Skip to Content
Vitality Logo
Tuesday 18 October 2016

VitalityHealth to change the open referral model with the launch of Consultant Select

VitalityHealth is introducing Consultant Select, a new open referral pathway that not only offers enhanced customer value, but also avoids the negative perceptions associated with reduced customer choice.

Since its introduction to the PMI market, open referral has become widely accepted among advisers and clients, and yet it is still an approach that divides opinion.

The new Consultant Select model comprises an independent medical panel comprised of a multidisciplinary team of consultants who are nominated by their peers, by asking the question of consultants, “who would you refer your family members too?” The panel will uphold a set of principles for Vitality members that is encapsulated in the ‘Vitality Patient Charter’.

A key differentiator of Consultant Select is that the consultant is chosen based on quality, value and independent peer review, rather than the charging behaviour of the consultant. 

Through the introduction of the new Vitality Patient Charter, patients will be empowered by having the peace of mind of a number of safeguards, including the opportunity to change consultant should they wish, as well as an escalation process around the clinical care they receive. This is all to ensure that the standard of care members receive meets their expectations. Importantly, the cost efficiency of this new approach will be passed through to Vitality members, with a cost entry point around 10% lower relative to the current Country-Wide hospital list

Dr Keith Klintworth, Deputy CEO, VitalityHealth, comments: “Our intermediary partners have been asking us how we can expand Vitality GP Select and incorporate open referral pathways into all of our products. This formed the basis for why we have launched Consultant Select.

“We’ve seen that there is certainly a place in the market for this type of directional pathway for patient care, but we also strongly believed that this didn’t have to compromise member experience and wanted to ensure the selection of consultant was based on quality of outcome and appropriateness rather than cost.

“We are confident that the benefits will be felt keenly by members. Through basing the choice of consultant on the data and experience we have built up over the years, we believe that we can actually deliver higher quality care, at a more affordable price.”

Consultant Select is the expansion of Vitality GP Select, (a new way to access private healthcare), either using our video based Vitality GP service where a Vitality GP can diagnose and refer members for any further treatment, or via access to your NHS GP but ensuring that any onward consultant referral is on an unnamed basis (open-referral) into our Consultant Select panel.


Notes to editors

About the Vitality Patient Charter
The Charter provides the following rights to Vitality members, namely:
  1. You will have the assurance that the most appropriate consultant is selected by the panel to manage your presenting condition.
  2. You will have peace of mind that the chosen consultant has been quality assured through a consultant peer review process.
  3. You will have the right to switch to an alternate panel approved consultant if dissatisfied with the original nominated consultant, without negatively impacting benefit limits.
  4. You will not experience any shortfalls on fees from the consultant (subject to your benefits limits).
  5. You will have our commitment to support you in escalating any serious clinical concerns to the panel that may arise during your treatment.

About Vitality – changing health and life insurance for good
Vitality is the insurance business that helps people understand how they can improve their own personal health. Vitality makes it cheaper and easier for its members to get healthy and gives them rewards to keep them motivated, through a range of discounts and incentives. 

Vitality Ambassadors Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jonny Wilkinson and Joe Root are role models who embody the values of Vitality. They are all using their passion for living a healthy lifestyle to motivate others to make positive changes. Taking small steps today can dramatically improve wellbeing over the long-term, regardless of your current state of health.

VitalityHealth is one of the UK’s leading private medical insurers and has pioneered the ‘shared-value’ insurance model. This is a unique approach to insurance that uses incentives to motivate better lifestyle choices among members, which translates into lower mortality and morbidity risk over time. The effect is positive for all stakeholders – members benefit through the financial and intrinsic value of rewards, as well as better health; employers benefit from healthier, more productive, and more engaged employees; and Vitality benefits from a healthier membership base. For more information visit