Stacks Image 7083

How I can help…

Just about anyone can go through a period in their life where they struggle to cope and need some support to help them through. Many of these people never imagined they would need to see a psychiatrist. But often when they do, they’re glad of the help they receive.

As a fully medically trained consultant psychiatrist I see people from all walks of life, who arrange appointments themselves or are referred to me via their GPs and other professionals such as therapists, counsellors and psychologists. Through a combination of therapy, medication if needed, practical support and genuine care, I help people get on the road to recovery as soon as possible and go on to lead more fulfilling lives.


Patients

Maybe you’re feeling depressed or anxious but are not sure what steps to take to feel better. Perhaps you’re experiencing psychotic episodes and are not getting the help you need. Or perhaps you recognise that you are stuck in negative cycles which are having a negative effect on your life and you want to make changes.

All types of people from all walks of life come and talk to me about a wide range of problems. Some of these include difficulties dealing with changes in life, not having the coping skills to handle negative life events, the consequences of childhood bullying or deprivation, negative thinking styles or a lack of self confidence, as well as more major psychiatric disorders.

You may feel embarrassed or uncomfortable asking for help, which could be due to the anxiety or depression you’re experiencing. But it could also be as a result of society’s poor understanding of mental health difficulties and the stigma that can often surround it.

These feelings often reduce when you realise that many other people – just like you – or me - are having difficulties with similar issues and that help is available in a supportive, non-judgemental setting.

If you’re experiencing any difficulties with your mental health, please see your GP in the first instance who will then make a referral for you to see me. Or if you prefer, you can contact me directly.



Family & Friends

Watching someone close to you struggle with everyday life and make poor decisions that affect their wellbeing can be extremely distressing. But there is help available and we can discuss what steps need to be taken to get your loved one the help and support they need.

If you’re concerned about the mental health and behaviour of your friend or family member it can be difficult knowing what you can do to help them, especially if they don’t want to seek help themselves.

To start with, I’m happy to have an appointment with you and other concerned family members without your relative or friend being present if that’s easier, and especially if that is their preference to start with. We can discuss a way forward, which may result in your friend or family member agreeing to see me for a face-to-face meeting. Or it may give us an opportunity to find a route of referral into the local NHS community based services, if that’s more appropriate.

If your relative or friend has private insurance, a letter of referral will need to come from their GP if they want to claim my fees back though this may be difficult if they choose not to attend an appointment thermselves. If they don’t have insurance, or you don’t want your GP involved, a GP referral isn’t absolutely necessary, although it’s preferable so I can get a complete picture.

You’re more than welcome to attend the appointment with your friend or relative, if they’re happy to have you there. It’s up to them and it’s often useful for me to hear different points of view. Sometimes it’s a good idea if you join us for part of the appointment and then step out for the other part. It’s also useful if medication that’s being taken (including alternative, homeopathic, and over the counter medicine) is brought to the appointment in the original containers, along with an up-to-date prescription list.



GPs, Hospital Doctors, Psychologists & Therapists

If you have a patient who is experiencing difficulties with depression, OCD, adult ADHD, psychosis, anxiety, bipolar or alcohol dependency or you need a second opinion on a matter, I’m happy for you to refer them to me so they can get the help they need. I see both self-funding patients and those covered by health insurance.

I see both self-funding patients and those covered by healthcare insurance. It’s usually a condition of insurance companies that I receive a written GP referral. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to see me privately and then continue seeing me under the NHS as my NHS work is in a highly specialist service.

After your patient’s appointment, with their consent my preference is always to keep you informed with a letter outlining the agreed care plan. It may be that I see your patient as a one-off to confirm a diagnosis and treatment options without the need for further follow-ups. I’m not in the habit of booking patients in for routine follow-ups if it’s not necessary.

I also work in the NHS, so I’m subject to standard NHS clinical governance, CPD, appraisal and revalidation requirements. I’m aware of various local CCG/ICS prescribing and shared care guidelines and endeavour wherever possible to adhere to them or I can assist in making a clinical case to a local prescribing committee if a non-formulary or off-licence indication is suggested.



Profile



I’ve been a consultant psychiatrist for over 15 years and during that time have been fortunate enough to work at world-leading hospitals in London, both privately and within the NHS.

I’m experienced in treating a wide range of mental health conditions in adults and have close links with a diverse group of trusted accredited psychologists, therapists and other specialists to provide comprehensive, tailored treatment plans.

GPs, occupational health physicians, employers, courts, solicitors and of course patients themselves can all make referrals.

Stacks Image 5671
Stacks Image 5669
Stacks Image 5667
Stacks Image 5665
Stacks Image 5673
Stacks Image 5681
Stacks Image 5677

I’m approved by all major healthcare insurers. If your insurer is not listed, I can usually register to provide treatment as required.

Increasingly, patients choose to self-fund their treatment which does not always require a GP referral. I also see patients funded by Embassies with a Letter of Guarantee.



I have particular expertise in the diagnosis and treatment (both medical and psychological) of many conditions including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • ADHD in adults
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Acute stress reactions
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

I frequently provide second opinions about diagnosis or treatment plans and have also been directly commissioned by the NHS for assessments and treatment of NHS patients where there is a gap in local service provision.

Stacks Image 7165

I am a fully trained medical doctor, registered and licensed to practice in the UK by the General Medical Council (GMC). I hold enhanced DBS clearance for working with vulnerable individuals.


Stacks Image 7599
Stacks Image 7624

I have been a longstanding Member of the Royal College of Physicians and recently elected to the highest level as a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.


Stacks Image 7609
Stacks Image 7612

I am approved by the Secretary of State under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 2007 as having special expertise in the assessment of mental disorder.


Stacks Image 7635

This means I can be the responsible consultant for patients who are detained (sectioned) under the Mental Health Act, and am an 'Approved Clinician'.


I have particular experience in the overlap between physical and mental health conditions.

For nearly a decade I was the lead psychiatrist at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals in London so have particular expertise in how mental issues impact on cardiac and respiratory issues such as heart attacks and heart failure, cystic fibrosis, asthma and COPD as well as heart and lung transplants.

Currently am the lead psychiatrist at The Royal Marsden Hospital with detailed knowledge in the overlap between mental health and cancer care, including specialist oncology medications.


Stacks Image 7651
Stacks Image 7663

Qualifications & Experience



I trained as a medical doctor at St Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College, University of London and qualified as a medical doctor (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) in 1996. I was awarded a further degree in psychology from University College London.

I gained a higher postgraduate qualification in general medicine (MRCP) before specialising in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in London and gaining further specialist postgraduate qualifications (MRCPsych, PgDip(CBT)) at Kings College London. The Maudsley Hospital has been a centre of excellence in psychiatric training and research for almost a century and is the largest and most influential mental health establishment in Europe. More recently I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry (2021) with the citation from the President reading "Fellowship of the College is awarded as a mark of distinction and recognition of contributions to psychiatry. You have clearly demonstrated and evidenced significant contributions to the core purposes of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and have been awarded the Fellowship because of this."

I have held a variety of posts and provided a wide range of expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia, and from medication to psychotherapy. I currently work as a consultant psychiatrist both privately and at central London NHS teaching hospitals.

Qualifications

  • 1995 Psychology BSc (Hons) University College London
  • 1996 MB BS St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College, University of London
  • 2000 Membership of the Royal College of Physicians
  • 2001 Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • 2002 Approved by the Secretary of State under Section 12(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • 2003 British Association of Psychopharmacology Clinical Certificate
  • 2006 Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Institute of Psychiatry, London
  • 2007 Certificate of Specialist Training – general adult psychiatry with liaison psychiatry accreditation. Entry on GMC specialist register
  • 2021 Elected aČ™ a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Experience

Includes posts at numerous prestigious London teaching hospitals

  • St Mary's Hospital
  • Northwick Park Hospital
  • Ealing Hospital
  • Royal Free Hospital
  • Maudsley Hospital
  • Royal Bethlem Hospital
  • Institute of Psychiatry
  • Kings College Hospital
  • Queen Mary's Hospiral
  • Springfield Hospital
  • Queen Square Hospital, London
  • Priory Hospital Roehampton
  • St Anthony's Hospital
  • Royal Brompton Hospital
  • Harefield Hospital
  • Schoen Clinic Chelsea
  • Royal Marsden Hospital

Additional psychiatry experience at Rozelle and Rivendell Hospitals, University of Sydney, Australia


Research



I became actively involved in psychiatric research at an early stage and had my first academic work published whilst still a medical student. My academic skills subsequently developed after being awarded the highly competitive Maudsley Hospital research post and since then my range of published research papers have encompassed obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, psychosis, neuroimaging and ADHD.

Publications

Selected publications

Anaesthetic techniques and considerations for bronchoscopy after lung transplantation: audit on patient satisfaction and experiences from a tertiary cardiothoracic and transplant centre.
Kapoor S, Sarridou D, Lees N, Carby M, Woolley J, Mitchell J
European Journal of Anaesthesiology, May 2015

Duration of untreated psychosis in adolescents: Ethnic differences and clinical profiles
Maria-de-Gracia Dominguez, Helen L. Fisher, Barnaby Major, Brock Chisholm, Nikola Rahaman, John Joyce, James Woolley, Jo Lawrence, Mark Hinton, Karl Marlowe, Katherine Aitchison, Sonia Johnson, Matthew Hodes
Schizophrenia Research, Available online 8 September 2013, ISSN 0920-9964http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2013.08.018.

Cannabis use and first-episode psychosis: relationship with manic and psychotic symptoms, and with age at presentation
Stone, J. M., Fisher, H. L., Major, B., Chisholm, B., Woolley, J., Lawrence, J., Rahaman, N., Joyce, J., Hinton, M., Johnson, S. & Young, A. H.24 May 2013 In : Psychological Medicine. p. 1-8

Reduced mismatch negativity predates the onset of psychosis.
Shaikh M, Valmaggia L, Broome MR, Dutt A, Lappin J, Day F, Woolley J, Tabraham P, Walshe M, Johns L, Fusar-Poli P, Howes O, Murray RM, McGuire P, Bramon E.
Schizophr Res. 2012 Jan;134(1):42-8. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Neuroanatomical abnormalities that predate the onset of psychosis: a multicenter study.
Mechelli A, Riecher-Rössler A, Meisenzahl EM, Tognin S, Wood SJ, Borgwardt SJ, Koutsouleris N, Yung AR, Stone JM, Phillips LJ, McGorry PD, Valli I, Velakoulis D, Woolley J, Pantelis C, McGuire P.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 May;68(5):489-95.

