Frequently asked questions
Is the service directed mainly at patients?
Patients approach us directly, but we are also contacted by others close to the patient. This could be a friend, relative, neighbour, or colleague. Our Medical Navigators are there for anyone needing support.
Is the service confidential?
Yes. One of our core values is confidentiality. Any information you provide will be handled with the strictest of confidence.
Should I use Holding Your Hand before I have a diagnosis?
Yes. We specialise in helping those needing support when reaching a diagnosis (also termed as the pre/peri-diagnostic period). We do this by giving practical advice, questions to ask, literature to read, research of novel treatments and options available, and generally help look for creative solutions and new technologies available for you.
I have a health problem that is on-going. Is this service for me?
Yes. Though the bulk of our clients are those receiving a new diagnosis and undergoing treatment for the first time, we also seek to empower those looking to explore a chronic condition, as quite often the question is whether new technologies or treatments have become available.
Do you give medical advice?
No. We are not a service designed to replace health care professionals and their expertise. We facilitate and enhance the appointments you have with a healthcare professional We can provide background medical information taken from reliable sources, but this is to be considered complementary to any advice provided by a healthcare professional.
How can I be sure your navigation is impartial?
We work very hard to provide an unbiased impartial service. We do not partner with any providers where we would be at risk of any conflict of interest. We always put the patient in the centre of discussion and navigate carefully based on the best options for that individual. We have a dedicated support team of scientists, researchers and clinicians who compile the education packs and check the quality of the resources in place.
Do I have to give you the patient’s details?
No. We can provide most of our services without knowing any identifying personal information. Occasionally for second opinions some clients will give us their residential details to help find appropriate specialists in the area or who require our administration services to help chase results and book appointments.
Can other members of my family contact you about the same issue?
Yes, and this is something we encourage. We work towards the principle of patient education and empowerment through supporting carers. Patients look to their carers and relatives for support in decision-making, and therefore integration of care and informed choice is an important part of our coaching process.
What are Medical Navigators?
This is the name we give to our patient advocates who you interact with when you speak with us.
How are Medical Navigators qualified?
Following an interview and entry exam, a series of lectures, role plays, and reading material are presented to all navigation trainees, and a final exam needs to have been successfully completed in order to complete the Holding Your Hand training program.
Does it matter that I am not seeking medical support privately or using a health insurer?
No. We focus on patient-centred care. Whichever health system is in use, the patient centred care approach is the same: acquisition of knowledge, broad spectrum of understanding, focused learning, sensitivity to specific situations, respect for the informed choices made by the patient. We are passionate about every patient having the right to maintain control and choice over their own health journey, no matter which system that is in. We support you in achieving that.
How much does it cost?
We work hard to make our service available to everyone and to that end keep our price to an achievable minimum. Specific cost varies depending on the client’s requirements, but starts from just £25. We will always be transparent and upfront about how much we charge for services.
Should I call you in a medical emergency?
No. For all medical emergencies call 999 (or local equivalent if outside UK). Always call an ambulance or go straight to your emergency department before seeking any extra support in a medical emergency. Once you have the patient settled and have spoken to your doctors then you may wish to seek the additional navigational support that Holding Your Hand provides.
Can you help me file a complaint against a health care provider or its staff?
No. We have a strict policy and are not a medico-legal service, and therefore do not engage with clients looking to take legal action.
What are your opening hours?
We operate during standard UK business hours; however there is some flexibility to work with clients outside of these times.