Get an instant GP appointment
Having private medical insurance provides peace of mind - as you can be assured of speedy access to health specialists, right? Well, this isn't always the case, as according to a new survey you might soon have to wait up to three weeks to see your GP in order to get a referral.
A recent GP patients' survey shows that waiting times at GP surgeries are only set to get worse as a shortage of GPs and fall in recruitment means there isn't enough doctors to see patients quickly.
Most medical insurance policies require a GP referral to see a specialist. Thankfully, there is another way to get one quickly. You can book an appointment to see a private GP. Dr Drashnika Patel, one of a team of GPs at private day clinics on Harley Street, explains that, ‘Patients don’t need to be registered, they can just call to book an appointment.’
Same day appointment with a doctor
When it comes to concerns about your health, being able to get an appointment with a trusted doctor the same day is important. CD247 on Harley Street offer a 24/7 service – with appointments available at the clinic from 8.30am until 8pm at night.
After 8pm a concierge doctor service looks after patients. A doctor will assess your health concerns on the phone, and either come straight to you or give appropriate advice for you or your child.
GP waiting times getting longer
The latest GP patients’ survey, has prompted the Royal College of General Practitioners, to warn that waiting times for GP appointments are set to get even longer, especially in areas of high-demand such as central London, because of a shortage of family doctors.
Currently, you can expect to have to wait an average of about 13 days to see your doctor, with the time having jumped by three days since 2015.
This is only set to get worse over the next year predicts doctors magazine Pulse, as the shortage of GPs is compounded by a lack of recruitment.
Private GPs can spend more time
When you do get to see an NHS GP, you can feel that you’re rushed in and out, in some cases in even less than your allotted 10 minutes. But with private doctors you’re able to explore problems with an initial half-hour slot.
Dr Debbie Street, one of the GPs on Harley Street says, ‘I love the fact that I have half an hour to spend with my patients. When I see a them, I know I can give a really good service.’ This can then be followed up with more cost-effective 15 minute appointments.
In need of a referral to a specialist?
Harley Street is also home to some of the UK's leading medical consultants. When you need your private GP to give you a referral, you have the option of choosing any doctor at any hospital or clinic. However, having such expertise close to hand at this intergrated clinic makes for smooth, easy treatment.
Areas of expertise include:
- Gynaecology, covering day-clinic procedures to managing menopause
- Rheumatology, including state-of-the-art bone density scanning
- Dermatologists all skin complaints
- Aesthetics and plastic surgery
The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods ceaseFull medical glossary