Disorder-specific dysfunctions in patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder compared to patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder during interference inhibition and attention allocation.
Rubia K, Cubillo A, Woolley J, Brammer MJ, Smith A.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2011 Apr;32(4):601-11. doi: 10.1002/hbm.21048.

White matter alterations related to P300 abnormalities in individuals at high risk for psychosis: an MRI-EEG study.
Fusar-Poli P, Crossley N, Woolley J, Carletti F, Perez-Iglesias R, Broome M, Johns L, Tabraham P, Bramon E, McGuire P.
J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2011 Jul;36(4):239-48.

Gray matter alterations related to P300 abnormalities in subjects at high risk for psychosis: longitudinal MRI-EEG study.
Fusar-Poli P, Crossley N, Woolley J, Carletti F, Perez-Iglesias R, Broome M, Johns L, Tabraham P, Bramon E, McGuire P.
Neuroimage. 2011 Mar 1;55(1):320-8. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Neural correlates of movement generation in the 'at-risk mental state'.
Broome MR, Matthiasson P, Fusar-Poli P, Woolley JB, Johns LC, Tabraham P, Bramon E, Valmaggia L, Williams SC, Brammer MJ, Chitnis X, McGuire PK.
Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2010 Oct;122(4):295-301. Epub 2010 Jan 7.

Neural correlates of visuospatial working memory in the 'at-risk mental state'.
Broome MR, Fusar-Poli P, Matthiasson P, Woolley JB, Valmaggia L, Johns LC, Tabraham P, Bramon E, Williams SC, Brammer MJ, Chitnis X, Zelaya F, McGuire PK.
Psychol Med. 2010 Dec;40(12):1987-99. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Disorder-specific dysfunction in right inferior prefrontal cortex during two inhibition tasks in boys with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder compared to boys with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Rubia K, Cubillo A, Smith AB, Woolley J, Heyman I, Brammer MJ.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2010 Feb;31(2):287-99.

Effect of age at onset of schizophrenia on white matter abnormalities.
Kyriakopoulos M, Perez-Iglesias R, Woolley JB, Kanaan RA, Vyas NS, Barker GJ, Frangou S, McGuire PK.
Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Oct;195(4):346-53.

White matter microstructure in schizophrenia: effects of disorder, duration and medication.
Kanaan R, Barker G, Brammer M, Giampietro V, Shergill S, Woolley J, Picchioni M, Toulopoulou T, McGuire P.
Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Mar;194(3):236-42.

Neural correlates of executive function and working memory in the 'at-risk mental state'.
Broome MR, Matthiasson P, Fusar-Poli P, Woolley JB, Johns LC, Tabraham P, Bramon E, Valmaggia L, Williams SC, Brammer MJ, Chitnis X, McGuire PK.
Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Jan;194(1):25-33.

Abnormal P300 in people with high risk of developing psychosis.
Bramon E, Shaikh M, Broome M, Lappin J, Bergé D, Day F, Woolley J, Tabraham P, Madre M, Johns L, Howes O, Valmaggia L, Pérez V, Sham P, Murray RM, McGuire P.
Neuroimage. 2008 Jun;41(2):553-60. Epub 2008 Jan 4.

Brain activation in paediatric obsessive compulsive disorder during tasks of inhibitory control.
Woolley J, Heyman I, Brammer M, Frampton I, McGuire PK, Rubia K.
Br J Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;192(1):25-31.

Delusion formation and reasoning biases in those at clinical high risk for psychosis.
Broome M R; Johns L C; Valli I; Woolley J B; Tabraham P; Brett C; Valmaggia L; Peters E; Garety P A; McGuire P K
British Journal of Psychiatry. Supplement 2007;51():s38-42.

Insight in individuals with an At Risk Mental State.
Lappin JM, Morgan KD, Valmaggia LR, Broome MR, Woolley JB, Johns LC, Tabraham P, Bramon E, McGuire PK.
Schizophr Res. 2007 Feb;90(1-3):238-44. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

Progressive increase of frontostriatal brain activation from childhood to adulthood during event-related tasks of cognitive control.
Rubia K, Smith AB, Woolley J, Nosarti C, Heyman I, Taylor E, Brammer M.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2006 Dec;27(12):973-93.

What causes the onset of psychosis?
Broome MR, Woolley JB, Tabraham P, Johns LC, Bramon E, Murray GK, Pariante C, McGuire PK, Murray RM.
Schizophr Res. 2005 Nov 1;79(1):23-34. Review.

Outreach and support in south London (OASIS): implementation of a clinical service for prodromal psychosis and the at risk mental state.
Broome MR, Woolley JB, Johns LC, Valmaggia LR, Tabraham P, Gafoor R, Bramon E, McGuire PK.
Eur Psychiatry. 2005 Aug;20(5-6):372-8.

What can neuroimaging tell the clinician in schizophrenia?
Woolley J, McGuire PK.
Advances in Psychiatric Treatment May 2005; 11: 195 - 202.

Alcohol use in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Woolley J, Allen R, Wessely S.
J Psychosom Res. 2004 Feb;56(2):203-6.

Dexamphetamine for obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Woolley JB, Heyman I.
Am J Psychiatry. 2003 Jan;160(1):183.

Woolley J, Smith S.
Lowered seizure threshold on olanzapine.
British Journal of Psychiatry 2001, 178:(85-86)

Hodes M, Creamer J, Woolley J.
Cultural meanings of ethnic categories
Psychiatric Bulletin Jan 1998, 20-24

Awards



2021

Elected to Fellowship

Royal College of Psychiatrists


Stacks Image 6469

2020

Above and Beyond – Team Award Winner

Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust


Stacks Image 6806

2020

Leading Healthcare Awards finalist

Schoen Clinic Chelsea


Stacks Image 6458

2019

Most Trusted Psychiatrist in London and South East UK - Winner

Global Healthcare Awards


Stacks Image 6447

2014

Nominated for 'All in the Mind' 25th Anniversary Awards

BBC Radio 4


Stacks Image 6507

2012

Clinical Excellence Award

Southwest London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust


Stacks Image 8596

2010

Clinical Excellence Award

Southwest London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust


Stacks Image 6485

2008

Clinical Excellence Award

Southwest London & St George's Mental Health NHS Trust


Stacks Image 6559

2007

BUPA Foundation national award winner for Clinical Excellence

Receiving a national award for clinical excellence from the BUPA foundation, presented by Professor Sir Ara Darzi

Stacks Image 7392

Stacks Image 6588

2006

Member of ‘Highly commended’ team in Clinical Governance Awards

South London and Maudsley NHS Trust


Stacks Image 6577

2005

Young Scientist Award

World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry


Stacks Image 6629

2005

Using information in practice – Clinical Governance Award

South London and Maudsley NHS Trust


Stacks Image 8594

2004

Academic Travel Award

Pfizer


Stacks Image 6607

2003

Winner ‘Doctor of the Year’ (Psychiatry category) - early psychosis team Maudsley Hospital / Institute of Psychiatry

Hospital Doctor magazine


Stacks Image 6663

2002

Cabinet Office Innovation Award – ‘for vision’, collected by NHS chief executive on behalf of the OASIS prodromal psychosis team

Cabinet Office, HM Government


Stacks Image 6652

2001

Wellcome Trust travel award

International Early Psychosis Conference, Copenhagen


Stacks Image 6641

2000

Joan Dawkins Millennium Bursary

British Medical Association


Stacks Image 6709

1995

Elective Report Prize – Psychiatry

St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, Imperial College, University of London


Stacks Image 6698

1994

Travel Scholarship

Mental Health Foundation


Stacks Image 6687

Reviews



Patients are invited to give anonymous feedback using "I Want Great Care' to help ensure I'm delivering the best possible service and to identify any areas for improvement.

Leave an anonymous review now

2020

We have been seeing Dr James Woolley for 13 months and think he is the most wonderful doctor who has helped our son and family immeasurably. We are very grateful to him for his kind, expert professional and thoughtful care. Thank you Dr Woolley.



Thanks for helping me through a very difficult time and a very traumatic adjustment……Thank you on behalf of… that you have helped cope in crisis with unexpected, life changing and long term conditions and complications.



I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you on behalf of xxx and myself for your amazing care, support and understanding.



I wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the important role you played in helping me get well again. I couldn't have done it without your support, kindness and compassion. I wanted to let you know that I got that big job…… I did it all on my own without any medication! I am feeling more myself than I have for years and am excited for the new adventures ahead. Thank you for everything….



It's so hard to find the words to express how grateful and thankful I am for all your care, support and help. I don't know how I'd of coped, if at all, without you to be honest!



Thank you for being such a great source of support and bringing a calming and rational voice through the years….

2019

I want to thank you so much for being such a pivotal influence and support to getting xxx back to health in the last year. He trusts you 100% with his care, and you have been an amazing physician, kind, gentle and always on his side. He needed you so much and you have helped him by gaining his trust and respect.



I must say I am feeling very good - I have more energy and I am getting less of the vacant/fuzzy feeling at work even when frazzled. So all round I am in good shape…..I feel in control and stable. If things were to change then I will be in touch to make an appointment with you.

Thank you so much for helping me over the last two years. I was in an unimaginably horrific place when we met, and I am grateful for the role you have played in helping me through it.



Dear James,

I wanted to drop you a quick email to thank you for looking after me for 2 weeks almost 7 years ago! When I came into see you, I clearly wasn't on top of things!

I'm sorry it has taken me this long to write! Its poor form on my part!

I now have wonderful children and I'm very happily married to my fabulous wife. My company is also going well.

I now run my brain as opposed to my brain running me!



Thank you for your help it has been life changing to realise my anxiety and to change my lifestyle



Loving life and enjoying the activities, friends and family I am involved with and surrounded by. In addition, I have not altered my medication and reordering through my doctor is running smoothly…I can’t thank you enough and wish to take this opportunity to say you that you have saved my life, as dramatic as that sounds……. it is true.

2018



Many thanks for meeting with me today and I'm relieved you assessed me with objectivity and common sense.



