Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral from my GP?

Depending on your private health insurer, you may need a GP referral to claim on your insurance. In the first instance, we would advise you contact your private healthcare insurer for further information.

If you are paying for yourself, please call 0118 922 0026 or email [email protected] for a no-obligation quote.

How do I find out the cost of my treatment?

If you are a self-pay patient, then the fees for your treatment or surgery will be discussed with you individually and a detailed written quote prepared for you. If you would like an estimate of the likely costs of surgery, please call our Enquiry Helpline on 0118 922 0026 and we will be happy to discuss this further with you.

Whether you are funded by your private health insurance, the NHS or are self-funding at Circle Reading we aim to ensure that the financial aspects of your visit to the hospital are dealt with efficiently, transparently and confidentially. The registration document which you sign upon arrival forms your contract with the hospital for services and facilities.

How can I pay for my treatment?

There are a number of ways to pay for treatment at Circle Reading, the main ones are:

  • Through private or company supported medical insurance.
  • Funding your own treatment through one of Circle Reading's self-funding options.

Insured patients

If you have health insurance we always advise that you check with your insurance company that the proposed treatment is covered by your policy prior to attending your appointment. Please have a look at the list of Private Medical Insurance companies that currently recognise Circle Reading.

We also recommend that you liaise closely with your insurance company throughout the course of treatment to ensure your treatment is eligible, as each provider has slightly different requirements.

When you come to the hospital please bring with you your Insurance Registration documents containing your membership number, a completed claim form (if applicable), and pre authorisation number. If required by your insurance policy, please make sure that your claim form has been signed by your GP.

If you do not have all of your insurance details with you, it may be necessary for you to settle your account in full upon admission to Circle Reading. In order to meet the admission requirements of many insurance companies, we may need you to provide the date when your symptoms first developed and the date that you subsequently visited your GP.

We have agreements with many insurance companies and the hospital will invoice them directly. However if you receive any invoices from your Consultant after discharge, you will need to forward these to your insurance company for payment.

Many insurance companies have an excess payment policy and it is advisable to check if there is any excess that you will be liable to pay for any treatment.

Please note that take home medicines (apart from your own medication which is returned to you) and physiotherapy aids are not covered by medical insurance and you will therefore be presented with a bill where applicable.

Self-funding patients

If you are not covered by medical insurance and are self-funding the cost of your treatment, you will be required to pay the agreed cost in full prior to your admission. If you are being admitted under any of the hospital's self-funding options you will receive a detailed quote - including our Terms and Conditions - in advance of your treatment. This quote will identify what you need to pay and exactly what is included or excluded from this price.

Can I use a credit or debit card?

Yes, payment by credit or debit card can be made by telephone prior to your admission.

Can I pay with a cheque?

Yes, payment by personal cheque is accepted but must be received 10 days before your attendance to enable the cheque to clear.

Can I park my car at Circle Reading?

Yes, a visitors car park is located directly in front of the hospital. This is free of charge to patients and visitors.

What are your visiting hours?

We know how important it is that your friends can visit you in hospital, that is why we don't have restricted visiting hours and they are welcome to visit us at any time.

Is there somewhere for visitors to eat?

Yes we have a café in the main atrium of our hospital.

Opening at 7am we offer an extensive range of breakfast choices, as well as tea, coffee and soft drinks and refreshments throughout the day.

At lunchtime we offer freshly made sandwiches and panninis as well as hot lunch choices.

Circle Reading's Executive Chef is Andreas Wingert, who joined us from Michelin star restaurant, Lucknam Park. Andreas is passionate about using local, seasonal and fresh produce. He and his team are incredibly enthusiastic about providing nutritious, interesting and enjoyable menus.

Can a visitor stay overnight?

Yes. Our 30 private bedrooms are furnished to a highly comfortable standard with an en-suite, walk-in shower room and pull-out guest bed so a partner or parent can stay for free - simply paying for their meals. However, the Rehabilitation unit charges visitors £80 per night, which includes breakfast and dinner. 

There are no restrictive visiting hours so your guests are very welcome to visit you at any time of day or night.

How do relatives and friends make enquiries about my condition?

Friends and relatives can contact the nursing ward directly on 0118 922 6837 to speak to our inpatient nurses about loved ones' recoveries

How should I prepare for my stay at Circle Reading?

We recognise that you will want to be as prepared as possible for your procedure.


Some patients may be required to fast before they receive treatment. That is, not to eat or drink anything over a given length of time. Any such instructions should be on your appointment letter. You can ring and speak directly to Circle staff to confirm if this applies to you.

Can I visit the hospital before my stay?

If you would like to visit the hospital before your admission please feel free to call the hospital and our staff will be delighted to arrange a suitable time to meet you and show you around the hospital. Please contact us on 0118 922 6888.

Before You Arrive - Pre-assessment

After your appointment is scheduled at the hospital, you may receive a health questionnaire if you have not completed one already. Please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible after receipt and return it to us in the accompanying self-addressed stamped envelope or online if available.

