Frequently asked questions


How much is the cost of a consultation/assessment with the Practice?

The cost is dependent on the type and length of appointment (£185-£425). Payment is required within 14 days, either by cheque, credit card or BACS. Specialised Assessment costs may vary. Some of the more complex consultations/assessments will require a deposit to be placed and our Admin Team will advise if this is applicable at booking.

Can I claim back the fee from my medical insurers?

This will depend on your personal medical cover and it is essential that you check with your insurers before attending the appointment. If you are covered, we will require the membership number and unique authorisation number for each visit in order to deal directly with them. Some insurers may insist on a referral via your GP. We do not deal directly with overseas health insurers such as Cigna International and Aetna. Receipts will be issued for payments to enable you to request reimbursement from your overseas health insurer. The majority of health insurers recognise all our doctors, but if there is any exception to this you will be advised when calling to arrange an appointment. Please check that your policy covers your choice of clinic location in addition, as some insurers may restrict central London based hospitals/clinics.

Why do we need to provide credit/debit card details?

You will be asked to provide your credit/debit card details in order to secure the appointment and these are held on our PCI compliant secure system. If you are self-pay your card will be debited automatically following the appointment and a receipt issued. If you are insured and there are any shortfalls, the card provided will be debited accordingly and a receipt issued.

Urgent Help

What if my child needs to be seen and one of the Practice doctors are not available?

We strive to help all patients; however, it is not always possible to do so. In these situations, and where the next available appointment is not suitable, our office team we will be able to recommend alternative doctors, your GP or the Portland Hospital’s Urgent Care Centre 0203 910 2412 dependent on the child’s condition.

How do I contact the Practice Doctors in an out of office hours’ emergency?

If the doctor undertakes the care of your child for a specific complex episode, he/she will provide alternative telephone numbers for contact out of hours cover. The Portland does not have an A&E Department, however if you need to speak to a Paediatrician in the event of an emergency, out of hours or at the weekend, you may call the Portland’s Urgent Care Centre on 0203 910 2412. If your child needs admission this will be arranged and we will be informed accordingly. However, it must be stressed that if your child has been involved in an accident or if the emergency is a head injury or in anyway life threatening, you should go immediately to your nearest A&E Department at an NHS Hospital or dial 999.


When does my child require immunisations?

We provide immunisations according to the current UK schedule e.g. at 2, 3 and 4 months of age initially as standard. However, if your country’s immunisation schedule differs, this can also be accommodated. Additional vaccines which are not strictly part of the UK schedule, such as Hep A & B, Chickenpox, Meningitis-ACWY, BCG and Flu vaccines can also be provided upon request. Dr Ian Hay Ltd is unable to provide travel vaccinations and information regarding these should be obtained from your GP Surgery or Travel Clinic.

My child is due to have his/her immunisation – will the Practice provide this?

The primary immunisation series requires 3 separate visits and these are available to you without charge at your local NHS baby clinic. However, our Practice doctors would be happy to provide these at a cost of £185 (+ cost of vaccines) Please note the cost of the immunisations or well child checks are not generally covered by medical insurance companies). It is advisable that these are given only when your child is in good health. We recommend that you purchase some paracetamol prior to the appointment as your child may develop a temperature post immunisation and this will help make him/her more comfortable.


Do I need to register my child with Dr Hay Ltd in advance?

No. Your child’s details will be taken when you telephone to make your first appointment with the Practice. Click here if you would like to book an appointment.

Why do I need to register with the Portland Hospital or Centennial Medical Centre on arrival?

Our records are held separately to the clinics and each will request registration on arrival to ensure that their records are kept up to date. Should investigations be requested by the doctor following your visit, this will also make arranging much simpler and quicker.

How long will the appointment last?

An initial appointment will generally last up to 45 minutes, follow-ups and immunisation appointments 30 minutes and developmental or more complicated problems, can take up to and occasionally more than one hour.

Does the Practice provide home visits?

No. Unfortunately, hospital commitments do not allow us to visit sick children at home. If your child is too unwell to travel to the consulting rooms, please contact your local GP who may be able to help with a home visit.