Thank you so much for taking the risk with me as a patient and for being so patient with me when I was so angry with the world….Thank you so much for seeing me through this time in my life….I will never forget the kindnesses shown to me during my time in hospital…..Thank you again for everything you did for me and for taking me on as a patient.



Please could you pass on my thanks and gratitude to Dr Woolley. He was so reassuring, understanding and easy to talk to - a really lovely man! I left my consultation last week feeling instantly better and I am really grateful for his time and advice. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him (in fact I already have!) or seek his advice again the future. Thank you.



You did superb Dr Woolley, you had both, you practiced with ethics and you had a heart , thank you very much! I'm deeply thankful for your significant help, for your support, for your generosity and thank you very much for being there for me.



At the moment, the medication has made a huge difference/ improvement to my life - in terms of renewed/ higher energy levels, ability to get on with things, positivity and general resilience. It's a helpful reality check also for me to be reminded of what "normal" looks like, in terms of anxiety etc. And I feel more like my previous/ younger self - from many years ago.



I have decided to return to the States. There is a possibility that I will not be returning to London for awhile, and therefore I do not need an alternative appointment. However, should my circumstances change I will undoubtedly request to consult with Dr. Woolley. I appreciate his assistance during my time in London. In fact, I struggled to come to terms with returning to the States because I will miss Dr. Woolley. Thank you for your help, Dr. Woolley!



As ever - thank you so much for your help….It really is much appreciated. If anyone ever asks me for recommendations about who to see with any problems - I say Dr Woolley every time!



I am truly grateful to you for all your help and care to bring back xxx into the world and for probably saving his life. Xxx has never liked doctors, so you made an extraordinary connection with him, against the odds. I will always remember how patient and calm you were towards him. With so many thanks and best wishes.



Thank you for your continued support. I am in such a better place in life now, also I've now realised I can live without medication which I didn't think possible a couple of years back.

2017



I want to thank you very much for being so helpful and reassuring …… my sincerest thanks and best wishes…. the letter was paramount to this. I appreciate the prioritisation. My health is great and I'm excited for my future in this calmer setting!



xxx is safely through the exam she missed and is making a real success of her time at [university]. Thank you



massive thank you!



... thank you very much for your efficiency, as you took the time to solve this urgency in a very professional way.



I am very grateful to you for everything you have done for me over the years and no doubt will continue to do from time to time in the future. It does show that it is possible to achieve important things despite mental illness.

By way of update, the new medication regime you put me on is working well. The increased dose of xxx in particular has made a massive difference to my quality of life. I still need to take it and if I don’t the physical anxiety symptoms return but provided I do take it regularly, spaced throughout the day, it works well and means that I can live a fairly normal life.

Best wishes and thank you for everything



I wanted to write to thank you for all your support, assistance and guidance over the last few years, it really has made a massive difference to my life.



I now have a new job since returning from my travels, and my wedding is in 3 weeks! After a wobbly start in the job where I had to use…. I haven't had any now for a few weeks, and that's with wedding planning stress and buying/selling a house. I feel nearly myself again. He has helped me no end, so thanks to him, you and the team.



Please can you pass on my hugely grateful thanks to Dr Woolley for his time today. I had never before appreciated what a complicated situation someone in his position can have to manage and he was brilliant. We both came away feeling happy with the consultation which under the circumstances was a real achievement, and I found some of his justifications and explanations hugely relieving. This is not to say I felt he was taking sides - he seemed to be being impartial and helpful. I felt he really helped us to make sense of some things.



I can not thank you enough for your care in the last 14 months, and previously, as well as critical support for my retirement application, especially at a time of my own inability. Sincere thanks again



I wanted to write to thank you for all your support, assistance and guidance over the last few years, it really has made a massive difference to my life

2016

I am very grateful to you for everything you have done for me over the years and no doubt will continue to do from time to time in the future. It does show that it is possible to achieve important things despite mental illness. By way of update, the new medication regime you put me on is working well. The increased dose of xxx in particular has made a massive difference to my quality of life. I still need to take it and if I don’t the physical anxiety symptoms return but provided I do take it regularly, spaced throughout the day, it works well and means that I can live a fairly normal life. Best wishes and thank you for everything



Thank you again for your wonderful and compassionate care for our daughter xxx.



I just wanted to thank you for the balanced and considered update you send my GP and others. In one letter you've managed to keep everyone on track and parked my multi-agency anxieties!

More importantly I have not experienced any particular problems and my mood has been more stable than for several months…



xxx has just got her exam results and that she got a high first in all 6 modules! ….. Thanks for all of your help.



Please let Dr Woolley know that xxx is very happy with how these new meds work. Thank you.



…everything you have done for me thus far is more than I am able to express in words.



I wanted to express my gratitude to Dr Woolley for referring my Aunt…. We attended this afternoon to learn her diagnosis, and it transpires that she has atypical Alzheimer's, and is likely to benefit from cognitive enhancers. We really are so very grateful that Dr Woolley followed up his instinct that her presentation suggested something more than/different from straightforward fronto-temporal dementia.



… I am not sure I have the vocabulary that allows me to fully express my sincere gratitude and to truly do justice and quantify in words quite how amazing a process and program I have experienced.

I came to the Priory Roehampton in November 2012. Like many others I was broken yet not quite ready to admit to this and surrender. Greeted by a team of therapists who not only understood my issues, my anger, and me, but also were genuinely interested in helping me to obtain recovery, I was resistant to their suggestions, program and plans. They however persevered, eventually breaking down my barriers and worked with me to show me that recovery was achievable provided I was willing to commit to the program.

The program also made provision for my wife and family (parents & sisters) to engage in the process, express their anger, frustrations and concerns and channel these into positive thoughts, feelings and behaviours which I believe have been instrumental in my recovery so far. Without their understanding of addiction, engagement in my recovery and the opportunity to witness first hand individuals who, through recovery, have turned their lives into success stories, I do not believe my recovery would be what and where it is today…

I truly believe that [Priory team] play an invaluable role in helping addicts achieve what we view as impossible when in the throws of active addiction. In return for a little commitment, an open mind and the willingness to follow a few simple suggestions, they have given me a life full of happiness beyond my wildest imagination, and for this … I thank you.

At the risk of quoting a Mastercard commercial!

Addiction: - £ everything we own & care for
Treatment:- £ 20,000
Recovery: - £ Priceless !



Could you thank Dr Woolley for me please

xxxx is back with us. There were times, many, when I never thought I would see xxx again. But xxx is back, strong and I suspect a better person. We have had 22 days straight of new xxx

We hope never to go back there but want you to know that I and we appreciate all the support and help we have got in putting xxx back together.

My perceptions of mental health have changed beyond any measure, it has been more than an eye opener, we will think about what we can do to help others in the future.

I am hoping now we can get our family back together again and it feels like this is achievable.

I really can't thank you enough

2015

I wanted you to see for yourself that I am now back to my "normal" self - coping with life such as it is! I will of course, always be grateful to you for your kindness and come back to you if necessary but hope to keep well and not let things get out of control again. Thank you for everything…



I would like to thank you so much for all your expertise and support, as I am not sure I would have even started the course, let alone done well without your guidance.



Thank you for all your help and support over the past couple of years.



Just to let you know I am feeling very well, having recently returned from a rather wonderful trip…



….having worked in xxxxx, I have sometimes met psychiatrists who were knowledgeable, but that a psychiatrist who is also wise, as Dr Woolley is, is a rarity.



Subject: Your diagnosis proved accurate
You very kindly took time to examine my mental health a few years ago and correctly diagnosed my condition (ADD), as a result of which I'm now enjoying improved health and a better social, work and home life. I just wanted to thank you for that…



I just wanted to send you a message from the xxx awards to say thank you SO MUCH for everything that you have done. I can't believe I'm here and I know I wouldn't be alive today without you, so thank you so much.



Firstly, thank you for seeing me on xxx. I immediately felt so much better after our consultation, as I felt I had taken the first step to getting well…… I am happy to tell you that I am feeling so much better and the future is looking bright for the first time in two years. The sessions have given me the tools to turn my negative thought patterns into positive ones and I now feel in control of my emotions and anxiety. I feel optimistic and much happier, which has given me the confidence to share with [others] what I have been going through.



I saw xxx this week. She was very pleased with how the meeting went and felt it was quite different to her other meetings. So good to have linked her with someone she feels she fits with.



A year on from my diagnosis, I would like to say thank you for the excellent, compassionate care and support you provided. I continue to feel better each week and you were right when you said the next 20 years of my life could be so different!

I wish every patient with mental health issues had access to your services. Thank you.



A year ago and 3 months before that I was here in hospital feeling that it would be no bad thing - for me or for anyone else - if I did not wake up the next day. You have always treated me with what I consider to be the highest possible level of care, real concern for my well-being, with deep respect and support.

As a result of this I have felt worthy of being treated by others with respect (and support). I now feel I deserve to be accorded a sense of dignity by all-whilst being open and honest about my mental health….. I have now been recognised in the city of London and nationally for my advocacy and campaigning for mental health. This absolutely would not have happened without you so I want to say is huge, very heartfelt thank you for keeping me alive and helping to reduce stigma and increased support and awareness. I will never forget what you have done for me and enabled me to do.



Thank you so much for all your precious time in helping me get back to my ‘old’ self!



Thank you again for all of your help in 2013/2014. I managed to finish University in 2014 and have been working in dynamic and interesting jobs for 8 months now and everything is firmly back on track.



Firstly may I thank you for the very useful appointment I had with you….. may I send you again heartfelt thanks for the 90 minute discussion we had….. which I found very helpful.



It was really great meeting with you the other week, thanks for your help!



….my meds are working a treat and xxx noticed a significant shift. I have probably had the best week since Christmas. Calm, focused and productive. Thank you!!



I would like to say the biggest thank you to a man who listened to me; who read my notes and tried to understand me as a person not as a number in a very long list of patients - Dr Woolley. You are by far the best psychiatrist I have had the pleasure to meet. One who every patient would wish to have. A man who takes on your care as his responsibility and one who is proud of your progress as a human being. My previous relationship with psychiatrists has been purely been quick drops into my life with no real interest in me as a person and it seemed with the intention to fill me with as many pills as possible. However, you are by far the opposite. You have, again like others [at the Priory] managed to see a strength in me I didn’t know I had. You took the time to listen to me, you fed back to me your opinions and I felt we built a strong patient-doctor relationship. Therefore, I must say thank you for your time and care you have been a wonderful part of my recovery and anyone who is lucky enough to have you as a consultant should be honoured.



