How many private eye surgery clinics are there in London?

London Vision Clinic entrance on Harley Street in London

When searching for a Laser Eye Surgery clinic in London, you’ve probably noticed there are a lot of names you’re not familiar with.

Like many cities, there’s the usual big chains — companies like Optimax and Optical Express that operate and advertise on a national scale — but there are way more names like Advanced Vision Care, Moorfields, and Focus that are completely new to you.

You also can’t help but notice these unfamiliar clinics are all clustered around one area: Harley Street in Marylebone.

Harley Street has been a medical hotbed for decades and is known today as a leading global Laser Eye Surgery hub. With over a dozen private clinics, it boasts more Laser Eye Surgery providers than anywhere else in the UK and a higher standard of treatment than you’re likely to find anywhere else in the world.

It’s these independent clinics that have helped secure Harley Street’s reputation as a centre of medical excellence. So what makes them so special and how are they different to your bog standard high street provider?

The difference between chains and private surgeries

We could go on forever talking about the differences between independents clinics and high street providers — from the technology and treatments to the patient care and results — but in the end, it all comes down to one thing: a dedication to quality over quantity.

The business models of high street clinics are built in such a way that they need to hit quotas and get a certain number of customers through the door just to stay out of the red. This means their whole approach, from their marketing strategy to their aftercare regime, is geared toward hitting those targets. Bargain-basement deals and low-cut offers aren’t going to make you any money if you only get a handful of customers through the door.

As a result, the patient experience takes a back seat. A comprehensive survey by consumer watchdog Which? uncovered the extent of the problem, reporting high street clinics not spending enough with patients, failing to explain treatments properly, and pressuring customers into making decisions.

In this model, any profit the business makes is not spent on improving the experience, technology, and treatments, but on opening more branches and driving more customers through the door.

In private clinics, the one-in-one-out approach is flipped on its head. The focus is not on increasing numbers through the door but providing the best possible treatment and service on an individual level. Such clinics don’t rely on needing to perform thousands of procedures to stay afloat: their prices reflect the actual cost of providing each treatment (that’s why they’re often higher). In the same Which? survey, patients of independent clinics and hospital-based providers reported transparent pricing, clear communication, and high satisfaction with the overall experience.

The independent model sees that profit is directed back into the business and into conducting research, designing new treatments, upgrading to the latest technology, and improving the customer experience.

It’s clear which of these two models lends itself to safe and effective Laser Eye Surgery. But with so many private eye clinics on London’s Harley Street, how do you choose one? A good place to start is with doing a bit of research and finding out a clinic’s results of treating patients with a similar prescription to you.

If you’d like to check out our results or book a consultation, get in touch and speak with one of our Patient Care Coordinators.