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It is vital that patients and their families have all the information they need about their condition. It is also important that the information is understood and that patients and their families have confidence in the health professional providing the information. A second opinion can confirm or give a differing point-of-view with regards to a person's diagnosis and / or treatment plan. provide second opinions to patients and their families looking to obtain another opinion with regards to therapy. Opinions often sought are with regards to:
  • Rehabilitation potential
  • Appropriate amount of physiotherapy input
  • Costing for therapy / equipment
  • Whether a particular type of therapy would be beneficial (eg hydrotherapy, FES, Saebo)
  • Complex cases
  • Doubt about diagnosis or proposed plan of treatment
  • Possibility of an alternative treatment being successful
Common circumstances for second opinions include:
  • Your consultant has recommended surgery, and you would like to try conservative (non-surgical) treatment first.
  • Your physiotherapist has recommended a treatment that you do not feel is appropriate, or, your physiotherapist is unwilling to carry out a treatment you feel is beneficial.
  • Your physiotherapist has diagnosed you with a condition that you do not feel you have.
  • You suspect you have a condition that has failed to be diagnosed.
  • A health professional / organisation is failing to recommend a service or equipment that you feel is appropriate, or, is recommending something that you feel is inappropriate.
  • If your physiotherapist is unsure about how they can help you, they may refer you to a physiotherapist who has more expertise in the services you require.
  • Where patients and their families are asked to make very important decisions regarding treatment options.

Developing fine motor control in the foot and ankle using a ball and supervision from a physiotherapistAbove: Developing fine motor control in the foot and ankle using a ball and supervision from a physiotherapist receive an increasing number of enquiries from patients regarding requests for second opinions.

Advantages of a second opinion

A second opinion can help clarify your original diagnosis and your proposed treatment plan. If both the experts agree it will reassure you and give you more choice about who you want to implement your treatment.

Even if the two expert opinions are different you will have more options. You will also be able to give the other healthcare professional feedback either verbally or via a written report about your diagnosis and alternative treatment opportunities.

Disadvantages of a Second Opinion

If you request a second opinion you may have to fund it yourself privately. A second opinion may also involve some travelling. The second expert may suggest treatment that is expensive. If you want to continue your treatment through the public sector, this may require funding and / or a lengthy wait.

Second Opinions can sometimes be unnecessary. Before requesting a second opinion it may be worth considering the reason you want a further opinion? If the reasons is to do with a failure in communication between you and your health professional, or if you are unhappy with your treatment or the prognosis you have been given, you can request them to explain things to you again. If you have things explained to you fully, and different treatment options explained, often there may be no need for a further opinion.

How do I get a second opinion? are able to accept referrals for second opinions from other healthcare professionals, case managers, solicitors as well as self referrals from patients and their families.

To find out more about our services, or to arrange an appointment please call us now on 0330 088 7800 or email

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