…thank you for all of the work you have been doing with her, she was progressing really well…



Please let Dr Woolley know how grateful I/we are and that xxx’s 10 hour assessment from Mt Sinai confirms his diagnosis.



Please convey my gratitude to Dr Woolley



Thanks for all your help and Dr Woolley's with regard to the exam permissions - thought I'd let you know that thanks to his letter the second request was successful, so please do pass on my thanks.



xxx is returning to Oz today, says thank you for all your help



thank you – I omitted last night I am afraid to say how well we think the Priory team deal with these very tricky matters and how xxx has utmost confidence in the professional advice that she receives from Dr Woolley in particular – which is the most important aspect overall



Dear Dr Woolley, I would like to thank you for all the time and patience you have offered me…….. thank you again for your advice and support



I know I thanked you yesterday, but I still feel compelled to write to you to say ‘thank you’ for at last, with your help, to make me feel well again!



Dr Woolley helped my husband through a very difficult period of anxiety with great success



2014

[Dr] Woolley helped my husband through a very difficult period of anxiety with great success and I’m very happy to say that ….. still continues to be doing great in controlling his anxiety.



From my heart….. Thank you so much for sending me gently and so kindly back on the road to “my new life as me”. You are a wonderful man with such a charming way towards patients. I am honoured to have been under your care



I know I thanked you yesterday but I still feel compelled to write to say ‘thank you’ for at last, with your help, to make me feel well again! I am being posiytive and trying to learn that I am always going to have problems, but I am certainly going to try and cope! I would like to be able to return, if at any time I feel it is necessary. Thank you again



I would always recommend Dr Woolley, I makes me feel comfortable and I know I will be treated with respect about my condition.



At dinner this evening I heard from a colleague about her …. sister who has severe bipolar and a series of break downs, finds it impossible to keep a job and is severely restricted in her life choices, still living at home with her parents. As well as feeling tremendously sad for her it gave me yet another prickle of reminder as to how fortunate I've been to meet and work with and be treated by you and Krish. The happiness and solidity of my family and professional life is entirely underpinned by being mentally well and robust. Your contribution to that is profound, so thank you many times over.



I just wanted to email to say a huge thank you for seeing me for my … assessment and follow up appointment. I am so relieved to finally have a diagnosis and now hopefully with medication things can start improving…. Kind regards and thanks again.



Dr Woolley is a great listener and very approachable. He gives me gems of practical advice which really makes a difference to my every day life - to the point now that I feel more confident living without needing to see a regular therapist. He is clearly up to date with medical developments and is passionate about his work. I trust him. His treatment plan is working wonders for me and I am positive that by working with Dr Woolley I will find a way to manage my illness. His assistance, Lisa, is wonderful and positive, just what you need. I would not hesitate recommending Dr Woolley to anyone.



… thanks for your expertise and understanding. The things you have said to me during our consultations have really resonated. I believe that I can truly make some personal progress - and make all aspects of my life my enjoyable. Thank-you.



The appointment made me feel that my husband and I may, in some way, have more control over my illness than we had once thought we ever would. It is reassuring to know that the advice and guidance you ... have given me have helped me to stay well this time. Many thanks again for your support and care - it is very much appreciated by me and my husband.



Do please let Dr. Woolley know that he has drastically changed my life in a hugely positive way, and I am enormously grateful for his help. Many, many thanks,



x had a very constructive meeting with Dr Woolley on Monday, please pass on our thanks. She particularly liked his collaborative approach and joint planning.



… Thank you so much much for your help



… please thank Dr Woolley profusely on my behalf



… after half an hour with you, I come out feeling so much more cheerful and optimistic, a less anxious person altogether….



Thank you so much for the consultations - we feel we are getting a bargain. It has been such a long journey to try and find out what is what with my child and we both feel that, for the first time, we are getting a grip on what is going on. Your perceptiveness and skill have come as a surprise. I owe you a depth of gratitude. It is as if a load has been lifted from my child's soul and the joyful girl I knew has been able to come out. I know many mountains have still to be climbed, but at least we now have a map fragment.



Wonderful to meet Dr. Woolley yesterday - he really was very reassuring



I am happy to let you know & thanks to you ... I am feeling very well and up beat.



Feedback from anonymous patient survey of inpatients and outpatients.
30 postal questionnaires sent to consecutive patients, anonymously returned and analysed by an external impartial appraisal body April 2014

Results summary:
Polite and considerate?
100% Yes, definitely
Listened to what you had to say?
100% Yes, definitely
Enough opportunity to ask questions?
100% Yes, definitely
Explained things in a way you could understand?
100% Yes, definitely
Involved you in decisions about care and treatment?
93% Yes, definitely, 7% Yes, to some extent
Confidence in this doctor?
100% Yes, definitely
Respected your views?
100% Yes, definitely
Did you feel better able to understand / manage your condition and care?
93% Yes, definitely, 7% Yes, to some extent
Overall satisfaction?
100% Very satisfied

All comments:
- "I found him brilliant'
-"He is an exceptional doctor. He gives full attention and makes it feel OK to talk about difficult things. He is good at giving you tools (not just medication) to deal with things and at helping you to find your own way through things"
- "I have been under the care of Dr Woolley for 3 years now and I have found him to be extremely kind and understanding. He diagnosed me with bipolar disorder in 2010 and since then he has helped me tremendously in learning to live with my condition.I recommend him highly"
- "Very good opinion in that the views are refreshingly original"
-"Dr Woolley was very understanding + seemed to really care about what I was feeling / experiencing. He is a fantastic psych"
- "I would not hesitate to recommend him to others. He is excellent'
-"Came across as a experienced, caring and knowledgeable professional"



Unsolicited nomination for BBC Radio 4 'All in the Mind 25th Anniversary Awards - Professional Award - citation extracts:

Dr Woolley has been my psychiatrist since November 2010, when I was admitted to the Priory Hospital suffering a severe psychotic episode. I had been transferred from the [NHS] hospital… Dr Woolley assessed my condition and ... diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. I was seriously unwell, undergoing a ‘manic’ episode, which involved psychotic delusions and hyperactivity which meant that I was unable to sleep or function normally. He prescribed both anti-psychotic medication and sleeping tablets which, along with the support of the therapy department, managed to stabilise my condition. After a month long stay I was discharged and received ongoing outpatient support from both Dr Woolley and a psychotherapist. This enabled me to eventually return to my job as a Management Consultant in February 2011.

Sadly, after a few months back at work, I became depressed - I felt useless, worthless and unable to function at work or at home. On the verge of suicide, I went to see Dr Woolley, who diagnosed me with bipolar related depression. He communicated with my GP and employer and with his help I was approved to take sick leave. I had a tough 2011, but by the beginning of 2012 my mood had stabilised enough for me to consider having another baby…. I was so grateful to be treated by such a compassionate doctor who knew my medical history and evidently wanted to help me.

2013 was a much better year for me. Following the advice of Dr Woolley and my therapist, I focused on improving my diet and lifestyle. I took up yoga and meditation, virtually stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine and filled my diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as ‘brain food’ such as oily fish. I believe that this, as well as regularly taking my medication, enabled me to feel well enough to return back to my work. I am now back at work, and feel positive for the future. Dr Woolley’s care and compassion has been key in achieving equilibrium in my life... I know that I am genetically disposed to bipolar and that environmental stress factors (work, bereavements, childbirth etc.) have caused me to be unwell, however with Dr Woolley’s help I feel confident that I can stop my ‘bipolar disposition’ preventing me from leading a happy and productive life.

2013

I was petrified at the looming prospect [of seeing a psychiatrist]…… To say that I was wrong is an understatement and I cannot thank you enough for your warmth, gentleness, humour, human touch and independence of thought. I can see why you have such excellent feedback on your website. I hope that I never need the services of a psychiatrist but if I do, then you will be the person that I turn to without question. You have an incredibly unique way with people. I genuinely cannot thank you enough - the session gave me immense clarity and confidence



The impact of the medication has been positive and immediate. It is literally akin to snapping ones fingers and being back to normal; after a thoroughly uninspiring 18 months during which time I’ve felt substandard and frustrated in both my professional and personal life (my professional skills, knowledge and drive having seemingly retreated into an unreachable recess somewhere at the back of my mind), everything is suddenly fine………. More generally in my personal life, I have very quickly regained my perspective and direction……………In conclusion, life feels like it is returning to normal. There has been no noticeable physical impact from the medication.



I'm so grateful I was referred to you. Thank you for your kindness, unjudgemental, calm approach and demeanour You created an environment where I felt completely comfortable telling you my story & all its ups, downs, happy and sad times. Very cathartic. I look forward to giving you an update on the road back to health and happiness.



I would like to tell you that I really can't describe enough how much you have helped me in the last few years with everything that has gone on and I appreciate it so much, you have been such a support….



I just wanted to thank you for all your help….. I really do not think that we would have managed for our son to go to…….without your initial help…..



Dr. Woolley was welcoming, he listened, gave very welcome help relating to drugs and overall was great!!



Dr Woolley has been treating me for bipolar disorder for over two years. His advice and guidance has been amazing, and he has really helped me come to terms with my illness and remain positive for the future. He really takes the time to listen to how I am doing, and asks the right questions to determine the best treatment plan for me. Thank you so much for your continuing support and guidance



Even though I'm probably at the less severe end of the spectrum of patients, I've always felt like my illness was important, the impact on my quality of life understood and the focus on getting me better still paramount



A valuable session,I am already feeling more positive. Thank you.



All you do makes such a wonderful difference for me and my family



Just to say the most mega-thankyou for everything you have done for me. You have been completely brilliant.



I was more than happy to see Dr Woolley again and I feel that we have developed a good understanding of each other and a mutually beneficial 'working relationship'. As agreed, I will keep him fully informed with a view to receiving his advice and thoughts……. Many, many thanks for his considerations, thoughts, advice and consultation. His time and efforts are very much appreciated.



Thank you once again for everything you have done for me. If it wasn't for you I don't know where I would be now and how my life would be and I really appreciate that and will never forget it.



Thank you so very much for all the help you and the staff have given my brother during his time in your care. He has come such a long way …… and I could not have asked for better facilities and treatment in his time of need. He still has a long way to go before he can fully take control of his life, but given time I'm sure he will get there in the end. The fact that he was able to meet and make new friends is a giant step, as he has always struggled to mix with people easily due to his shy nature. I would like you pass on my appreciation to the staff at the priory.



