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Private GPs - I want to shake my NHS one until his teeth rattle

(13 Posts)
bran Mon 07-Mar-05 22:06:50

I'm not very au fait with the British health care system (despite having lived here for over a decade ). Is it possible to have a private GP? I'm with a completely rubbish practice at the moment, the only one that was taking patients when I moved to the area. I've been trying to get into a good one closer to where I live for about 2 years now, with no luck. I've even tried complaining to my local health authority, but no joy.

Now dh's and my adoption medicals are due to be redone, and the practice is simply refusing to do them. Apparently they won't do it during surgery hours, so the GP has to phone me to make an appointment at his convenience, and he just hasn't phoned. The situation is getting very desperate, so I'm also trying to get a copy of our notes so that at least I can see if the BUPA GP service at Canary Wharf will do it, but they're being obstructive about that too. First of all they said they didn't give copies of notes, then when I pointed out that it was my right under the freedom of information act I was told I would have to talk to the secretary, who is never there, and doesn't answer her phone when she is.

If it is possible to have a private GP, how do I find one and are there any negatives about going private (apart from cost of course).

mammya Mon 07-Mar-05 22:11:15

Sorry no idea but I sympathise... hope you get some better advice!

Laylasmum Mon 07-Mar-05 22:33:27

yes it is possible to have a private GP i've sometimes come across them doing google search for other private medical stuff, but they are absolutely extortionate for even general services. the GP doesn't have to give you full reign access to your notes though. They are still under the access to medical records act you have to apply to read them, pay for copies and normally the practice manager will want you to be specific about dates/consultations etc..i really don't know wether a private GP could do anymore except do your medicals again from scratch?

Jimjams Mon 07-Mar-05 22:47:12

Yes you can have a private GP. I know a couple of people who do. I know of some in Surrey if you are anywhere neaer there.

Flossam Mon 07-Mar-05 22:52:35

Have a look at this here, Bran as the surgery is wrong about not being able to change

bran Tue 08-Mar-05 10:37:35

Thanks Flossam, it's not that my current surgery won't let me leave, but all the other surgeries (and especially the one I want) are full and aren't accepting new patients.

Laylasmum, the medical has to be done from scratch every 2 years anyway and at least a private GP would do it, even if I have to pay, whereas my NHS GP just won't do it and obviously we can't be considered for a child if we don't have medical clearance.

binkie Tue 08-Mar-05 10:48:13

bran, we use a private GP - central London - since you mentioned Canary Wharf I'm presuming you're in/near London. I'll send you a CAT

expatkat Tue 08-Mar-05 10:50:57

Bran are you in London (hence reference to Canary Wharf)? If you're looking for not any old private GP but a fantastic one, my friend raves about one she has in the Sloane Sq area. I used to have a private GP in the Harley St area when I first moved here & didn't know how to get an NHS one, and though he's perfectly fine, my friend's GP sounds better. CAT me if you want further info. I'm lucky in that I have the most fantastic possible NHS GP, and I really feel down when other people tell me they have cr*p ones. Do you have BUPA or other forms of insurance? The cost should be OK if you do.

irishbird Tue 08-Mar-05 11:16:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Tue 08-Mar-05 13:18:44

Thanks everyone - my social worker is going to have a chat with the practice manager (if she can get through, the phone's usually engaged) which might turn out to be the quickest solution in the short-term. I finally managed to talk to the practice manager's assistant who agreed that I could have a copy of my records, but she wasn't sure how long it would take.

Thanks for the offer Expatkat, I may come back to you if I can't find someone closer to home, but I live in East London, near Canary Wharf so Sloane Square is quite a hike away and I wouldn't be too keen to travel that distance with a sick child, or if I were sick myself. Although I suppose the dr could come to me, but I would feel bad about calling him/her out unless I were practically unable to walk as it would use up hours of his/her time to get to and from Slone Square.

Binkie, I haven't had your CAT yet, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks.

Keeping my fingers crossed that we manage to get something sorted out.

bran Tue 08-Mar-05 17:23:45

I got your CAT, thanks Binkie. Again, a little distant from me in East London, but definitely worth considering.

BigGayDad Wed 09-Mar-05 23:37:32

The local practice can only not take you if it has got a closed list. If it hasn't got a closed list it should take patients or give you a reason in writing why it shouldn't.

If you are having problems with the practice contact your local Primary Care Trust. They will have a PALs person Patient Advisory and Liaison Service (or something like that). There job is to work wih you on issues like this. I would suggest that if you are still having problems with the practice you can put in a formal complaint. This would flag up a problem with the practice. Under the new GP contract there are appraisal and monitoring systems for GPs, this would be fed into that process.

In my experience PALS coordinators are very good at solving issues like this as as soon as they get involved practices take things more seriously. At least that is what we have found at my PCT.

Post again if things are still shitty

bran Fri 11-Mar-05 15:07:57

Thanks all - it all worked out in the end. My social worker sent them a fax explaining what had happened, and I spoke to a very sympathetic assistant practice manager and she managed to persuade one of the locums at the practice to come in on his day off and do the medical assessment. (It was very kind of him, but also I think £150 for an hour's work was quite welcome as he wasn't that long out of medical school.) It was a huge relief as the earliest the gp could have done it was the week of 4th April.

The local surgery has had it's lists closed since I moved to my current address BGD, and I've been in touch with PALS who have said that my surgery has improved greatly recently (it may be true, as this is the first time I've been in contact with them since my last medical assessment 2 years ago), and that they can't force my chosen surgery to take me. I think that the whole GP system is under terrible pressure as the area's population is just exploding at the moment. I have requested a copy of my notes, so at least in the future I can go to BUPA if I need to.

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