A two tier primary care (General Practice) service is evolving, like in Dentistry, by neglect…

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…

Caroline Price looks at “How private GP services are expanding” in Pulse 26th October. Caroline Price looks at the companies at the sharp end of the GP privatisation drive

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.26836_1nov2016_nhs-appointments_3x2

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.

Joe Davis reported 6th May 2014: Private hospital to charge patients £95 for GP appointment 

How private hospitals are expanding…while others contract (Pulse 27th October) Making the most of the plight of the health services..

Caroline Price 26th October also reports: Private company expands ‘GPs to your door’ service

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.

Caroline Price also reports: Private companies see profits double while NHS waiting lists increase

On 20th October the dissuance and unreality of Mr Hunt was revealed “Health secretary announces ‘one-stop’ plan to revolutionise role of GPs

…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….

Caroline also reports that “Trusts earn millions through private work while some face remedial action”

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……….

Five million children failed to see a dentist in past year..

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, NHS managers, Post Code Lottery, Rationing, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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