Cataract surgery is the most common elective procedure in the UK, which people often choose to pay for themselves.

If you have a cataract, it means the lens of one or both eyes has become cloudy or misty. Cataracts can affect your ability to watch TV, read, write or drive.

Cataract surgery is considered the only effective treatment for cataracts, and it can improve quality of life, reduce glare and improve depth perception. It is one of the most successful operations to improve the quality of one’s life.

But what are the options available for people in and around Birmingham? Here we take a closer look.  

Cataract surgery options in and around Birmingham

Within 25 miles of Birmingham, encompassing Coventry, Warwick, Stafford and Worchester, there are 17 hospitals which offer private cataract surgery within the area, each of which is searchable on PHIN’s website. These are mainly independent hospitals but there are some NHS hospitals which have a Private Patient Unit on site.

The hospital that performs the most private cataract surgeries in and around Birmingham is Spire Little Aston Hospital, which treated 430 patients in the last year and has a 100% patient satisfaction score. The Midland Eye (part of Aspen Healthcare) has treated the second largest number of cataract patients, with 355 patients through their doors over the course of the year.

Working across these hospitals sites there are 34 consultant doctors offering private cataract surgery, many of whom also work in the NHS.

Cost of your initial consultation

Before getting treatment, you will need to have a consultation with your doctor. This is to discuss your eye health and assess whether surgery is the right course of action for you. If you have insurance the cost of the initial consultation may be covered, at least in part, so it’s worth checking your coverage first.

According to our data, the fee for an initial consultation for cataract surgery in and around Birmingham can typically vary between £150 and £300, depending on your choice of surgeon. The average typical fee is £230.

Paying through insurance

There are two ways of paying for treatment. First is through private medical insurance, or PMI. Most insurance policies will cover cataract surgery unless it is a pre-existing condition. However, it’s important to check in with your insurer at each stage of the journey to check what is covered and whether these is any excess. For more information, you can read our guide to paying for treatment through insurance.

Alternatively, you can self-fund your treatment directly. The traditional way of self-funding treatment is through ‘fee-per-service’, where you’ll be invoiced separately by the consultant surgeon, the consultant anaesthetist, and the hospital. This can be complex and difficult to get a guide price before receiving treatment.

Self-funding cataract surgery

The simpler and easier way to self-pay is through an inclusive ‘packaged price’. Here the full guide price is outlined before treatment, and this will include the fees for your surgeon, anaesthetist and the hospital’s charges.

In Birmingham ten of the 17 hospitals offering private cataract surgery offers a package price which can be found on their website. The remaining seven, which includes all of the NHS hospitals offering private treatment in the area, may still be able to offer a package price if you phone them up.

The cost of package price deals differs by hospital and the price will depend on what is included. 

  • The least expensive option at the time of writing were the BMI hospitals in the area, the Priory, Droitwhich, Edgebaston and Meridan hospitals. These all advertise a guide price for a single-eye cataract procedure at around £2,270. However, this cost doesn’t include any diagnostic tests.
  • The highest price is the Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital, which advertises a guide price of around £3,100. However, this is inclusive of diagnostics tests. 

It’s important to research the costs of treatment, and ask exactly what is included, even if you are opting for a package price for your cataract surgery.

For more information about self-funding treatment, see our guide to self-pay

Important notes

The information in this article is based on hospitals within 25 miles of the centre of Birmingham, and the consultants that treat private patients at each hospital, which are available to search through PHIN’s website. If a hospital or consultant is not searchable on our website, this may be because they are in breach of legal duties set out by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The data is based on PHIN’s data on patient admissions that took place between 1 April to 31 March 2021. The costs of initial consultant fees were provided directly by consultants to PHIN. Information on guide package prices was collected through an internet search of local hospitals.

This article was last updated on 28 October 2021, and some details may have changed since.

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