My NHS treatment has been superb - no complaints. The frills around the side have all worked nicely too - Macmillan nurses, holistic needs analysis (HNA), ED clinics, etc. My GP is also superb. Both my GP and my consultant have allowed me to take control of my treatment, but that's because I put in the effort to become an expert patient, something of which they fully supported (although not all consultants/GPs do).
I am worried for the future though.
I counsel men with PCa, and I'm aware not everyone gets such good treatment. Learning about your disease does seem to help considerably, but postcode lottery comes in to it too. Some people never even get to see their consultant other than whilst anesthetised.
I've counseled a few men who've gone privately, and that can go very wrong. My GP stopped me going privately when he first referred me - I didn't understand why at the time, but I do now. There are two main problems - there's often no MDT (multi-disciplinary team) involved, and that means there's an important level of checks and oversight missing from the consultant's decisions (MDT working is mandatory in the NHS), and secondly, there's often no supplementary services such as access to a CNS/Macmillan nurse, ED clinic, counseling, etc. This is certainly not always the case with private practice - I know a CNS who works in private practice, and NHS hospitals with private wings do sometimes process private patients through their MDT. The cases I've seen which have gone wrong have all been those who went to a urologist, and ended up with them doing a prostatectomy (RP), which quickly failed. When I look back at their diagnosis, I think why the hell did you go for a RP, which was so unlikely to work? Then on further probing, I find it was done privately with no MDT. Then, when it goes wrong, they've got no CNS or team to go back to for what to do next.
Of course, I'm sure much private treatment goes fine - I am unlikely to see those patients. As an NHS patient, you can (now) go and have any private diagnostic tests and treatments you like, without losing the NHS connection. (10+ years ago, that wasn't the case - the NHS would usually drop you once you had any private procedures, but it's now required to cooperate with any private procedures the patient undertakes, sharing test results, etc.)