Dr Surenthiran

Hi, does anyone know if I need a referral from my GP to see Dr Surenthiran? Or can I make my own appointment and see him privately. I had to wait over 3 years for my last NHS referral, and as i am absolutely at my wit’s end I really really want to see him as soon as possible. Does anyone know please?

Hi Sally

I think Dr Surenthiran’s NHS waiting list is about 6-8 weeks, certainly not 3 years!

I saw him privately recently. I phoned his secretary and got an appointment within a week to see him at one of the private hospitals he works at in Kent. He also has a private clinic at Blackheath Hospital in London. It cost £240 for 40 mins (I think I had a fair bit longer than that in reality). He said if I wanted I could transfer to the NHS by asking my GP to make an NHS referral to his NHS practice at The Medway Maritime Hsopital. I have done this.

I think Muppo on this board got her NHS referral in the bag as it were at the same time as getting a private appointment sorted, so as not to have too much delay between the two. This sounds like a good idea.

Good luck - he’s definitely worth seeing and is a MAV expert as you probably know.

Keep us posted on how you get on. It’s interesting to hear the different advice and meds he prescribes for different people - this is good as I think he’s not a ‘one drug fits all’ doctor but really listens and tries to tailor the treatment to the individual.

Dizzy Izzy x

Hi Sally

I phoned the Blackheath Hospital and they told me I needed to get a GP referral letter (and I could bring it with me on the day). I went to my GP and told him to write the same letter out twice - one to the Blackheath and one to the NHS Medway Maritime so as to avoid delay as DizzyIz explained.

Otherwise you will just turn up blind and he’ll have to spend your paid appointment time going over your history when you could be getting the GP letter faxed over to him beforehand to give him some heads up.

I just phone my GP and say I’ve made a private apt for this date and I need the letter ASAP and he cracks on when there’s a deadline involved.

If you want to see him at Blackheath - there are still some appointments available for Friday 8th April (as I checked with them today as that’s when I’m seeing him) and then he’s away/bank holidays after that so there was nothing for ages.
Try and get in for the 8th April. The number is 0208 318 7722.**

Let me know if I can help further.

Best, Muppo x

Thank you so much for that. I will phone up today. The 8th is a scary day to go for me though, because we are going away for a week on the 9th and I need to be as ok as I can be to get thru the week, so if I have tests done and stuff that makes me dizzy I might be all messed up for the week, mightn’t I? I hope you know what I mean and I’m not talking gibberish :? So do you think it would be better if I made the appointment for sometime after I get back? I’m seeing my GP this Thursday, so I can ask him then about the referral letter. Thanks again xx

One of his other places might be easier for me actually as I’m in Sussex. Should I just pick one and call it, do you think? I’ve found a list of places he works at.

Sorry to keep posting lol but I’ve just realised that the Spire Clinic at Tunbridge Wells is only 30 miles from me - that’s the nearest one. Would I be able to go there, do you think? I wonder if they take NHS referrals - I don’t really know how it all works. Plus will he have all the equipment there or is it best if I go to London?

Sally, he doesnt seem to do loads of tests like they do at Queen Square in London. At least he didn’t with me. He diagnosed MAV through a thorough case history and a few brief tests eg cranial nerve exam, tracking his finger, etc. But that may be because I had a load of tests at QS before.

You have a right to see the consultant you wish to see on the NHS. You can choose thru the ‘choose and book’ system. However, before dismissing the private one on the 8th, ask them when you ring what tests will be done. Explain you’re going away.

Best wishes


Hi Sally

I believe the Spire is a private hospital not NHS. His NHS practice is at the Medway Maritime hospital in Gillingham Kent.

I would phone the nearest private hospital to you and chk availability and what tests are carried out. I dontthink I need any more tests as I’ve had them all done twice over!

Let me know if I can help further.


Hi sally,
yes he does work at Tunbridge Wells …give them a ring .