Thank you so very much for making my "new beginning" possible.



My entire mental and emotional well being would be more perilous, less certain and more painful without Dr W, and the kind help of his empathetic and efficient PA Lisa. He brings deep clinical knowledge, which he wears so lightly, to every consultation with an approach of profound curiosity, problem solving and insight. He always listens afresh, never assumes, and is respectful of you as a patient and a fellow equal human being. There is none of the arrogance or condescension of the well treating the sick; it's a partnership as he works with you to shore up your health, involving you in every decision. Thanks to Dr W diagnosis, medication, supervision and care I've gone from a breakdown 2 years ago (after 20 years of undiagnosed bi polar disorder) to leading a balanced and productive life with my family and career in tact. I'm tremendously grateful that Dr. James Woolley came into my life and consider it a great privilege to be under his care.



I just wanted to thank you for being so kind and reassuring at our session last Thursday. I have been so stressed and anxious over the past few weeks I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to express myself lucidly….. but you were so eminently sensible in all your observations and advice, I could relax and even hope that this alien territory I currently seem to be inhabiting may resolve itself eventually….. I don't feel quite so anxious about everything now though, and I have you to thank for that which I do from the bottom of my heart. I can now faintly discern a flickering light at the end of the tunnel which I couldn't before our meeting….. I'm so grateful.



Thank you for a wonderful appointment…. A small miracle you wrought!… Thank you so much



I am writing to say thank you. You are a truly amazing man. As I am sure you will guess from my life experience I do not have a lot of faith in doctors especially psychiatrists and I do not trust most of the ones I have encountered. However I would trust you with my life. I really enjoy talking to you. I could talk for hours and feel that I would get an objective opinion and be able to reflect on our conversation afterwards and feel I have gained something from it.



Thanks for your help so far which has helped to greatly improve my life in terms of productivity but also hugely with my relationship (my partner is much happier!)



A huge thank you to you…. for all your help and to say that she feels so much better than when she first came to see you

2011/12

‘I went to see Dr Woolley on Friday. What a nice man he is, and I was very pleased with your referral’



‘We were very impressed with the contents of the comprehensive report which you provided, and this information has already been used successfully’



‘Dr Woolley was kind, considerate, helpful and attentive. He answered and explained things simply which made it easy to understand’



‘This is just to say thank you so much for all your help and in recommending that I see xxxxxxxx. I have to say this was the most useful therapy I have ever done, I found the process and the techniques used really helpful..........., I really appreciate having some tools to help me get on the right track if I start to wobble. Thanks once again it really helped me.’



‘Thank you very much for seeing me ......You were kind, helpful, sensitive and informative’



‘....would both like to thank you for a very professionally produced Report, given the limited time we spent with you. The whole experience was very encouraging and enlightening.’



‘Wonderful support received prior to the appointment from Dr Woolley's PA; professionalism, warmth and empathy shown during the consultation by Dr Woolley; following this, prompt receipt of a comprehensive and extremely valuable report. Grateful thanks’



‘Dr Woolley is one of the most charming, endearing and competent people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.’



‘Thanks very much for all your help and care. I feel physically very well now that I have been looked after so well. You are very professional and very friendly. I could not have asked for more. I have told everyone I know how good you are’



‘Thanks so much for your help, your patience and your understanding.... Despite not knowing me when I arrived, your input surpassed that of those with direct knowledge and experience of my past issues. I think you are a great psychiatrist and your help has been very valuable.’



‘Thank you for seeing us last Friday concerning....... how excellent you are.’



‘I just wanted to say I felt total confidence in you as we drove home…..and look forward to whatever treatment you recommend, working!…. I remain deeply grateful to you for seeing me and my wife at such short notice on a Friday evening’



‘Thank you for helping me through that rough time. All good now….’



‘…the treatment options I received at the Priory have been of immense benefit to me. However, I would first like to thank you personally…. Your empathy and carefully timed words assisted in turning my life around and I consider myself extremely lucky to have arrived in your office that Friday evening and under your care. I am really most grateful to you.”



‘Many thanks….I am pleased to say that Dad transferred across…without a hitch and settled in well…Can I take this opportunity to thank you for your personal attention to Dad’s case in particular and to Lisa for putting up with my emails’



'Thank you for seeing my husband and I about our son…. we realise that you went out of your way to see us…..and we appreciated it very much. Having questions answered was very comforting'



'I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you, for all the help, advice, support and patience and kindness you have given…'



'I would like to say a particular thank you for all your help this year'



'Thank you for your continued support. I feel happier and calmer than ever before. Long may it last!'



‘Thank you for rescuing me from torment!’



‘…many thanks for your help during the year.’



‘Thank you very much for all the help and support you’ve given me over 2012, and everything you did for me – it is greatly appreciated.’



‘Overall, I was very satisfied with Dr Woolley's approach and the questions he asked to assess me, as well as his answers to mine…..Excellent’



‘Thanks again for your time yesterday and an excellent appointment. I'm always so grateful!’



'I will really miss working with you, you're a truly exceptional doctor and have been an incredibly supportive colleague'



‘I wanted to get in touch with you to tell you my progress so I can thank you….. Not only have I been sleeping soundly but I am no longer involved with certain thoughts that were destructive. For the last year I have had good mental health, and have been living a full life. I put it down to your prescription of ….… combined with ……. For the first time in 20 years I am not feeling depressed. I wish to thank you for making me well ….. and I am really grateful. I hope I have been able to express some gratitude.’



‘Nearly a year ago I had a consultation with you that I can sincerely say changed my life. It was not that the diagnosis was new, but that you had a plan, and you wrote a wonderful report to my employer that helped me fulfil that plan. I saw a CBT therapist closer to home who helped me deal with issues I was having at work and think in a more positive frame, and my doctor agreed to a higher dose of medication to get me started. I finished my therapy a few months ago and reduced my dosage, and in the next couple of months I am hoping to be off the antidepressants entirely. After floating in limbo for a long time, you were the first person with a plan and the confidence that things could be better, and you were right. I wanted to write and say thank you very much for your help. I kept your card and while I hope I don’t have to see you again, I am very grateful for the help you gave me.’



‘…...you're a truly exceptional doctor’



‘I greatly appreciate your kindness and care in the last 18 months …….Many thanks and all best wishes’



‘the appointment xxxxx had with you a few weeks ago, and discussion I then had, was the most helpful thing that has happened so far’



‘…..very useful…….Please come again……..Really good………Excellent, no improvement needed’ (GP educational meeting)



‘Just wanted to thank you for the most excellent speaker and content the other day!’ (GP educational meeting)



‘Excellent’



‘I cannot tell you how helpful it was to speak with you yesterday, and xxxxxxx left feeling positive about the plan you suggested…’



'I am doing ok, after our last meeting…..I have been able to turn my life around quite a bit. Rather than continually worrying about the anxiety as I was always consumed with it and its affects, i now find that i can get on with my life and concentrate on other things. The simple fact of not always feeling that horrible feeling of tension and nervousness has allowed me to breathe and enjoy my life again, wow!! Finally I can live. So thank-you for that, its all I’ve ever wanted.
It has allowed me to build on my confidence, my business has grown as a consequence of this...’



‘xxxx phoned to congratulate you on helping his good friend’



‘3 years ago I suffered from clinical depression and you xxxxxx were fantastic in treating me and helping me overcome it.’



‘Thank you for your help with xxxxxxx he seems to have turned his life around!’



‘Thank you for all your help, treatment and advice. Thankfully …… is well and continues to make very good progress. Now has lots of commissions!’



‘Thank you for putting me on …… I am now feeling well, sleeping well and getting up early in the morning! So I am feeling like a new person.’

2009/10

‘When life or things are getting on top of you or you can't seem to move on from something that is bothering you. You need help. If you don't seek the right help by the right professional then the issue will just keep building. This was my experience. What I didn't know was there were matters not addressed previously and so my dealing with everyday matters was ok but I was not happy. Everyone deserves to be happy and I'm so glad I met the professional, Dr Woolley who showed me the way to get support and help to make me happy again. I always thought Psychiatrist would be judgemental and try to lock you up at the first sign of mental weakness. This was so far from the experience I encountered during my assessment or my ongoing treatment. THANK YOU’



‘Very pleased with the consultation’



‘I just wanted to say thank you for acting as a jointly instructed expert on the xxxxxxxxxx matter. All Counsel and the Court commented on how helpful and clear your evidence was.....’ (Solicitor feedback)

Appointments



Please call my secretary at Schoen Clinic Chelsea on 0203 146 2300 or email che-enquiries@schoen-clinic.co.uk to make or amend appointments.

Online bookings are not currently available but will hopefully return soon.

To be fair to other patients and keep waiting times to a minimum, please note the 48 hour cancellation policy


Location



Schoen Clinic Chelsea
13a Radnor Walk
Chelsea
London
SW3 4BP

T: 020 3146 2300
E: CHE-amdsecretary@schoen-clinic.co.uk



What to expect



How I work

Your first consultation with me usually takes about an hour. During this time I’ll ask you to describe your problems, and the events that are happening in your life at the moment that may be contributing to how you’re feeling.

I’ll also need to ask you about your relationships, background and your upbringing, some of which may have a bearing on your current circumstances.

My role is to assess problems and devise a way forward to help improve the situation. Sometimes this involves a diagnosis and treatment but not always.

Being medically qualified, I am able to provide a diagnosis and prescriptions directly if needed but more importantly, combine this aspect with psychological therapies as well.

If you need follow-up appointments they usually last 30 minutes.

It’s not an intimidating room to meet in. There is a large airy waiting area and my office is just next to main reception.


Claiming on your health insurance

If you have health insurance it will probably cover your appointment fees, if you have been referred by your GP. But you’ll need to check with your insurance company in advance that you’re covered. If you get a preauthorisation number from your insurer before coming to your first appointment we can then send the account directly to your insurance company for payment.

It can be difficult to claim fees back from your insurer if you have not let them know about your appointment in advance. If you need to complete a claim form, please bring it with you to the appointment.


