longer than private appointments.
Another critical difference between seeing a private psychiatrist vs an NHS psychiatrist is how quickly the professional can be reached outside of an appointment. In some private settings, patients may be provided with more direct access to their psychiatrist in between appointments. In the NHS, psychiatrists may not be able to discuss your care outside of scheduled appointments.
Will you still collaborate with my NHS GP?
Our psychiatrists and psychologists will work closely with NHS services where appropriate and requested by you. For example, we can pass on requests for prescriptions to your NHS GP or make referrals for necessary health checks such as blood tests or ECGs.
How can I book an appointment with an NHS psychiatrist?
If you prefer to see an NHS psychiatrist, you will need a referral from your GP. In this case, you will be directed to a CMHT (Community Mental Health Team). If this is your preference, the first step would be to book a consultation with your NHS GP.
Do you have more questions?
If you have any questions that we haven’t been able to answer, or you would prefer to speak with us directly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.