We all know that the NHS is under pressure and general practice in our communities severely stretched, trying to provide care for a growing population with complex needs and a diminishing budget. Does private GP care, as some have said, undermine the NHS and create a disparity in care or does it provide accessibility, convenience and choice for patients which ultimately can take some pressure off the NHS.
Where I live, my local surgery is very good, and you can normally get an emergency appointment on the day following a triage conversation with a doctor.
Many years ago, when I lived in London as a new and unknowing Mother of a tiny baby with a complex kidney problem the situation was very different. I remember feeling terrified as we left the safety of a team of paediatricians at St. Mary’s Paddington where she had been born to return to our home. It’s hard enough navigating the minefield of a new baby, but a baby whose health wasn’t 100% was very stressful for all concerned.
Day three into Motherhood I had a problem. I could not get an appointment with my local GP despite having a new born baby. If I hadn’t had the accessibility to a private GP, I shudder to think what could have happened. Within an hour of my phone call, I had an appointment and the reassurance that my sick baby would be ok. Following this early experience, I joined this private practice. I paid every month for me and my daughter, and later my son. We could sit in that surgery every day if the need arose. In this case it was very much a practice geared to ‘mothers and babies’. The support and care we all had throughout the remaining time we lived in London was second to none.
When I moved to the country from London, I initially felt a vulnerability leaving the security of a private doctor who had become a friend and knew the day to day dynamics of my family. I had the security of knowing that despite living 50 miles from London I could call him with any problems, particularly with my daughter’s kidney issues. Eventually I felt able to build a relationship with my surgery in Kent and cut the umbilical type cord from the wonderful set up I had access to in London.
However, it is very reassuring to me to have come across Dr Alann Fox at Private GP Healthcare in Wy, Kent. I discovered this private GP service when I had my grandson to stay for the first time as a new-born. For no apparent reason, he started running an elevated temperature, so when my own surgery was unable to see him, I panicked. You feel so much more responsible when the child is not your own and this was the first time my daughter had left him with anyone. It didn’t need to go wrong! I randomly Googled ‘private GP’ and at that moment, I would have paid anything to have this distressed baby seen by a doctor. Google came up with the number for Allan Fox. I rang and got his lovely wife Susie, who I had met previously but hadn’t realised her husband was a doctor. Susie reassured me that her husband could see my Grandson that day if I needed him to.
In my opinion having a private GP that offers accessibility and appointment times that fit in with my timetable, is a godsend. The option of seeing a doctor on a Saturday, get an appointment on the same day and most importantly, have the continuity of the same doctor, ticked all my worry boxes.
Surely this type of service must be good for all concerned, and If I am choosing to see a private doctor on my own terms, then someone else is benefiting from me not taking up time from an already stretched GP in my local surgery.
You can contact Dr Allan Fox via the website www.privategphealthcare.com or through the link on my site.