Harley Street Guide

One of the best-known street names in London, Harley Street has been renowned since the 1800s for its preponderance of medical and surgical specialists and has become something of a cultural icon for the very best in healthcare. Its clinics and hospitals tackle the gamut of medical issues, from dentistry to sports injuries to cardiology. Importantly it is not part of the NHS and the clinics, hospitals and specialists are all private; consequently any patient must be willing to pay to make use of them.

  • Located in... the City of Westminster
  • Named for... George Harley, a famed nineteenth-century Scottish physician
  • Employs... over 3000 people in its clinics, practices and hospitals

Procedures at Harley Street

Known ‘worldwide’ to deliver ‘the best in healthcare’, a comprehensive range of procedures is available. As one of the foremost medical centres in the world, Harley Street and its clinics are equipped with much of the latest technology, equipment and knowledge – all thoroughly tested, however! The high level of specialisation extends to the typically holistic orthopaedic surgeons. Those employed at a Harley Street establishment focus on a particular region of the body, such as the knee or the hip and problems that can arise with these joints, such as arthritis. This rigorous expertise is a particular draw of the area.

Harley Street is certainly up to date with the pressures and issues of modern life. Procedures are offered for IVF, to counter obesity and to support individuals suffering from problems with memory. There are also specialised clinics for addiction and well-lauded cosmetic procedures. George Harley himself wrote an award-winning treatise on the stomach and digestive system so it is appropriate that gastroenterology (the medical field dealing with digestive diseases) is a Harley Street specialty.

Emergency treatment is however still the responsibility of the NHS, due primarily to a general lack of interest in private emergency treatment services. Nonetheless a survey conducted by MORI (Market & Opinion Research International) reveals that an increasing fraction of London commuters would prefer such services to be available on a private basis. Some Harley Street practitioners have begun to offer on-demand urgent services for private patients, which do not require an appointment, and this trend is likely to continue.

Doctors at Harley Street

The patient has the choice of specialist they wish to see. Although each of the doctors and experts are registered on the General Medical Council (GMC)’s List of Registered Medical Practitioners, Harley Street establishments nonetheless exhort the patient to check the specialist of their choice against this record. Although typically a patient will seek a specialist for a specific procedure, there are also private GPs in operation on Harley Street. These can be accessed quickly if necessary. Furthermore there are specialised psychologists and paediatricians who endeavour, with considerable success, to support and aid their patients through difficult and testing emotional situations. Confidentiality and understanding are of course some of the main tenets to which all Harley Street employees must adhere.

Why is Harley Street Famous? »