Contacting your GP

It’s good practice (as recommended by General Medical Council) that your GP acts as a central point of contact. So after our first appointment, I can write to your GP so they’re aware of your treatment plan and the work we’re going to do. But if you don’t want this information on your GP medical records please let me know. Generally, when medication is prescribed it’s important your GP knows about it, just in case it interacts with other medication they may wish to prescribe.

Sometimes GPs will prescribe medication following your consultation with me. This is for your convenience and it may also be cheaper for you than a private prescription from me.

I’ll also send you a copy of any letter written to your GP and any other correspondence about you, to you for your information.


When we meet



Before your appointment

You may find it helpful to jot down some of the important details about your current situation and make a list of some of the specific goals you want to achieve. Have a think about the steps you need to take to achieve them and what obstacles are standing in your way. Feel free to send me the list before your consultation or bring it with you on the day.

If you’re taking any medication please bring it to the appointment in the original containers along with an up-to-date prescription from your GP and any other remedies such as alternative, homeopathic or over-the-counter medicines.


During your appointment

This is your appointment, so ask any questions you like and feel free to take notes. Once we’ve had a discussion we’ll talk about the various treatment options available to you, and we’ll look at the pros and cons of each treatment before deciding on a plan. If you need follow-up appointments we’ll talk about how often they might be and how many you may need.

After our appointment I’ll send you a letter that outlines the plan of care we agreed during the consultation. If you’re unhappy with any aspects of your care, please let me know as soon as you can, so we can resolve it as quickly as possible.


Involving family and friends

You may want a relative or friend to come into the appointment with you, and that’s fine, although spending at least part of the appointment alone is often helpful. If you want me to discuss your condition with your family, friends or anyone else, I’ll need your written consent. In general, no information about you is disclosed or discussed with anyone other than you without your written permission, if you’re over the age of 18, no matter who may be funding the appointment.


Working with other therapists

As an integral part of the plan we agree together I may recommend that you see a therapist who can work with you on areas we’ve talked about. Appointments with a therapist are often (but not always) on a weekly basis, and I’ll see you to monitor progress at regular intervals. I have links with therapists in many areas of London and South East England, including the City, and can recommend suitable therapists that specialise in areas such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, anxiety management techniques etc. The fees for these services can usually be reclaimed from your insurance company subject to your specific policy. Different insurance companies will reimburse different therapists and so it’s important for me to know which insurance scheme you’re with.

If I’m not able to make a personal recommendation, I can indicate the qualifications needed and the professional bodies that recognise reputable therapists. I’ll contact the therapist directly, who will then contact you. They will then keep me informed as to how your therapy is progressing.


Overseas patients



Most of the patients I see live or work in the UK. But I also see patients from numerous overseas locations who book consultations when in London. Recent patients have come from destinations such as the USA, Canada, Iran, Gibraltar, Australia, UAE, Qatar, Ukraine, Switzerland and the Netherlands, often on the recommendation of their local psychiatric specialists.

Unfortunately, medicolegal restrictions mean that holding remote consultations (phone or video) are not permitted whilst you are outside the UK (as I am deemed to be providing medical services in whichever country you are in, and I am only registered as a doctor in the UK).

I often see patients from the US who are already diagnosed with and being treated for ADHD/ADD in order to confirm the diagnosis, continue their medication supply or to switch to alternatives that are more easily available in the UK and Europe.

If resident outside the UK it is preferable for patients to have a local point of contact for GP and / or psychiatric care but I have been asked in many cases to provide an additional opinion / guidance to assist.

Arrangements can also be made for newer medications, difficult to obtain overseas, to be supplied from our specialist pharmacy.


Conditions



Depression

Dealing with depression

It’s normal to feel sad, unhappy or a bit low from time to time. But depression is something different and can last for weeks or months at a time. Depression is an illness that can affect your work, your sleep, your relationships and your appetite. And it can make you feel like you can't cope with everyday life.

The good news is that there is a range of treatments and medications that can help you recover.

What causes my depression?

Sometimes your brain starts working in a different way and this can lead to depression. The brain sends signals from nerve to nerve using chemicals called neurotransmitters. And if you have depression, it’s often because two of these neurotransmitters, called noradrenaline and serotonin, are out of balance and not working properly.

But life events are important too and depression can often be triggered by stressful events like the break-up of a relationship or financial problems, or if you’re feeling isolated from friends and family. If you’ve had a difficult childhood you can be vulnerable to bouts of depression. And it may be linked to your genes too as family history can play a part in depression. You’re also more likely to get depressed if you have a physical illness such as a stroke or heart attack.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The key symptoms of depression are feeling sad most of the time, losing interest in the things you used to enjoy, and feeling very tired. If you’re depressed, you’ll have some of these symptoms most of the time.

You may also find you have some of these symptoms too:

• Problems sleeping, or sleeping too much
• Finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
• Having little confidence in yourself
• Having little appetite, or more appetite than usual
• Feeling guilty for no reason
• Feeling either agitated or sluggish
• Thinking about suicide

What treatment can I expect?

It’s important to check that your symptoms aren't caused by any medication you’re taking or any other medical condition. So you may need some blood or urine tests to rule these things out.

Your depression can then be treated by taking antidepressants or by talking treatments (psychotherapy) or a combination of the two. Antidepressants may take a while to start working and you will need to keep taking them even when you start feeling better to stop a recurrence of the depression. Antidepressants are not addictive.

Talking treatments

If you have mild or moderate depression, talking treatments may be helpful and may even work better than taking antidepressants. The aim is to help you get rid of negative thoughts and beliefs, and to help you think more positively. You would normally have up to 20 sessions with a trained therapist, over a three or four months period. About half the people who have talking therapies recover during treatment.

Prescribed medication

If you have more severe depression you could be prescribed a course of antidepressants. About 50–75% of the people described antidepressants feel better after taking them although there are side effects to think about such as dry mouth, constipation, dizziness, stomach upsets, anxiety, headaches and problems sleeping.

You'll probably need to take antidepressants for at least six weeks before they start to affect your mood. So it's important not to stop taking them early. It’s also recommended you take antidepressants for six months after you start feeling better. People who keep taking antidepressants for at least six months are much less likely to get another bout of depression.

The next steps

If you think you’re depressed, you should visit your GP in the first instance who can then refer you to me for diagnosis and treatment.

In the meantime you might want to visit Depression Alliance or Rethink for further advice and support.

Bipolar

What is bipolar disorder?

When it comes to moods swings we all have our ups and downs. But if you have bipolar disorder your mood swings can be extreme and have a detrimental effect on your everyday life. Sometimes you feel high with lots of energy. Other times you feel low. This is known as bipolar depression. This can make it hard to hold down a job or to attend college regularly. And it can put a big strain on your relationships with family and friends.

But with the right support and long-term treatment it’s possible to control your extreme high and low moods and lead a normal life.

What causes bipolar disorder?

The exact cause of bipolar isn’t known. It may be something to do with chemicals in your brain, which carry messages between different parts of your brain.

There maybe a genetic link too, although not everyone who has relatives with bipolar disorder gets it themselves. Certain experiences can bring on the first symptoms of bipolar disorder or can trigger a relapse if you already have bipolar, such as giving birth or using drugs recreationally.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of bipolar disorder are periods or episodes of mania and depression. A manic episode can feel quite positive and you might feel energetic and creative. During this time you might not feel like eating or sleeping and you may talk rapidly. You may also behave irrationally and spend money on things you don’t need or want.

But this may be followed by a depressive phase where you may have overwhelming feelings of worthlessness as well as suicidal thoughts.

There are many types of bipolar disorder. The two most common are:

• Bipolar type 1 disorder with bouts of mania and bouts of depression.
• Bipolar type 2 disorder also means you get bouts of mania and bouts of depression. But the mania is milder. It’s sometimes called hypomania and is slightly more common than type 1.

The depression phase of bipolar is often diagnosed first as clinical depression. Later, following a manic episode you may be diagnosed with bipolar disorder instead. But in between the mania and the depression, you may have times when you're in a normal, stable mood which can last for weeks, months or even years.

What treatment can I expect for my bipolar disorder?

If you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder you’ll probably need to take medication in the long-term to keep your mood stable.

The type of medication and the dose you take will depend on how well you are and what your symptoms are.

If you stop taking your medication because you’re feeling better or you don’t like the side effects you could find that your symptoms come back. This is known as a relapse. So it’s essential you talk to your GP or me first if you’re unhappy with your medication.

Relapses can also be triggered by events in your life too such as:

• Stressful situations like exams, problems in relationships, or difficulties at work
• Sleeping too little or too much
• Taking illegal drugs or drinking too much alcohol

Talking therapies may help you handle the stresses of life better and help you avoid a relapse in the future.

The next steps

If you’re experiencing difficulties, the first step is to visit your GP who can refer you to me for treatment.

In the meantime visit the Bipolar UK website which is a UK charity that provides advice and support to people with bipolar disorder, as well as their friends and family. The organisation also runs a network of self-help groups.

Anxiety / panic

Dealing with anxiety

Everyone gets anxious from time to time. We all worry about work, relationships and money. But when your worry is out of proportion it can make you feel ill and exhausted and stop you enjoying your everyday life.

What causes anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are generally caused by biological or environmental factors and can develop over months, even years. Biological factors include changes in brain chemistry and genetics; for instance, you’re more likely to experience anxiety disorders or panic attacks if a close relative does too.

And your environment also plays an important role: stress, trauma, your upbringing, life changes and abuse or neglect can all increase the risk of you experiencing anxiety at some point in your life.

What are the symptoms?

When your anxiety has become an illness you may find you experience some of the following behavioural symptoms:

• Worrying about things for no apparent reason
• Not being able to concentrate
• Becoming easily tired
• Sleeping badly
• Feeling restless and unable to relax
• Feeling irritable

You may also experience physical symptoms including:

• Feeling cold
• Clammy hands
• Feeling sick
• Dry mouth
• Diarrhoea
• Palpitations
• Headaches and shortness of breath
• Tense muscles

What treatment can I expect for my anxiety?

Anxiety and panic attacks can be treated with talking therapies or medication or very often a combination of the two.

Talking therapies

Cognitive behaviour therapy and applied relaxation are some of the therapies that work well for anxiety. These talking treatments will help you to relax and feel calmer although they won’t work instantly and you’ll need to keep practising your mindfulness and applied relaxation skills at home. Your sessions will normally last an hour and you’ll have treatment over a number of weeks either individually or in a group.

