It may be a year or two away from the deprived areas of Wales and the North East, but In the cities there are enough citizens to make private GP services, attractive. Patients appreciate smaller practices and personal continuing care, and they do not like to wait for appointments when they are ill. Mr Hunt is encouraging a move in the opposite direction… A two tier service is evolving by neglect. It would be so much better to evolve by design and planning…
The private sector is increasingly looking to expand its offering in primary care as the pressures on GPs increase.
Several new private GP services – mainly using smartphone apps or online consultations – have sprung up in the past year, offering rapid, convenient appointments for people who do not want the hassle of booking an appointment at their GP practice.
The companies, often headed up by GPs themselves, are even being employed by some practices to reduce waiting times and relieve pressure.
The private providers claim they are helping drive down waiting times – and that there wouldn’t be any demand for them if it weren’t for the lengthening waits for appointments in NHS general practice.
A Pulse survey earlier this year found that the average waiting time for an appointment had increased to almost two weeks.
A private GP service that delivers a ‘GP to your door’ for £120 has launched in Birmingham after proving popular in London.
GP Delivered Quick says it is the first of the new online app GP services to offer on-demand home GP visits.
North London GP Dr Anshumen Bhagat set up the service and is already employing around 40 GPs who cover most of central London, where he said it had proved ‘a great success’.
The company is starting with 20 GPs in Birmingham but plans to take on more doctors as it grows the business….. …A Pulse survey earlier this year found that the average waiting time for an appointment had increased to almost two weeks.
Among the new providers taking advantage of the access problems within general practice is Doctaly, which is preparing to expand its ‘Uber-style’ GP service nationwide, after a successful pilot in two north London boroughs.
Nigel Priaties opines on “What do GPs owe the NHS?” and compares the threat of tethering to the armed forces contracts…. There is a real risk that ties between the profession and the public sphere are being irrevocably eroded and that the health service has taken its GP workforce for granted for too long.
…The news comes as NHS England is in the process of developing a new voluntary GP contract for large-scale multidisciplinary GP practices with 30,000 or more patients, which aims for practices to employ a wider range of healthcare staff….
NHS trusts saw a 14% increase in income from private patients between 2012/13 to 2015/16, with many making millions more, a Pulse investigation has revealed.
A freedom of information request answered by 54 NHS trusts revealed that some trusts increased their income from private work by a third while being in remedial action over missed waiting time targets.
DH figures showed that trusts earned £558m in 2015/16 – an increase of 14% from 2012/13 figures……….