FAQs

We have put together a few questions that people have asked us.

There’s some useful information and you may find the answer to something that’s been on your mind.  If you don’t, get in touch and we can help you.

Need further information?

Can't find an answer within our FAQ'S to your query then TEL: 02890661212

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General FAQs

  1. Where is the Ulster Independent Clinic located?
  2. How do I get to the Clinic?
  3. How do I get to the Clinic by Public Transport?
  4. How do I make an outpatient appointment?
  5. How long will I have to wait for an appointment to see a Consultant?
  6. How do I choose a Consultant?
  7. Can I use my private insurance?
  8. How do I find out about paying for treatment personally?
  9. What information from my insurance company do I need to bring to hospital?
  10. Are invoices for treatment sent directly to my insurance company?
  11. How do I pay for an appointment with a consultant?
QWhere is the Ulster Independent Clinic located?
A

The Ulster Independent Clinic is conveniently located on the intersection between the Stranmillis Road and Malone Road in Belfast. 

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QHow do I get to the Clinic?
A


By Car from M1 Motorway

  • From the M1 take exit at Junction 2 for A55 Outer Ring/Balmoral/Bangor/Newtownards.
  • Continue through two sets of traffic lights and under railway bridge and through a third set of lights to Balmoral Avenue.
  • Continue along Balmoral Avenue to junction with the Malone Road.
  • Take the slip road on the left on to the Malone Road.
  • Move into the outside lane in preparation for turning right onto the Stranmillis Road at the lights.
  • The Ulster Independent Clinic is clearly signposted on the left.

By Car from M2 Motorway

  • Follow signposts for the Westlink/M1 from the M2.
  • Take the exit at Junction 2 for A55 Outer Ring/Balmoral/Bangor/Newtownards.
  • Continue through two sets of traffic lights and under railway bridge and through a third set of lights to Balmoral Avenue.
  • Continue along Balmoral Avenue to the junction with the Malone Road.
  • Take the slip road on the left on to the Malone Road.
  • Move into the outside lane in preparation for turning right onto the Stranmillis Road at the lights.
  • The Ulster Independent Clinic is clearly signposted on the left.

By Car from Belfast City Centre

  • From Queen’s University keep in the left hand lane.
  • Continue up hill to Stranmillis and past Ulster Museum.
  • Continue through Stranmillis Village.
  • At roundabout take 3 exit sign posted for M1.
  • Continue along Stranmillis Road.
  • Ulster Independent Clinic is last entrance on the right just before the traffic lights.

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QHow do I get to the Clinic by Public Transport?
A


By Bus

  • The nearest bus stop is 5-10 minute walk from the Clinic.
  • From Donegall Square East in the City Centre take either:
  • Number 8A for Stranmillis
  • Numbers 8B, 8C for Malone

By Train

The nearest train station is Botanic Station. It is 30 minute walk/10 minute taxi journey from the Clinic.

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QHow do I make an outpatient appointment?
A

You will need a referral letter from your GP before you make an appointment to see a Consultant at the Ulster Independent Clinic. Once your GP has referred you to the Ulster Independent Clinic, you should contact the Clinic on 028 9068 7444 to make an appointment with a Consultant of your choice.

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QHow long will I have to wait for an appointment to see a Consultant?
A

Waiting times vary but on average you will be able to see a consultant within 7-14 days.

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QHow do I choose a Consultant?
A

There are over 400 consultants covering a wide range of specialties available for private consultation at the Ulster Independent Clinic. Your GP should be able to advise you on which Consultant would be most suitable for your specific condition.

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QCan I use my private insurance?
A

Yes, The Ulster Independent Clinic accepts payment from all major insurance companies. Please feel free to contact our Finance Department on 028 9066 1212, should you have any queries.

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QHow do I find out about paying for treatment personally?
A

You are welcome to pay for your treatment personally. If you are self funding your treatment, we will be able to provide you with an approximate costing prior to admission. Payment of your hospital account is due on discharge.  Your Consultants will send you separate invoices. These invoices should be settled directly with the relevant Consultants.

