If you’re looking for private cataract surgery in and around Cambridge, we have everything you need to know right here.

Cataract surgery options in and around Cambridge
Cost of your initial consultation
Self-funding cataract surgery
Paying through insurance
Important notes

Cataract surgery is one of the most common elective (planned) procedures in the UK, with over 450,000 NHS cataract operations performed every year in England alone. Many people also choose to have the surgery done privately. Our data shows more than 1,800 private cataract procedures were carried out in the Cambridge area last year.

Here we take a look at the hospitals and consultants offering private cataract surgery in and around Cambridge.

Cataract surgery options in and around Cambridge

According to our data, there are seven hospitals offering private care within 25 miles of Cambridge. Of these, four hospitals offer private cataract surgery. Three of these – the Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital, Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital and Pinehill Hospital – are independent hospitals. Addenbrooke’s Hospital is an NHS hospital with a Private Patient Unit on site. The Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital, Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital and Addenbrooke’s Hospital are based in Cambridge itself, while Pinehill Hospital is located in the nearby town of Hitchin.

Addenbrooke’s performs the most cataract surgeries out of these hospitals, but as an NHS hospital, the vast majority of these are NHS procedures. Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital performs the most private cataract surgeries in the Cambridge area , with 1210 patients in the last year. Nuffield Health Cambridge, which has an outstanding rating from the Care Quality Commission, has the highest patient satisfaction score of the four hospitals, at 97%.

Data from PHIN shows there are 17 consultant surgeons confirmed as working across these hospitals, with Spire Cambridge having the broadest choice available (12 consultants practice here). Of the consultants with data available, Mr Christopher Stephenson, based at Spire Cambridge Lea, performs the most private cataract surgeries in the area. You can find details for all consultants confirmed as performing private cataract surgery in the Cambridge area on our website.

Cost of your initial consultation

You will need to have a consultation with a surgeon before you can have cataract surgery. This is to discuss your eye health and assess whether surgery is the best option for you. If you have private health insurance, check whether you are covered for the initial consultation.

The average fee for an initial consultation for cataract surgery in the Cambridge area is £210. This varies between £130 and £250, depending on your surgeon. You can find out the fee for individual surgeons through the consultants’ profiles.

Self-funding cataract surgery

If you decide to go ahead with cataract surgery, there are two ways of paying for private treatment. The most common method for cataract surgery is to self-fund your treatment directly . You may be charged for this in two different ways.

  • A ‘fee-per-service’ arrangement. This is the traditional way of paying for treatment. It means you’ll receive separate invoices from the surgeon, the anaesthetist and the hospital. You often won’t know the full costs until you receive the invoices – it can be difficult to get an exact price beforehand.
  • An all-inclusive ‘package price’. With this option, you’ll be given a full guide price including all the fees, before undergoing treatment. Not all consultants and hospitals offer this.

Three of the four hospitals in and around Cambridge advertise guide package prices for cataract surgery on their websites. At the time of writing, these were as follows.

  • Pinehill Hospital – £2,846
  • Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital – £2,875
  • Cambridge Lea Hospital – £3,280

Guide prices are approximations only. The actual price will vary depending on who your consultant is and any individual differences in your treatment. When you’re given a guide price, it’s important that you check exactly what this covers, including the initial consultation fee, any tests you may need and any aftercare.

Hospitals often offer finance options to spread the cost of your treatment over a period of time. Ask the hospital where you’re seeking treatment whether this is available.

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

Paying through insurance

The other way of paying for private treatment is through private medical insurance, or PMI. Most insurance policies cover cataract surgery, unless it’s a pre-existing condition. But it’s important to check with your own insurer exactly what they will cover and whether you will need to pay any excess. Read our guide on paying for treatment through insurance for more information.

Important notes

The information in this article is based on hospitals within 25 miles of the centre of Cambridge, and the consultants that treat private patients at each hospital. This is 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 January 2021 – 31 December 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 16 June 2022, and some details may have changed since.

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