Medication

Some medication works fast in the short-term whilst others are used to treat anxiety in the long-term. We will talk about what is the best option for you. Antidepressants will help you feel more comfortable around people and reduce your anxiety but they will take a few weeks to start working and you’ll need to keep taking them for at least six months.

The next steps

If you’re feeling anxious all the time and it’s having a detrimental effect on your life, please speak to your GP in the first instance who can then make a referral for you to see me.

In the meantime, also visit Anxiety UK, which is a UK based charity helping people of all ages and backgrounds with anxiety disorders.

Psychosis

Understanding psychosis

About 20 per cent of the general population experience psychotic-like symptoms at some point in their lives. But for some people these symptoms are persistent and distressing, making it difficult to function.

Psychosis is a condition of the mind that affects your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. You may experience delusions and hallucinations and will find it difficult to tell the difference between reality and imagination. People experiencing psychosis or having what’s known as a psychotic episode are often described as ‘having a loss of contact with realty’ and this experience can vary greatly from person to person.

However, the likelihood of a complete recovery is much better with proper early treatment.

What causes psychosis?

Psychosis is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain triggered by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors or vulnerabilities.

The environmental factors that can slightly increase our chances of experiencing psychosis include being born in the winter months, being brought up in a big city, immigration, childhood head injury, stressful or traumatic life events and the use of recreational drugs. Each of these alone will not cause psychosis, but a combination of a few of them, along with a genetic vulnerability may do so.

Genetic vulnerability is caused by variations in our genes so they work in different ways in different people. Recent research has identified variants in several genes, which scientists think might contribute to psychosis and explain why psychosis often runs in families.

What are the symptoms of a psychotic episode?

There are three phases to a psychotic episode: the early or prodromal phase; the acute phase; and the recovery phase.

Common symptoms in the early stages of a psychotic episode include:

• Reduced concentration and attention
• Reduced drive and motivation and lack of energy
• Depressed mood
• Sleep disturbance
• Anxiety
• Social withdrawal
• Suspiciousness
• Deterioration in role functioning such as no longer attending school or going to work
• Irritability

During the acute phase you may experience:

• Delusions, such as feeling that you’re being controlled or there are plots against you
• Hallucinations which involve seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting something that is not actually there
• Disorganised speech or behaviour such as difficulty speaking or performing everyday tasks
• Lowered levels of motivation or drive
• And other issues such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or behaviours, substance abuse and sleep disturbance

When you’re in the acute phase of a psychotic episode this is when you’ll feel most unwell and will need help.

The recovery phase

The length of your recovery phase will depend on how quickly you respond to treatment and how much functional improvement there is. Some people recover very quickly and return to their lives and responsibilities soon afterwards. However, others may need a little more time to get better and may need to return to their ‘old life’ more gradually.

What treatment can I expect for my psychosis?

With the right treatment, it’s very likely you’ll recover well from your initial episode of psychosis. It can be treated in a number of ways and it’s likely that a combination of treatments will help speed up the recovery process.

Medication, including close monitoring of side effects

Medication will relieve symptoms of your psychosis and is critical in preventing a relapse. It’s usually recommended you should take your medication for at least a year after your recovery to protect against future relapse. During this time you’ll be monitored closely for side effects, which may include tiredness, dry mouth, blurred vision and weight gain, although not everyone will experience these.

Psychological therapy

There are a number of psychological therapies for individuals and families that can help in the recovery process. Having someone to talk to who understands your experience is an important part of your treatment.

Your therapy sessions may be aimed at understanding how your psychosis came about, how to cope with the symptoms, how they affect you and the people around you, as well as how to reduce distress.

Specific types of therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be particularly useful.

The next steps

If you are concerned about your mental health please visit your GP in the first instance who can then refer you to me for diagnosis and treatment.

Joining a support group can also be very beneficial as support groups provide a safe environment for you to meet other people who have had similar experiences. Groups are also a great way to learn about psychosis through discussions and other people's perspective.

Please visit UK charity Rethink for more information on psychosis.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Managing obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder that’s associated with obsessions and compulsions.

You may experience thoughts, images, or impulses that repeatedly enter your mind and feel out of your control. These impact negatively on your daily life and you may even recognise that some of these ideas and impulses don’t actually make sense.

What causes OCD?

OCD is caused by a combination of biological and psychological factors as well as life experiences and personality traits.

Research suggests that genes can play a role in the development of the disorder and there is evidence that OCD runs in families. If your parent has OCD, the risk of you developing OCD increases, albeit slightly. But this may only be true for some forms of OCD.

Research has also shown that several general personality traits may be linked to some forms of OCD. One of these is anxiety, where you have the predisposition to become anxious more easily or more frequently, or by a greater number of experiences, than other people. Another is anxiety sensitivity, or the tendency to feel uncomfortable with your anxiety and have catastrophic thoughts about it. Another trait sometimes associated with OCD is perfectionism, particularly when it entails setting excessively high or rigid standards for yourself that you rarely ever reach.

Life stresses can also make symptoms worse if you have OCD. During stressful periods such as a new baby, new job, relationship problems or exams at school you may experience obsessions and greater difficulty resisting compulsions. Other emotional problems, such as depression, may also interact with OCD vulnerability and worsen the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of OCD?

OCD obsessions are accompanied by troubling feelings that can take many forms, such as fear or apprehension, anxiety, disgust, tension, or a sensation that things are ‘not right’.

Recent research shows that the symptoms of OCD follow a few broad themes and within these themes, obsessions can take a countless number of forms. Common examples include:

• Contamination e.g. fears of germs, dirtiness, chemicals, AIDS, cancer
• Symmetry or exactness e.g. of belongings, spoken or written words, or the way you move or completes actions
• Doubting e.g. whether appliances are turned off, doors are locked, written work is accurate
• Aggressive impulses e.g. thoughts of stabbing one’s children, pushing loved ones into traffic
• Accidental harm to others e.g. fears of contaminating or poisoning a loved one, or of being responsible for a break in or a fire
• Religion e.g. sexual thoughts about a holy person, satanic thoughts, distressing thoughts regarding morality
• Sexual e.g. thoughts about personally upsetting sexual acts
• Other miscellaneous obsessions having to do with themes such as lucky or unlucky colours or numbers, or with the need to know ‘trivial’ details e.g. house numbers, licence plates

OCD compulsions are the distressing feelings that result from obsessions and may motivate you to behave in a particular way of perform some kind of ritual that offers a relief from the distress. Even though compulsions are usually recognised as excessive, embarrassing, or problematic, you may feel powerless to resist them.

Like obsessions, compulsions take many forms, and can include:

• Washing and cleaning e.g. excessive showering, hand washing, house cleaning
• Checking e.g. locks, appliances, paperwork, driving routes
• Counting e.g. preferences for even or odd numbers, tabulating figures
• Repeating actions or thoughts e.g. turning lights on and off, getting up and down in chairs, re-reading, re-writing
• The need to ask or confess e.g. asking for reassurance
• Hoarding e.g. magazines, flyers, clothing, information
• Ordering and arranging e.g. the need for things to be straight, sequenced, or in a certain order
• Repeating words, phrases, or prayers e.g. repeating ‘safe’ words again and again

How can my OCD be treated?

OCD is often treated by medication or talking treatments or a combination of the two.

Taking medication

Drugs traditionally used to treat anxiety are not effective at reducing obsessions and compulsions but a number of medications originally developed as antidepressants have been shown to be useful for treating OCD. What medication may benefit you most will depend on your past treatment history, your medical history, the interaction with other drugs you’re taking, potential side effects, and other factors.

Psychological treatments

Talking treatments can be very effective at treating OCD especially cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which tackles the controlling compulsive rituals and avoidance and reducing the anxiety associated with obsessions, and their intensity and frequency.

The next steps

If you feel you have symptoms of OCD and would like to seek help please visit your GP in the first instance who can then make a referral for you to see me.

In the meantime you might want to visit OCD-UK which is the UK’s leading charity for people who have OCD.

ADD / ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD/ADD) is a well-recognised child developmental disorder although not so readily recognised in adulthood.

You may have had a diagnosis in childhood and symptoms are persisting into adulthood, albeit in a different form. Or perhaps you were never diagnosed in childhood and are now experiencing issues in your everyday life that are ADHD related.

The good news is that whatever challenges you face, your symptoms are completely manageable with the right support and medication.

What causes ADHD?

The exact cause of ADHD isn’t known but it’s thought to be largely genetic combined with environmental issues such as exposure to cigarettes, alcohol, or other toxins while in the womb.

Unlike other psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression, ADHD doesn't begin in adulthood. So symptoms must have been present since childhood for a diagnosis of adult ADHD to be made.

What are the symptoms of adult ADHD?

Common symptoms of adult ADHD are often more subtle than those symptoms associated with childhood ADHD. These may include:

• Difficulty getting organised
• Reckless driving
• Poor relationships
• Being easily distracted
• Poor listening skills
• Restlessness and difficulties relaxing
• Difficulty starting a task
• Chronic lateness
• Angry outbursts
• Difficulty prioritising issues
• Having a short attention span

What treatment can I expect for my ADHD?

Adult ADHD is best treated using a combination of talking treatments, support groups, educational assistance and medication. Following your diagnosis we can talk about what treatment is best for you as I have a network of psychological therapists and life coaches who specialise in ADHD and can combine this with medication.

Taking medication

There’s good evidence that certain types of medication (especially stimulant drugs) are very effective in the treatment of ADHD. They need closely monitoring for side effects and are tightly regulated (known as 'controlled drugs').

I’m able to prescribe ‘controlled drugs’ on a private basis and can then liaise with your GP to help negotiate the possibility of getting ongoing prescriptions via the NHS if required once your medication and dose is established and stable. This is consistent with the way the main body advising the NHS suggests is the optimal treatment approach (National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence - NICE). Some patients use this as a way to get treatment established whilst on an NHS waiting list for local ADHD assessment as in some regions delays can be lengthy.

Medication could help you:

  • Concentrate better
  • Be less impulsive
  • Feel calmer
  • Learn and practise new skills

Therapy treatments

There is a range of therapies, including CBT, that are particularly good for helping you manage your adult ADHD as well as dealing with additional problems such as anxiety disorders.

