Health And Lifestyle For The Over 50s

Hip Replacement Surgery: Should You Stick With the NHS, or go Private?

NHS Hip Replacement Surgery cost of private hip replacement surgery cost of hip replacement surgery benefits of private hip replacement benefits of hip replacement private hip surgery

The Covid pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on our NHS here in the UK resulting in the cancellation of many non-essential procedures. Many thousands of people are waiting more than 52 weeks for NHS hip replacement surgery. If you are in this position, sadly this has meant that your pain, your physical health and psychological wellbeing, your ability to carry out day to day activities and ultimately, your quality of life, have been seriously affected.

With the prospect of a lengthy wait for treatment, some people are considering other options. Bearing all these factors in mind, we have created a guide to assist with all you need to consider if you decide to pay for private hip replacement surgery.

We will show you what facilities, hospitals, surgeons and types of treatment are available in your area. You will also be able to compare the cost of hip replacement surgery in each hospital and ways you can pay for your treatment.

Table of Contents

Compare the Cost of Hip Replacement Surgery

The cost of private hip replacement surgery in the UK is in the region of £9,400 to £15,800 depending on the area you live in, the individual surgeon and the type of surgery you need.

In our Comprehensive Directory you will find the ratings and you can compare the cost of hip replacement surgery in every hospital in your area.

You will also find the profile and details of some of the surgeons who operate there.

Hip Replacement Surgery: Should You Stick With the NHS, or go Private?

Click on your region to compare the hospitals, the surgeons and the cost of hip replacement surgery in your area.

Here is a brief summary of the cost of private hip replacement surgery in the UK:

Region of the UKRange of Prices
NW England£11,370 to £14,707
NE England £9,433 to £14,480
Yorks & Humberside£9,435 to £14,180
East Midlands£10,145 to £14,050
West Midlands £10,145 to £15,625
East Anglia£12,140 to £15,625
London£10,145 to £15,625
SE England £10,145 to £14,660
SW England £10,145 to £15,785
Wales £11,495 to £12,793
Scotland£11,293 to £14,913
Northern Ireland£12,726 to £13,658

Private hip surgery can be funded in a variety of ways. The major private healthcare providers such as Spire Healthcare, BMI Healthcare (now Circle Health), Nuffield Health and Ramsay Health offer packages including no deposit and interest free periods.

Here are examples of the Self Pay Packages offered by some of the major healthcare providers:


PROVIDERSpireCircle/BMINuffieldHCARamsayPractice Plus Group
Scheme Name Self Pay Paying for YourselfNuffield PricePromiseHCA Self Pay TotalCareSelf Pay
First consultation included?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Initial outpatient diagnostic services?NoNoNoNoNoNo
Pre-admission assessments and tests?YesYesYesYesYesYes
All hospital charges from admission to discharge?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Surgeon and anaesthetist fees included?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Cost of prosthesis included?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Post operative consultation?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Cost of take home drugs included?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Post-operative care?Clinically necessary follow- up physiotherapy, radiology and pathologyYes. Up to 6 months aftercare, based on Consultant adviceYes. No time limits if clinically requiredNot includedUnlimited AftercareYes
Re-admission, if required?Up to 12 months, for clinically-related reasonsUp to 6 months, for clinically-related reasonsYes, if arising from the original procedureNo extra charge should complications developNot statedYes, if arising from the original procedure
Finance available?10 months 0% interest free, with Zebra Health Finance12 months 0% interest free with the BMI Card10 months 0% interest free, with Zebra Health Finance12 months 0% interest free, with Chrysalis Finance10 months 0% interest free, with Zebra Health Finance12 months 0% interest free, with Chrysalis Finance
Cancellation Policy?Not statedNot statedMinimum of 14 working days’ notice – full refundMinimum of 3 working days’ notice – full refundNot stated Minimum of 5 working days’ notice – full refund
Hip replacement Cost£9,400 to £15,050£11,263 to £14,269£10,275 to £15,625£14,050£10,761 to £14,000£10,720

All details and prices are correct at time of publication but are subject to change.