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QWhat information from my insurance company do I need to bring to hospital?
A

You should check that your insurance company is prepared to cover the cost of your treatment before making an appointment with a Consultant. Once you have seen a Consultant and your treatment has been confirmed, you will be given a procedure code from the Consultant. Contact the insurance company with this procedure code and they will issue you with a pre-authorisation reference or a claim form. You will need to bring the pre-authorisation reference or claim form with you to the Clinic. Please note that some claim forms will require a GP signature.

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QAre invoices for treatment sent directly to my insurance company?
A

Yes, the Ulster Independent Clinic will send invoices for your treatment and hospital stay directly to your insurance company. However, your Consultant, Surgeon and Anesthetist will send you invoices personally – it is your responsibility to forward these to the insurers for payment.

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QHow do I pay for an appointment with a consultant?
A

Your consultant will send you an invoice following your consultation. You should send this invoice to your insurance provider for settlement.

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Patients FAQs

  1. What do I need to bring for a stay in the Clinic?
  2. What should I bring to the Clinic if I am coming for a Day Procedure?
  3. Can I have breakfast on the morning of my planned procedure?
  4. What should I do if I become unwell before my planned admission?
  5. Can I keep my make-up and jewellery on in theatre?
  6. Are towels provided?
  7. Is there a laundry service?
  8. Should I drive after a day procedure?
  9. If I am worried or feel unwell immediately after discharge what should I do?
QWhat do I need to bring for a stay in the Clinic?
A

You need to bring:

  • Nightwear
  • Dressing Gown
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries – towels are provided
  • Any medication you are taking in the original packaging
  • X-rays or scans that you have been given
  • Books, magazines

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QWhat should I bring to the Clinic if I am coming for a Day Procedure?
A

You need to bring:

  • Any medication and/or inhalers that you routinely take – please remember to bring these in their original packaging as supplied by your chemist.
  • X-rays or scans relevant to your admission.
  • Something to read.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
  • Children and infants should bring nightwear.

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QCan I have breakfast on the morning of my planned procedure?
A

Before you come to the clinic for a procedure you will receive a letter from the consultant with instructions about what you can eat or drink beforehand.

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QWhat should I do if I become unwell before my planned admission?
A

If you become unwell before your admission with an unrelated illness such as a flu, a cold, chest infection, urinary tract infection, diarrhoea or vomiting please contact the clinic as soon as possible as it may be necessary to cancel or postpone your admission until you feel better.

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QCan I keep my make-up and jewellery on in theatre?
A

Prior to you operation you will need to remove any make-up and nail varnish, it may also be necessary to remove false nails for some procedures, you should clarify this with a member of the Clinic nursing team. You should leave your jewellery at home where possible, although you will be able to wear a wedding band in theatre if you wish.

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QAre towels provided?
A

Yes, fresh towels are provided daily.

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QIs there a laundry service?
A

There is no facility for personal laundry. If you are staying for several nights, we advise that you make arrangements for a friend or relative to look after your personal laundry needs.

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QShould I drive after a day procedure?
A

You should not drive after a day procedure, it is important that you make arrangements for a family member or a friend to drive you home.

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QIf I am worried or feel unwell immediately after discharge what should I do?
A

If you have any immediate concerns after discharge please call the Ulster Independent Clinic and speak to the Nurse in Charge who will contact your consultant if required. Tel: 028 9066 1212

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Visitors FAQs

  1. What are visiting times?
  2. Can I use my mobile phone?
  3. Can I bring a child to visit a patient?
  4. Can I bring flowers?
QWhat are visiting times?
A

The most suitable times for visiting patients are:

10.00am - 12 noon
3.00pm – 5.00pm
7.00pm-9.30pm

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QCan I use my mobile phone?
A

Mobile phones must only be used in the privacy of private rooms, they are not permitted in the public areas.

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QCan I bring a child to visit a patient?
A

Children are welcome to visit patients, we have a selection of books and toys located in each ward corridor that can be borrowed.

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QCan I bring flowers?
A

Yes, you are welcome to bring flowers.

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Departments & Services FAQs

  1. How do I make an appointment for an MRI?
  2. What is MRI?
  3. Is an MRI scan suitable for everyone?
  4. How should I prepare for a MRI scan?
  5. What happens on the day of my MRI scan?
  6. What happens during the MRI scan?
  7. When will I find out the MRI Scan results?
  8. How do I make an appointment for an X-Ray?
  9. What is an X-Ray?
  10. What will happen when I go for an X-Ray?
  11. When will I know the results?
  12. What if I am pregnant?
QHow do I make an appointment for an MRI?
A

You will need to be referred either by your Consultant or GP for a MRI Scan at the Clinic.  Once a referral has been made, you can contact the Clinic on 028 9068 6520 to arrange for an appointment.  Some tests will require you to fast, your Radiographer will advise you on any special preparations prior to your arrival at the Clinic. 