When we receive your completed health questionnaire, our nursing staff will review it to ensure that no additional tests are required before your scheduled treatment. We may in some cases decide that we need to complete a further assessment either by telephone or in person prior to your scheduled appointment. We will contact you to arrange the telephone assessment or pre-operative assessment appointment ahead of your scheduled appointment.

We believe that a caring, calm environment promotes a speedy recovery. Each In-patient room offers en-suite facilities and state-of-the-art technology which provides access to music, television, films and the internet. Working together with your Consultant and care team we will do everything to ensure that your stay is as comfortable and restful as possible.

What should I bring for an overnight stay at Circle Reading?

We make every effort to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during your stay. We will provide you with all of the conveniences you would expect, including fresh linen, bath and hand towels. However, should you be staying with us for more than a day, it is advisable to bring the following items with you:

Toiletries such as:

  • Hairbrush, comb and shampoo
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste or denture cleaner
  • Shaving equipment (male patients)
  • Sanitary wear (female patients)
  • Nightwear
  • Underwear
  • Slippers (preferably non slip)
  • Some casual, loose fitting clothing to wear during the day
  • Dressing gown


If you are taking any medication please bring them in with you in their original, labeled containers as dispensed by your chemist / pharmacy.

This includes:

  • Tablets and capsules
  • Liquids
  • Patches
  • Inhalers
  • Creams

It is also important to let us know about any homeopathic or herbal preparations you may be taking.

We will also need to see any written instructions supplied by your doctor such as a repeat prescription form.

You may be asked to stop taking certain medications when coming in for surgery by the pre-assessment nurse following instruction from your consultant and/or anaesthetist. If you are advised to stop taking any medication we would ask that you still bring this medication with you to ensure that the clinical team are able to compile an accurate record of your current medication.

What should I bring if I am a day case patient?

If you are being admitted to the hospital for Day Care, you should dress casually and avoid restrictive clothing. You will not need nightwear but may want to bring some slippers.

What about money & valuables?

Property may be handed into our hospitality staff for safe keeping. There is no need to bring food with you as snacks and drinks are provided for patients in our Day Care Unit during or after treatment

Can I have a chaperone?

All patients are entitled to be accompanied by a chaperone. Please call us in advance of your appointment or ask at reception upon your arrival

Do you have a policy on same sex accommodation?

Circle Reading is pleased to confirm that we are compliant with the Government's requirement to eliminate mixed-sex accommodation, except when it is in the patient's overall best interest, or reflects their personal choice.

We have the necessary facilities, resources and culture to ensure that patients who are admitted to our hospital will only share the room where they sleep with members of the same sex, and same sex toilets and bathrooms will be close to their bed area. Sharing with members of the opposite sex will only happen when clinically necessary (for example where patients need specialist equipment such as in ECU - enhanced care unit) or when patients actively choose to share.

If our care should fall short of the required standard, we will report it. We will also set up an audit mechanism to make sure that we do not misclassify any of our reports. We will publish the results of that audit in the Board Quality and Performance report

Is your hospital fitted with an induction loop?

Yes, our hospital is fitted with an induction loop.

Can I smoke at the hospital?

Smoking is prohibited within the hospital premises.

Coming into hospital is always an opportunity to consider giving up smoking, it may be useful to discuss nicotine replacement therapy with your GP and/or pharmacist prior to your admission.

Can I access the internet from Circle Reading?

Yes, internet services are available throughout the hospital for patients and visitors.

Each Inpatient room offers state-of-the-art technology which provides access to music, television, films and the Internet.

Can I print at Circle Reading?

Circle Reading provides the ability for patients to securely print documents from their personal computer, iPad, smartphone or any other internet enabled device.

Can I get any beauty treatments done during my inpatient stay at Circle Reading?

Yes. Our hospitality staff can arrange for a beauty therapist to come to your room for a range of beauty treatments including manicures and pedicures, often at discounted rates.

Is there a concierge service at Circle Reading?

We would be delighted to assist patients, families and visitors with any additional services prior to, during or after your stay at Circle Reading. Simply contact the hospitality team. All suppliers have been independently verified by Circle Reading to ensure they meet our exacting standards and some may require payment directly.

  • Laundry and dry cleaning
  • Taxi and chauffeur services
  • Florist- Speciality cakes for birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions
  • Local hotel and restaurant reservations
  • On-going nutritional advice once you have returned home
  • Hairdressing - available in your bedroom
  • Beauty treatments including massage, pedicure, manicure - available in your bedroom
  • Car valet service
  • Personal shopping

I'm interested in working at Circle Reading, do you have any vacancies?

Active vacancies are published on the jobs page of our website, in the About Circle section

Making a suggestion or complaint

What you tell us matters. At Circle, our aim is to give you the best possible experience whilst you undergo your diagnosis and/or surgery and treatment. Read more about making a suggestion or complaint.

Accessible Information Standard

The Accessible Information Standard applies to service providers across the NHS and adult social care. The Standard aims to ensure that disabled people have access to information that they can understand and communication support that they might need. CircleReading are committed to being fully compliant with the Standard.