The Rise of Private General Practice

Private general practice has been available for many years but only over the last 10 years has there been a significant demand for it. Historically only the very wealthy were able to afford this but now, private general practice has been made more affordable and accessible to those who wish to choose this service.

Over the last 10 to 15 years NHS general practice has struggled immensely to keep pace with the demands and expectations of patients in the UK. Unfortunately, patient satisfaction with it has sunk to a low level, mainly due to delays in getting an appointment and then further delays in accessing tests and specialist care. This has mainly been due to under funding from successive governments, but also due to a rise in the number of patients in the UK due to immigration and general population growth.

Research has shown that people are living for longer and therefore will need medical care for longer and this further impacts a health care system. The number of GPs in the UK is overall still not keeping pace with the demand for their service.

This is in part due to doctors not wishing to train to become GPs but also the existing workforce choosing to retire early or to leave the country to work elsewhere due to better working conditions. Patients are looking for a more flexible service which they can access at times of the day suitable 
to their work and leisure commitments.

They also are looking for continuity of care, especially with regard to long-term conditions. Most patients would like to have an appointment for between 20 and 30 minutes rather than the usual 10 minutes that is offered in NHS practices.

They also would like to see a GP who is not feeling rushed and will not rush the patient. This allows for a relaxed and stress free consultation in order to discuss the patients problems and come to a satisfactory outcome. If the patient chooses these appointments can be face to face or virtual depending on the need.

Private general practice can offer fast, reliable tests and investigations and can also refer to specialists if need be. Usually patients will be seen by the same GP for follow-up visits if those are needed. Appointments can usually be booked for the same or next day.

For further information about our new Private GP Service, please contact our Private Patient Team on 01462 427227.