What are the benefits of private hip replacement surgery?

The greatest benefit of having private hip replacement surgery is the reduced waiting time to alleviate your hip pain and restore your mobility. Other benefits also include having a greater choice and flexibility, continuity of treatment, increased comfort and privacy and access to the latest technology.

Let’s explore these in more detail:

Hip Replacement Surgery: Should You Stick With the NHS, or go Private?

What are the different types of hip replacement in the UK?

Total hip replacement or hip arthroplasty is the most common type of hip replacement in the UK. Partial hip replacement and hip resurfacing are alternative procedures. The replacement parts or prostheses are generally made of metal, plastic, ceramic or a combination of these materials.

For more detailed information, read our new article……….Types of Hip Replacement Surgery in the UK

What are the latest developments in hip surgery?

The latest technological advances aim to help improve the accuracy of hip replacement surgery and lead to faster recovery:

Hip Replacement Surgery: Should You Stick With the NHS, or go Private?

What does a hip replacement operation involve?

The hip replacement operation will involve the removal of portions of the pelvis and femur(thigh bone) and the replacement with plastic, metal or ceramic parts or prostheses. The surgery will take about one and a half hours and you will usually stay in hospital for between two and five days after the procedure.

Horder Healthcare has compiled an excellent guide with lots of practical advice to assist before, during and after your hip replacement surgery. We recommend that you download their PDF guide and refer to it regularly.

Click on the following link: 

Horder Healthcare: A Patient’s Guide to Total Hip Replacement

How long does it take to recover from hip surgery?

Everyone recovers differently but the majority of people who undergo hip replacement surgery are able to return to light activities and regain full independence within around 6 weeks.

For more details on the recovery from hip replacement surgery, what it involves and how to speed it up to regain full mobility as soon as possible, click on the link to our guide:

Recovery from Hip Replacement Surgery: How to Speed it up…..

How can I monitor my recovery?

New technology has enabled patients to have more confidence in monitoring their progress after hip replacement surgery. One such development is the Huma App pioneered by Huma in conjunction with Smith & Nephew. 

This mobile phone app allows you to receive guidance on rehabilitation, remotely track your symptoms, report any signs of infection and even hold video calls with your surgical team.

Additionally, the app also monitors you prior to surgery to assess your readiness for the procedure. Better preparation before your surgery may lead to a better outcome and a reduction in the time it takes for you to recover from your surgery. Patients have described the app as “like having your own digital doctor at home.”

What are the possible risks and complications?

Whilst hip replacement surgery has excellent success rates, there are still risks involved. The main risks and complications include blood clots, infection, fracture, unequal leg length, dislocation, limping, bleeding and damage to the blood vessels or nerves surrounding the site of the surgery.

Let us look at these risks in more detail:


How long is the waiting list on the NHS?

Before the Pandemic, the NHS had a target waiting time of up to 18 weeks for hip replacement surgery. Currently however, many people are actually waiting more than 52 weeks. This has resulted in the prospect of many additional months or even years of suffering for those waiting for hip replacement surgery.

According to figures from The Health Foundation the NHS in England typically carries out 330 elective hip replacements a day. This fell to an average of between 1 and 2 a day at the start of the pandemic and in 2020 as a whole 58,000 fewer people than usual had a hip replacement.

People who are affected describe feelings of frustration, distress and anger and also cite the lack of information and communication from the hospitals. The problem is exacerbated by people who previously delayed seeking help during the pandemic now coming forward.

According to the Royal College of Surgeons of England, figures in April 2021 show the scale of the problem –

  • 4.7 million people waiting for hospital treatment
  • 387,885 waiting for more than 52 weeks
  • Just 1,643 people waiting for more than 52 weeks in February 2020 before the pandemic
  • The 18 week maximum target for treatment hasn’t been met for 5 years


Mr Tim Mitchell, Vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England said:

“The NHS had a brutal start to the year because of the second wave of COVID-19 and this is reflected in today’s figures.

