What's the difference between an out-patient, a day-patient and an in-patient?

Blog > What’s the difference between an out-patient, a day-patient and an in-patient?

24 April 2018


If you are wishing to make a claim on your CS Healthcare private medical insurance plan and undergo much-needed treatment, you will need to inform us of the type of treatment you require, including whether you will be regarded an out-patient, a day-patient or an in-patient. Read our guide on 'what is private health insurance' to further understand your policy.

Who is classed as an out-patient? 

An out-patient is someone who is referred to a specialist or consultant by their GP, or other healthcare practitioner, for further assessment, diagnosis, treatment or a second opinion.

Out-patient appointments usually take place within the out-patient department of your nearest hospital or in out-patient consulting rooms. When attending your out-patient appointment, you may be seen by a nurse or healthcare assistant before being seen by the appropriate Specialist/Consultant. The consultant or specialist will write a letter to your GP after the appointment with their findings and to outline the next course of action.

All out-patients are so-called because they only stay in hospital for the length of their appointment – usually half-an-hour to an hour.

Who is classed as a day-patient? 

The key difference between a day-patient and an out-patient is that their attendance at their hospital tends to last for a minimum of half a day.

As the name suggests, day-patients aren’t required to stay in hospital overnight, but they may face similar instructions as in-patients in terms of admissions, such as being nil-by-mouth prior to minor surgery. All of these instructions will be made clear within appointment letters and must be followed in order for the procedure to take place.

Who is classed as an in-patient? 

In clinical terms, an in-patient is defined as someone who is admitted to a hospital ward and receives medical care overnight. In-patients include both those arriving for pre-arranged, elective procedures and those admitted to hospital as a medical emergency.

At CS Healthcare, we are committed to protecting the health of our members and we also offer a wide range of health benefits and discount schemes with our member rewards. View our range of products and get a quote today.

GP24 Advice Line

At CS Healthcare, we are always looking at ways to improve the products and services we offer to our members. We understand that accessing GP services quickly and at a time convenient for you can be challenging. This is why we are pleased to announce we are improving the advice line service that is available to all our members.

Open Eligibility

CS Healthcare is pleased to announce an exciting change to its eligibility criteria.

Historically, all new members were considered eligible to join CS Healthcare based on their chosen profession. You had to work in the public sector or be a civil servant to become a member. As of August 2019, this eligibility criteria no longer applies. Now everyone can experience award-winning customer service.

Group Scheme Offering

We offer a plan for employers, giving their employees a choice of different cover options and the option to include their family. Whilst working with us to promote a Group Scheme, you will also benifit from other support we can offer, helping to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace including health checks, leaflets and posters, health related articles, content and e-newletter.

Confused? Take a look at our Jargon Buster

Our Jargon Buster is designed to simplify any complicated terms that you may not be familiar with. Make sure you refer back to it any time you're feeling unsure about a word or meaning as you're browsing the site.