Talking therapies can offer practical advice, which can help you:

  • Get organised
  • Change your habits
  • Understand your condition
  • Challenge negative beliefs
  • Improve your social skills
  • Improve relationships with friends, family and work colleagues

The next steps

If you are experiencing difficulties which you think maybe related to adult ADHD, please visit your GP in the first instance who will then be able to refer you to me.

I also see many patients who have been referred to NHS ADHD services, or have recently arrived from overseas in order to establish the diagnosis and get treatment underway, and are waiting for an NHS appointment.

You may also want to look at the ADDISS website which is a national charity providing information support and training to both parents and professionals on ADHD.

Medication info



Click here for detailed information sheets you can download or print about a wide range of specific medications (opens in a new window).

Contact



Please complete this form below to send an enquiry direct to my PA. You will usually hear back the same day.

Please note that this form is for administrative and booking queries only. Contact details are never used for marketing or sold to third parties.

Urgent and/or clinical matters should not be sent from here but phoned instead.

Out of hours emergencies should be referred to your local GP on-call service or local hospital Accident and Emergency department. Details of your nearest unit can be found at www.nhs.uk

Fees & Legal Info



Fees

Appointment and other fees (updated Jan 2022)

Initial consultation
£400 (approx. 60 minutes)

Follow-up consultation
£200 (approx. 30 minutes)


Fees are reviewed periodically so please make sure you’re aware of the latest update.

It’s recommended that you check the policy terms of your health insurance with your insurer before you make an appointment so you can be sure you have sufficient cover. Some health insurers insist on a referral letter from your GP in order to cover an appointment with a specialist. So please ensure this is sent in advance or bring a copy with you. Please also remember to bring your insurance membership number and pre-authorisation number so the fees can be claimed directly from your insurer.

If you’re not able to provide the pre-authorisation number at the appointment, you will need to pay for the appointment yourself and then claim this back from your insurer. Your insurance policy may also be subject to an excess (e.g. the first £100 on any claim), which you will need to be prepared to pay yourself on the day of the appointment.


Medical reports

There’s a standard fee of £200 for the completion of medical reports requested by your employer or other party. This is usually paid by the organisation requesting the report but if not then you will be liable to meet the cost. However, I won’t proceed with completing the report or incurring any costs until you confirm you’re happy with this arrangement. Standard healthcare insurance forms do not incur a charge.

If a requested report requires extra time or other resources then I’ll check this with you or the organisation requesting the report before proceeding, and will invoice for the additional work accordingly.


Video and telephone consultations and written/email advice

Fees apply for all consultations, correspondence or advice via phone, email, and video and are charged at a similar rate to face-to-face consultations (at 10 minute intervals). Please note that not all insurers (eg BUPA) routinely cover the cost of video or phone consultations as a feature of their policy, so these may need to be paid directly.


Prescriptions

If a prescription is issued within an appointment then this is included. However, if a prescription is requested at other times a fee per prescription will be made due to the time and medical liability incurred.


Medical sickness certificates

No fee is payable for medical sickness certificates issued for statutory purposes (e.g. confirming a period of sick leave for an employer to claim sickness benefits.). Please note it is a legal requirement that you must have had an appointment within 24 hours of the date stated on the medical sickness certificate.


Medical tests and investigations

Medical investigations such as blood tests or a heart tracing (ECG) may sometimes be required and I’ll discuss the cost of each of these with you. There is often a range of possibilities and venues to choose from with different costs and methods of payment, so this will be discussed and agreed upon before proceeding. Tests can sometimes be done through the NHS with the assistance of your GP and the results then forwarded on to me.


Court reports

The fee for this will depend on the complexity of the case. Please contact me for a quote.


Cancellations or changes to appointments

To be fair to all my patients I operate a strict two working days notice policy for all cancellations and changes to appointments.

I recognise that flexibility is important and will try to accommodate requests to reschedule appointments wherever possible. However, costs are incurred when changes are made at short notice. So for appointments that are cancelled or postponed with less than two working days notice, the full fee is charged.

Please contact my PA via a phone call or email to cancel or reschedule the appointment, but again a 2 working day cancellation fee policy applies.

Please note that health insurance companies do not cover cancellation fees, so even with a valid insurance policy in place you will be liable to pay for this.


Timekeeping

Occasionally I’ll be delayed whilst in consultation with another patient and request your understanding in this matter. Your appointment will not be shortened as a consequence. However, if you leave before waiting for 30 minutes, the full fee for the appointment will be payable.

If you have any queries about fees, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Terms

All treatment is given in good faith, and according to current best practice guidelines wherever possible and/or appropriate. However, the effectiveness of any suggested treatment is also crucially dependent on you. Clearly you must reply honestly when asked for information and you must not withhold information even if you are not sure whether it may be relevant or not.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to discuss them with me during your appointment.

In engaging with you as a patient I have a duty of care towards you, but please note that we will need to have met relatively recently in order for me to fulfil this. The interval will vary depending on circumstances, but for general guidance if we have not held any face to face or remote consultation for over 6 months then you will be considered as having self-discharged from active followup here back to the care of your GP.

Disclaimer

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, the author and web hosting service cannot accept any responsibility for any loss and/or liability of any kind whatsoever incurred by the users or by any other person arising out of the use of the information available on this site.

Please note that any medical information contained within this site is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a professional physician. The content provided in this website is for information purposes only and is in no way intended as a substitute for diagnostic assessment or treatment. Links to other sites are included for information only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or endorsement of the author.

If you have any questions about your condition or treatment, please consult your doctor. Please note that I am only able to give medical advice following a face to face consultation and unfortunately cannot reply to email or telephone requests for specific medical advice.

As per General Medical Council recommendations (and in order to maintain validity of your health insurance if appropriate), a written referral for consultation should ideally come from your general practitioner (GP).

Self-funding patients sometimes do not consult a GP in the first instance or choose for various reasons to decline information sharing wth their GP. This decision will be discussed (severe life-threatening situations excepted) on the understanding that you are aware that continuity of care is a fundamental principle of good medical practice and inclusion of your GP is recommended by the General Medical Council.

Confidentiality

All consultations and medical records are subject to medical confidentiality. Which means information can generally only be shared with other people if you’ve given your consent.

The main exception to this is if you would expose yourself or others to risk of death or serious harm if information wasn’t disclosed, or in the case of certain criminal investigations. This is a very unusual situation and occurs rarely. Further details can be found at the General Medical Council.

It’s also my policy to send copies of all correspondence I write about you, to you, for your information so you know precisely what has been said and to ensure I have understood your situation correctly.

It’s normal medical practice - and often a condition of insurance companies - that your GP is made aware of appointment details and treatment plans, although, again, this is only with your consent. Sometimes issues arise during your treatment that you don’t want communicating with your GP, or that are important to phrase correctly. So please feel free to discuss this with me at your appointment.

Employer reports

Usually there will be no way an employer will find out details of problems without you being aware. These sorts of requests are rare, and no information will be forwarded without your permission. Even then we can discuss which elements of information you are happy to share (if any) so that control remains with you at all times.

Even if your appointment is paid for with employment related healthcare insurance, the insurer does not pass clinical information back to your employer.

If your appointment is at the request of your employer, or a solicitor or the courts, a written report of the consultation will be sent to them in the first instance. Again, this would only be with your knowledge and consent and you will usually be able to see a copy of the report before it’s forwarded to the party concerned.

Please feel free to discuss this with me in more detail during your appointment.

IT security

Increasingly, medical records at hospitals and GP surgeries are held electronically.

The security of these records is critical and as a result the electronic notes system I use has been carefully selected to be even more secure than traditional paper-based systems.

Records are hosted in state of the art datacentre facilities. Physical access is controlled both at the perimeter and at building ingress points by professional security staff utilising video surveillance, intrusion detection systems, and other electronic means.

The facility has achieved the following accreditations and certifications;
  • PCI DSS Level 1 (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
  • ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System)
  • FIPS 140-2 (United States Federal Information Processing Standard).

It also participates in the Safe Harbour program assisting with meeting international privacy requirements, as required by the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), and runs completely under HTTPS. This means your data is 256-bit encrypted end-to-end during transfer.

Identifiable data is never emailed or transferred to unencrypted external storage media.

Written consent is required if you want to communicate via email as you should be aware this is not confidential. If sent electronically, letters will be as encrypted pdf files and/or via secure messaging platforms such as Egress.

Video consultations using are via a secure connection (128-bit SSL), encrypted end-to-end.

I am fully registered with the UK Information Commissioner as a Data Controller, under the provisions of the Data Protection Act.

Cookies

What Are Cookies

As is common practice with almost all professional websites this site uses cookies, which are tiny files that are downloaded to your computer, to improve your experience. This page describes what information they gather, how we use it and why we sometimes need to store these cookies. We will also share how you can prevent these cookies from being stored however this may downgrade or 'break' certain elements of the sites functionality.

For more general information on cookies see the Wikipedia article on HTTP Cookies...

How We Use Cookies

We use cookies for a variety of reasons detailed below. Unfortunately is most cases there are no industry standard options for disabling cookies without completely disabling the functionality and features they add to this site. It is recommended that you leave on all cookies if you are not sure whether you need them or not in case they are used to provide a service that you use.
Disabling Cookies

You can prevent the setting of cookies by adjusting the settings on your browser (see your browser Help for how to do this). Be aware that disabling cookies will affect the functionality of this and many other websites that you visit. Disabling cookies will usually result in also disabling certain functionality and features of the this site. Therefore it is recommended that you do not disable cookies.
The Cookies We Set

When you submit data to through a form such as those found on contact pages or comment forms cookies may be set to remember your user details for future correspondence.

Third Party Cookies

In some special cases we also use cookies provided by trusted third parties. The following section details which third party cookies you might encounter through this site.

This site uses Google Analytics which is one of the most widespread and trusted analytics solution on the web for helping us to understand how you use the site and ways that we can improve your experience. These cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the site and the pages that you visit so we can continue to produce engaging content.

For more information on Google Analytics cookies, see the official Google Analytics page.

More Information

Hopefully that has clarified things for you and as was previously mentioned if there is something that you aren't sure whether you need or not it's usually safer to leave cookies enabled in case it does interact with one of the features you use on our site. However if you are still looking for more information then you can contact us directly.

I use cookies to improve your browsing experience on this site, and to understand where visitors come from. No data is used for marketing or shared with third parties. Full details about compliance with medical confidentiality and GDPR regulations can be seen in my Privacy Notice on the 'Legals' page