“Although the most urgent operations, for cancer and life-threatening conditions, went ahead, hundreds of thousands of patients waiting for routine surgery such as hip and knee operations, cochlear implants and vascular operations had their treatment cancelled or postponed.”

How do I know if I need a hip replacement?

  • You have chronic pain & stiffness
  • Painkillers, injections & physical therapies fail to provide relief
  • Everyday tasks are difficult
  • Your pain is making you depressed and affecting your mental wellbeing
  • Tests reveal advanced arthritis or joint damage
  • Alternative therapies have not helped

What are the alternatives to a hip replacement?

  • Physical therapy such as physiotherapy and exercises
  • Walking aids
  • Cortisone or steroid injections
  • Joint supplements
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Hip resurfacing – the implant is smaller and less normal bone is removed. However, there have been concerns with this type of procedure. 
  • Hip Osteotomy – a procedure to realign the bones of the hip joint.
  • Partial Hip Replacement – although this is generally not a good option for patients with severe hip arthritis.
  • Stem cell therapy – this is a treatment whereby your body’s own healthy cells are used to help repair damaged joint tissue by encouraging regeneration of the surface layer of damaged cartilage. This treatment may not be suitable for all patients and may not provide a long term solution to your hip pain.

What does it feel like when you need a hip replacement?

If you have severe hip pain or stiffness that is not relieved by medication and that makes it difficult to walk or interferes with your work, sleep or daily life, you should consider a hip replacement.

Is a hip replacement a major operation?

Although a hip replacement is a major operation, it has been shown to be safe and have huge benefits and successful outcomes in relieving pain and restoring mobility.  However it should only be considered when other treatments have not helped to improve mobility and reduce pain.

How long will the new hip last?

A modern artificial hip joint is designed to last for at least 15 years. Indeed, new materials, more advanced technical procedures and new knowledge would suggest that this figure will be even longer in the future. A detailed study in The Lancet found that patients and surgeons can expect a hip replacement to last 25 years in around 58% of patients.

Are there things I can’t do after hip replacement surgery?

  • Don’t cross your legs at the knees for 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery
  • Don’t lean forward or try to pick up something from the floor while sitting down
  • Don’t raise your knee higher than your hip
  • When bending down, don’t turn your feet inward or outward too much
  • Don’t bend too much from the waist

Can you wait too long for hip replacement surgery?

The longer you wait, the less effective the surgery will be. As your joint deteriorates, your mobility will decrease, you may put on weight and you may develop cardiovascular problems. The less healthy you are, the worse the surgical outcome tends to be.

When can I resume driving after hip surgery?

It should be safe to return to driving four to six weeks after your hip replacement operation. Ideally, you should be off any pain relief medication and you should be fully fit and be able to control the car and the pedals safely. You should also be able to perform an emergency stop. Ease yourself back into driving by gradually increasing the time spent at the wheel and the journey time.


We are huge fans of the National Health Service and feel privileged to know that it is there for us, no matter what. But Covid has turned the world upside down and placed an ever increasing burden on our beloved NHS.

Could one way to ease this burden be to pay to have private treatment? 

Some people aren’t happy about appearing to “jump the queue” by paying for private treatment. But in doing so, you just might be freeing up a space for someone else.

The private healthcare system never competes with the NHS, rather it complements it and works hand in hand with it.

You may actually be reducing the strain on the NHS freeing it up to deal with emergencies and life saving treatments.

The decision to pay for your own private treatment is a serious one but many people feel that their continuing pain and deteriorating health are worthy of making the investment.

People have described the decision to pay for surgery as “Life changing”, “Opening up a new life” and “Money so well spent.”