Thanks guys. I’ve been thinking about it some more and I’m even more confused lol. I’m thinking that NHS is the way to go because I would need to ask my Mum for the money if I went private and avoiding that would be good! BUT I’m now thinking that if I go NHS will I get the same treatment? Not in terms of ability but in terms of time really. The reason I’m saying that is that I recently saw an osteopath privately who does NHS work too. We were talking about it and he told me that his NHS appointments are strictly only 20 minutes, which isn’t enough for a proper consultation so his NHS patients are receiving substandard care really. His private appointments are an hour. The reason I’m obsessing so much over this is because I’ve had whatever I’ve got for 23 years and this is the first time I’ve been shown a single glimmer of hope so I want to make sure that I do it properly. If I’m going to miss out by going down the NHS route then I would rather borrow the money and go private.

Hi Sally

I know its expensive but as the old saying goes - you get what you pay for!!

If you pay for the FIRST consultation, he will then transfer you over to his NHS care (GP referral letter still needed) which is why I got my GP to do BOTH letters at the same time. I’m paying to see him first so I get 45mins with him and then follow up treatments on the NHS.

You have our full support. Please let us know what you decide.

seeing as there’s so many of us here seeing Dr S - lets have a party!! (When we’re all better)!!!

Btw I’ve increased my lyrica dose (on GPs approval) to 100 mg a night (still 2 x 50mg in the day as well) and there’s definitely an slight improvement this morning. This is what happened when I started the lyrica. Felt better for 3 days then crashed again, so we shall see… I hope I don’t have to keep increasing it indefinitely! :frowning:

Muppo - I am completely overwhelmed by your kind private message. I will respond to it today. Thank you so much.

Dizzy Izzy xx

I’m trying to get hold of his secretary - I’m going to talk to her about it and ask her if there’s a difference between private and NHS appointments. You’ve all been very kind - thank you. I’ve just worn myself out typing all my symptoms onto another forum, and now I think I’m competeley insane so I’m going to make a cup of tea :frowning: Thanks again xx

Just make sure it’s decaf sweet cheeks!!! :smiley:

My neurotologist warned me distinctly against drinking decaf black tea, because a lot of caf remains–much more than in decaf coffee. White tea works okay for me, but not green; aside from that, it’s just the herbals.

I decided to cut out caffeine, cheese and chocolate. So yesterday was my first day of no tea and guess what - migraine! Coincidence or caffeine withdrawal?! Still have it now and all I want to do is go back to bed and sleep, but we’re not meant to do that right? :expressionless:

Well that didn’t go too well :frowning:

hmm sounds like the Tory cuts are kicking in. Bite the bullit see him privately and sharpish. Mention a letter to your GP but to be frank my GP is so bad she didn’t even bother to write one so Dr S never received one. Sometimes it’s better without they don’t cloud judgements. Tell the hospital that you are bringing it by hand and then forget about it. All they are after is the money. This way you circumvent the NHS and Dr S can put you back onto his NHS list himself.

I dont believe that crap!!! My doc hasnt heard of half the people I’ve asked for referrals to and he just does them!!

Read this link:

nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Yourch … pital.aspx

Sally - can’t believe this is still happening - they tried it on me once a while back (different problem). Muppo’s absolutely right and the link she’s posted quite clearly states the law on this.

Print the web page and take it to your GP.

Meanwhile, book your private appointment with Dr S’s secretary and just go. I didn’t have my GP letter with me either (like Fiona) and he wasn’t too bothered. Olus it may have been to my advantage as he didn’t prejudge me from what my GP might have put in the letter.

Then Dr S will write to your GP with a report about your diagnosis and medication prescription and if you ask him he will include in that letter a request for your GP to refer you to him on the NHS (this is what he did for me - I had a copy of his report sent to me too). Then you’re in a stronger position to insist on the referral especially if you know the law gives you that right.

Phone Dr S’s secretary asap and get the appt booked and just go!

Dizzy ‘had a good day today’ Izzy :smiley: xx