Gransnet forums


Private GPS, have you used one?

(26 Posts)
PamelaJ1 Tue 09-May-23 13:49:26

If so was it really expensive, how long were you given for your appointment and can they refer you to a hospital consultant ?
I’ve used private medical care a couple of times but that was to see a specialist and then I had the choice of continuing to pay or to go back to the NHS with a bit more knowledge than I had before.

TillyTrotter Tue 09-May-23 13:56:50

but I used a private prescription service when a HRT drug I take was scarce and it cost 4 times what 1 NHS prescription item is (for those who pay).

Sparklefizz Tue 09-May-23 14:36:18

My daughter's partner used a private GP when he had a terrible cough and couldn't even get through to the NHS surgery on the phone.

He was diagnosed via a video call and my daughter picked up some antibiotics for him later the same day. Admittedly he was not sent for a chest X-ray. I think it cost him about £50 for the consultation, but I'm not sure.

Doodledog Tue 09-May-23 14:40:27

How do they work? Do they have access to your notes, and would they refer you back to your own GP, or do you have to sign off from your existing surgery and register with the private one? Can they refer you for NHS tests and treatment?

jude2006 Tue 09-May-23 16:49:02

We are fortunate to have BUPA Health Insurance with DH work.
With BUPA you are allowed to use a service called Babylon which is run by GP's. Its absolutely fantastic, and you can get an appointment with a GP or Nurse Practitioner to suit yourself, and usually the same day.
If needed they can refer you on to a hospital consultant, and issue a prescription, which you can then take to a local chemist.
I have recently had a dermatology consultation and had to go along to the nearby private clinic, and was issued with a private prescription for antibiotics and also a cream. The cost wasn't that bad at about £25, when you consider the cost of an NHS item on prescription . This all took place within 10days, fantastic service, when you consider the NHS waiting lists.
I think Sparklefizz is right about the cost to see a private GP online, and yes Doodledog they do contact your own GP to let them know what they have done.
I hope this helps, we only have access to this service for a few more months as my DH is soon to retire, and so he will lose his Private Health Care. I dread the loss of this facility when I hear how everyone else is struggling so much .

vegansrock Tue 09-May-23 18:30:14

You don’t have to sign up to a private GP, you just make an appointment. I went to one once, as I was worried that I had a throat infection and may need antibiotics. It was just before I was due to travel and wanted someone to look at it rather than a phone call. It cost £65 , plus you have to pay for prescriptions. I also had a private consultation with a consultant a couple of years ago, as I didn’t want to wait for months, it cost £350. They do write a report to your GP.

PamelaJ1 Tue 09-May-23 20:19:45

There do seem to be a few of them popping up, there’s quite a big one near my mum, I wonder if this the way we are going?
It’s a bit scary, I think if it gains momentum we will end up with a two tier system, GP’s will be leaving NHS practices in droves and those that can’t possibly afford the fees will face an even more difficult time getting appointments.
I understand why some pay for specialists, I’ve done it myself because my GP was reluctant to refer me to a consultant, but I think that the first stage of care should be available to all whatever their bank balances.

Sparklefizz Wed 10-May-23 09:37:01

My doctors' practice used a private service called Push Doctor for a while to take up the load of patients desperate for help.

The surgery sent me a code by text and I had to log onto Push Doctor, type in the code and fill in my basic personal details. Up flashed a choice of appointments that very morning, so I booked a video call. The doctor was clearly working from home (personal photos and doors to garden in background). She was nice, gave me about 20 minutes and referred me to an NHS dermatologist so she must have had access to my notes.

I didn't have to pay anything so my surgery must have picked up the bill. It was a very efficient service but maybe it was expensive because the surgery haven't offered it since and it's not possible to access it direct without a new code.... although maybe I could if I paid upfront. I will have to log on and see what comes up.

Sparklefizz Wed 10-May-23 09:42:31

Just looked at the Push Doctor website that I mentioned above. For £45 anyone can have a private appointment and they will send a report to your surgery.

Farzanah Wed 10-May-23 09:52:53

PamelaJ We already have a two tier service, and those that can afford to pay are using it. Quite a few GPs in my area have left general practice and are now working solely at the local Nuffield.

I also know a few people who have paid for knee and hip surgery to avoid the long waits, and this can cost upward from £16.000. GP private appt here is over £100.

