"I like the happy atmosphere at Ashley House Hospital, there is a great relationship between staff and clients."
Staff Nurse, Ashley House Hospital
As one of the UK’s leading independent providers of specialist care, we understand that choosing the right specialist hospital or centre for your relative or friend can be both a daunting and emotional experience. With this in mind, we have produced the following guidance to help you make a fully informed decision.
In most cases a hospital or centre will be recommended to you by your GP, social worker, hospital consultant, solicitor, funder or even other hospital staff. Along with your friends and relatives, these are all people you can seek valuable advice and support from.
There are many specialist UK-based support groups who can offer you both guidance and advice.Click here for a list and contact details of relevant support groups.
Most providers of specialist care services have websites which provide detailed information on the care and services they offer. Each provider should be able to produce, on request, feedback from both their existing patients/ clients and from their referrers, on the quality of service they provide.
All independent hospitals and care centres in the UK are regularly inspected and given quality ratings by government regulatory bodies. In England, we have the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and in Scotland the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care (SCRC). Our children’s services are regulated by OFSTED.
To help you in making your decision, it is always useful to consider what questions you need to ask a provider of specialist care. These could include questions on the following:
For a hospital or specialist rehabilitation centre, you may also wish to find out about the range of the professionals who will be caring for your relative/ friend, what the average length of stay is and what the clinical outcomes of the treatment are.
Before making your decision, it is always a good idea to visit some similar hospitals or care centres to allow you to make a comparison and to get a “feel” for what life in the hospital or centre is actually like. You can simply telephone any Hospital or Centre Manager to arrange an appointment as they will be the best person to answer your questions and provide any information you might need.
During your visit you should also try to meet other members of staff and if possible, try and speak to other clients/patients or their relatives to get their view of the care and services provided. It is sometimes useful to visit at mealtimes as these can be an important part of the day in a hospital/ centre and will enable you to see how patients/ clients interact with each other and with members of staff.
Once you have visited some local specialist hospitals or centres and compared them using your questions and checklist, you will need to consider funding. Your chosen Hospital or Centre Manager can help you with this and you can also find more information in our Fees and Funding Support Guide section.
Once you have found a hospital or centre that you like, the hospital/centre team will assess the needs of the individual concerned, to ensure that they are able to provide the right level of care.