The MRI Department is open Monday-Thursday 8.30am-9.30 pm and Friday 8.30am-6pm.

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QWhat is MRI?
A

MRI means Magnetic Resonance Imaging  - a safe scanning technique that produces images of your body without using ionizing radiation (x-rays).  MRI scanners use a very strong magnetic field that is always active.  During a scan, radio-waves are transmitted to align the hydrogen protons within your body.  Tiny signals are given back from these protons.  A computer converts the tiny signals into images used for diagnosis.

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QIs an MRI scan suitable for everyone?
A

MRI is normally a safe and painless procedure; however some people are unable to enter the strong magnetic field.  If any of the following applies to you then you should contact the MRI department prior to your appointment.

  • Heart pacemakers and pacing wires
  • Spinal cord or brain stimulators
  • Eye or ear implants
  • Metal fragments in the eye
  • Brain aneurysm clips
  • Drug infusion pumps
  • Magnetic breast tissues expanders

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QHow should I prepare for a MRI scan?
A
  • Eat or drink normally unless you are having a scan taken of your liver, gallbladder or bowel.
  • If your liver/gallbladder/bowel are to be scanned please follow instructions given to you with your appointment letter.
  • Continue to take any medication as normal.
  • If you are anxious or claustrophobic it maybe helpful to discuss the scan with your GP who may prescribe medication to help you relax.
  • Do not wear eye make-up containing glitter.
  • If you are having an arthrogram (fluid injected into a joint) you must ensure you have someone to drive you home after the MRI scan.

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QWhat happens on the day of my MRI scan?
A
  • When you arrive for your MRI scan you will be asked to fill out an MRI safety questionnaire and a clinic registration form.
  • Remove all jewellery (except wedding ring) and metal dentures.
  • You may be asked to change into a gown depending on the examination.
  • Please tell the Radiographer if you suffer from claustrophobia.

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QWhat happens during the MRI scan?
A
  • The area that is to be scanned is positioned in the centre of the scanner.
  • You will have to remain very still throughout the examination.
  • About 5% of examinations require an injection to help get a good image of the area.
  • The time it takes varies from person to person and the area that is being scanned.
  • Don’t worry if the scan takes longer than anticipated – this does not mean that there is something wrong.
  • The Radiographer will be outside the room whilst the scanning is taking place but is in contactable via the CALL button and intercom. 

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QWhen will I find out the MRI Scan results?
A

The Radiographer will not give you any results on the day of scan.  A Consultant Radiologist who specialises in reading scans and X-Rays will report on your scans.  The report will be sent to the Consultant who requested the MRI scan within one week of the scan.  You should contact your Consultant with enquiries about the scan results.

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QHow do I make an appointment for an X-Ray?
A

You will need to be referred either by your Consultant or GP for an X-Ray at the Clinic.  Once a referral has been made, you can contact the Clinic on 028 9068 7999 to arrange for an X-Ray appointment.  Some tests will require you to fast, your Radiographer will advise you on any special preparations prior to your arrival at the Clinic.

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QWhat is an X-Ray?
A

An X-Ray is a picture produced when a short burst of high energy radiation is passed through the body to produce an real-time image. X-rays are painless and are a quick and simple way of looking inside the body. The amount of radiation used is very small and is of little risk to your health.

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QWhat will happen when I go for an X-Ray?
A

Your X-ray will be carried out by one of the Radiographers or specialists in the department. Depending on the body part that is to be X-Rayed you will be asked to lie, stand or sit, the Radiographer will help get you into the right position. You will be asked to remain very still while the X-Ray is taken. You may have several different images taken.

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QWhen will I know the results?
A

The Consultant Radiologist will let the Consultant who has referred you for X-Ray know what the images show. 

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QWhat if I am pregnant?
A

If you are pregnant or think you are pregnant it is important that you let the Radiographer know before the X-Ray takes place.

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