Common Questions

Q How are referrals made?

A Patient referrals are made through the patient's General Practitioner through the contact to the right.

Q How do I get to the Mater Private Hospital in Cork?

A For a location map of Mater Private Cork click here

Q How do I get to the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford?

A For a location map of Whitfield Clinic click here

Q What items should I bring to a consultation?

A You should bring copies (if available) of any relevant x-rays or other medical imaging (MRI CT etc) as hard copies or on CD/DVD. If you are on medications you should bring these or the relevant prescription also.

Q How are fees handled for outpatient consultations?

A Fees for each consultation and reviews are payable on the day you attend. These fees may be reclaimed from VHI, Hibernian Aviva, Quinn Healthcare, etc. Please contact your health insurer for details. Credit/laser cards are accepted.

Q What should I do if I cannot attend an appointment?

A If for any reason you will not be attending for your appointment please contact the relevent clinic at least 48 hours in advance: Cork 021-4305037, Waterford 051-348401

Q What can I expect may happen during a typical consultation?

A The typical consultation follows a common structure which usually includes some or all of the following ….


History of the problem: You will be seen by the consultant and you will be asked about the history of your problem. This involves going over the details of how your problem started and whether any injury or other factors may be involved. Relevant background information will be asked about (ie occupation activities and past hobbies sports or injuries). You will be asked about how the problem has progressed and how it interferes with daily activities. Particular problems with work or sports activity will be asked about. Previous episodes of similar pain or difficulty will be asked about. Any previous treatment relevant to the current problem will be asked about.


Past Medical History: This covers any serious illnesses or operations in the past. Current medications or allergies will be asked about as will smoking or drinking habits. Relevant family history may be enquired about.


Examination: An examination of the affected joint will be performed. This may include examination of relevant other joints or structures which may contribute to the problem. These may also be examined - eg some shoulder pain may originate from the neck which may also need to be assessed.


Other Further Tests or Investigations: Other special tests may be required and will be ordered as appropriate. On the day of the consultation it may be possible to arrange for X-rays to be taken and these are normally reviewed on the same day by the consultant with you. Other tests (blood tests, MRI scans, ultrasound examination or bone scans for example) may need to be booked separately and reviewed at a later date.


Injection Treatment (in Some Cases): Sometimes injection of a joint or area may be done at the consultation. Often this may involve a combination of both local anaesthetic and steroid. The steroid has both anti-inflammatory and a pain relieving effects. The steroid may take a few days to start working and can have a longer effect. A local anaesthetic injection can also be used to help in confirming a diagnosis in some cases.


Treatment Plan: A treatment plan may be formulated after the initial consultation if the diagnosis is reasonably clear and no other tests are needed. This may consist of activity modification and possibly physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatment. In some cases an operation may be indicated to treat the problem. The risks and benefits of the various options will be discussed with the patient. If an operation is needed and there is no urgency to the operation it may be possible to schedule this at a reasonable time in the future.


Patient Questionnaires & Patient Scores: For many conditions there are well established ways of assessing the severity of the symptoms and the degree that the condition may be interfering with lifestyle and function. These methods are known as scoring systems. At the initial consultation or the follow up review consultations you may be asked to fill in a series of simple questions or asked to perform a variety of simple physical tests to monitor your condition and its progress. These tests are important to monitor progress and also give information on the overall success of the various treatments.

Contact Details

Ann O’Connor
(Secretary to Mr G Heffernan)

Mater Private Hospital, Cork
Tel: 021-2067711

Whitfield Clinic, Waterford
Tel: 051-348401

*Disclaimer – This website is intended to be used for information purposes only. The website is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The website is not a substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment by a doctor or competent healthcare professional.