When should my child have routine check-ups?

There is not a pre-defined schedule for general check-ups however it is advisable to have your child initially checked at 6 weeks. As a guide, routine checks can be at milestones such as 6 month, a year, 18 months, 2 years and annually thereafter.

What if my child requires further investigations such as blood tests or an X-ray?

If it is necessary for your child to have tests e.g. blood or urine, these are readily available from the child friendly services at both the Portland Hospital, with its full range of Pathology Services or from The Doctors Laboratory (TDL), a highly regarded Pathology Test Service. You will be asked to register with the hospital or TDL so that they can invoice directly for these tests. The Portland offers a full range of Specialist Radiology investigations but as ultrasounds and X-rays generally require a Specialised Paediatric Radiologist to perform them, it may not always be possible to have these done immediately or the same day, however the earliest appointment will be made for you. Hertfordshire patients may need to attend the Portland Hospital for some of the more specialised tests or due to the age of the child, if not be easily accessible locally.

My child has a rash, could it be contagious?

If you suspect your child may be contagious with Chickenpox or Measles, please inform us when making an appointment. The Portland Hospital deals predominantly with pregnant ladies and small children and it is preferable that where possible, the child is seen by his/her local GP for these types of infections.

Do you provide Telephone and/or Email Advice?

As the Practice doctors do have very busy clinics, it can sometimes be quite difficult for them to speak to you when in clinic or respond quickly to emails. However, the Office Team will often be able to answer the most frequently asked questions. Should further assistance be required, the doctors will of course endeavour to speak to you, either at lunch-time or at the end of the clinic. Dependent on the nature of your concerns, you may be asked to book an appointment in the first instance, so your child can be examined carefully in order to determine the most appropriate management plan.

I've booked an appointment and can no longer attend - what should I do?

If you have booked an appointment and are for any reason unable to attend, please telephone 0207 390 8295 to cancel giving at least 24 hours notice. Out of hours, a message can be left on our answering machine. We always have children waiting for cancellations, and it may one day be your child. We do charge a late/non cancellation fee of £100 debited automatically from the credit/debit card provided, if the appointment cannot be reallocated in time to another child. The clinics are always very busy and run to a very tight schedule, please help us by ensuring you are prompt for your appointment. If you arrive late and are not able to discuss in full your concerns, you may be advised to arrange a further appointment.


Is there parking at The Portland?

As the Portland hospital is based in Central London, parking can be quite difficult. There are limited pay-by-phone metered spaces and NCP and Union car parks located nearby however. It is strongly recommended that you allow yourself extra time for parking and traffic delays and please remember to pay the London Congestion Charge and where vehicle applicable, the Ultra Low Emission Zone charge. Click here for more information on parking

Is there parking at the Hertfordshire Clinic?

Patients attending the Hertfordshire Clinic will be able to park in the Maltings Car Park very close by. Click here for more information on parking.

Data Privacy

Why do I need to provide my consent?

Following the introduction of GDPR which came into effect in May 2018, we are legally obliged to obtain your written consent to process and hold your child’s data, communicate and correspond with you and other healthcare providers in this regard. In doing so efficiently and effectively, certain medical and personal information, including yours may be contained.

What is our Privacy Policy?

We will look after your data as we would our own. Click here to view our detailed privacy policy.


Covid-19 - Is It Safe To Attend Clinic?

COVID-19 KEEPING YOU SAFE As a result of the current pandemic, we have implemented the following screening protocols to ensure the safety of all staff, patients and service users. On Booking you will be asked:
• Have you got a new or persistent cough?
• Do you have a fever?
• Have you lost your sense of smell or taste? Due to social distancing, we are respectfully asking that children are only accompanied with 1 parent or carer and to not arrive more than 5 minutes prior to the appointment. On the day: All the premises that we work from are working extremely hard to provide safe environments to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus. They are doing this by: • maintaining social distancing
• Protective Perspex sheets around reception areas
• minimising your time spent in the clinic
• use of PPE
• disinfection after each patient interaction Please remember that masks will need to be worn from the time you enter the building.