Isn’t this what the government wants? Come the next election, anything left of the NHS will be the non glamorous sections treating chronic illness or elderly care. The more lucrative contracts will have been “sold” off in a “fire sale”. This will ensure that the new government will inherit a non recoverable decimated Health Service. (Similar to dentistry)

PernillaVanilla Wed 10-May-23 10:09:27

I have been seeing a private GP recently as I have high blood pressure and my NHS GP refused to tell me why she was suggesting a particular medication and would not discuss other ways to bring it down. I have had a face to face appointment of 30 minutes (£120) and two 15 minute phone calls which are £60. She is helping me use weight loss, exercise and giving up alcohol and caffeine alongside medication to reduce dosage. I feel we have the time to properly discuss the issues and I don’t feel hurried and stressed. I will be getting repeat prescriptions via NHS and will go back to see private GP later in the year.

PamelaJ1 Thu 11-May-23 06:54:22

Farzanah I do know that already and those of us that can afford it do so. That’s usually for the step after the initial GP visit.
There is already such a shortage of GPS that I imagine that a huge section of the country will be very disadvantaged.
Pernilla has just posted that it cost her £180. Once the NHS services have lost even more of the Drs the price will rocket.
Those of you who have animals have probably seen a huge rise in costs since the big companies have decimated the small individual vets.
I may be being pessimistic, I hope so.

Daisymae Thu 11-May-23 08:16:00

I did look up a local one over the weekend but haven't used it yet. One thing I would say is that calling 111 has proved useful. They seem to come into their own out of hours. They expect you to get help from your GP in normal business hours which is very difficult for our surgery as some staff are actually obstructive. Just depends who abseers

Daisymae Thu 11-May-23 08:16:30

Who answers the phone. I was trying to say!

Baggs Thu 11-May-23 08:54:35

I have used a GPS (Global Positioning System) but not a private GP 😉

LRavenscroft Thu 11-May-23 09:09:15

Just changing the subject slightly. Does the NHS operate in the Isle of Man and, if not, how does their health system work? Is it private?

glammanana Thu 11-May-23 12:43:25

I would always pay privately to see a Specialist for purposes of a scan or xrays as I did many years ago when I was having stomach problems the scan was available on NHS but the appointment was 6 weeks ahead so I opted for private which saved my life the scan showed two massive ovarian cysts which if left for the 6 week scan would have ruptured and cost me my life,the Surgeon who did the scan on a Saturday morning moved me straight away to top of NHS list and operated on the Monday I had 5 years of follow up appointments and have been clear of cancer for 30+ years.I would have not made the 6 week appointment with NHS my surgeon said it would have leaked and killed me by the time the scan was due.Best £350 I have ever spent in my life.

growstuff Fri 12-May-23 15:19:50

Great for you glammanana, but what about the people who don't have £350? And what about the people who were already on the list, who had already been waiting weeks?

growstuff Fri 12-May-23 15:24:55

As people have said on the thread, it is possible to pay for one-off consultations with private GPs.

However, there are some private GP chains which operate differently. They insist that people who sign up with them stop seeing their regular GP and use only their services. They then claim the fees from the NHS in the same way that GPs do on a cost per patient basis.

The catch is that they won't accept patients with chronic conditions. These are the ones who take up most GP time and cost more. Usually GP practices balance out these patients with those who don't see a GP for years. So these private GP practices are treating the cheap patients and leaving NHS GPs with the expensive ones.

Lollin Fri 12-May-23 18:46:05

I used one about 10 years ago after many months of getting absolutely nowhere with a specific problem. It was sorted that day and cost £150

Fleurpepper Fri 12-May-23 19:00:12

Glammananna 'so I opted for private which saved my life the scan showed two massive ovarian cysts which if left for the 6 week scan would have ruptured and cost me my life,the Surgeon who did the scan on a Saturday morning moved me straight away to top of NHS list and operated on the Monday '

I truly can't blame you, really.

But think about it ...

Forsythia Fri 12-May-23 19:07:26

I used one several years ago. Had an X-ray the same day and treatment prescribed. It was money well spent for peace of mind.

Fleurpepper Fri 12-May-23 19:26:48

One of the issues with private GPs, they do far too many X-rays, and over prescribe, without knowing full history and other drug treatment (and patients often do do remember, or don't say).

Foxygloves Fri 12-May-23 22:04:19


One of the issues with private GPs, they do far too many X-rays, and over prescribe, without knowing full history and other drug treatment (and patients often do do remember, or don't say).

How do you know that?
Glamma clearly has good reason to be glad of the prompt diagnosis she received.

PamelaJ1 Sat 13-May-23 09:19:10

Did you see a consultant or a private GP?
I think that quite a few of us have found the money to see a consultant if we are very worried and the NHS seems to be taking forever
That’s not quite the same as a private GP.