Private GP but NHS for other services? — Scope | Disability forum
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Private GP but NHS for other services?

66Mustang
66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
edited September 2023 in Mental health and wellbeing
Is it permitted for an individual to have a private GP who deals with general health matters, blood tests, prescriptions and such, but be referred by this private GP to NHS services for more complex matters?

My worry is that there is some sort of conflict of interest i.e. a private GP can only refer to other private services and an NHS GP can only refer to other NHS services.

Thanks.

Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,807 Scope online community team
    Taken from a private practitioners website;  A private fully registered GP (general practitioner) can see you and provide ‘pre-referral’ services to assess your needs. Then, if necessary, they can refer you to the NHS for further diagnosis, tests, treatment or surgery.

    Hope that helps! 
    Albus (he/him)

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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
    @Albus_Scope

    Thank you, am I able to send you a private message? I have a more specific follow up question as I want to clarify something but don't want to post it on the public page?

    Thanks
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,807 Scope online community team
    @66Mustang to be honest, I'm not sure if I'll be able to answer as I just googled that before haha. 
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh OK, thanks though!!
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,807 Scope online community team
    Sorry I can't be of more help!  Do you already have a private GP? 
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
    It's difficult to explain - I wrote out my next question preemptively but here is a shortened version that I am happy to post! :D 

    My GP surgery is currently being managed by some sort of emergency administration team until someone can be found to take over the surgery. It was being managed very poorly which caused all of the old doctors (who were the partners) to quit and the surgery had to call in this management company.

    I don’t currently know who my GP is, that’s if I even have one at all. My GP is currently listed as my nice old doctor who retired in 2019. It’s impossible to get appointments or any other sort of service.

    I would like to find a nice private family doctor, a bit like my old NHS GP, who would manage my general health. I can afford this, but I don’t want to, and can’t afford to, “go private” when it comes to everything else, like the mental health team I am under (who are very good).

    I also need to be re-referred to a specialist clinic which I have been under in the past. My old NHS GP was very supportive with this but the new surgery is being difficult and I am not sure if I will be able to be referred.

    A GP has to be on board with this referral because they are required to agree to carry out regular blood tests and monitor things like medication - it is a non-binding agreement but nevertheless it is down to their discretion whether they want to refer me or not.

    From what you say I am guessing I could get a private GP to refer me, and take on this responsibility, but it would then be up to me to pay for the aforementioned blood tests and any prescribed medication?

    Sorry for waffling on and thanks if anyone can help!

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 2,807 Scope online community team
    Ok I getcha @66Mustang!  I'll pop this post in a different section of the community so more people in the know will see it. 

      This is unfortunately a story you'll hear all over the UK now, the practice I joined two years back is losing many of the GPs as they're all going to private practices.  Are you able to message the practice online to get any information on who is able to help you? 
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
    @Albus_Scope

    Yeah I think I will spend the weekend sending a few emails off

    Thanks
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,852 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @66Mustang - if you don't get anywhere with your emails (I presume to your GP's surgery), then if one GP refuses to do a referral, you can ask for a 2nd opinion, & there shouldn't be a problem in this being put in front of another GP. 
    It may seem a bit back to front, but something I've done in the past, if you have the contact details of the specialist clinic you've been under, & the consultant there, then email the consultant asking if they would see you again. Hopefully with a positive reply, altho they'll certainly say, so long as your GP refers you, this might 'disarm' an opposing GP.
    As far as private healthcare goes, this needs to be completely separate from the NHS, so if you go down this route I believe that a private GP can only issue private prescriptions, not NHS ones, but as the link Albus gave says, you can be referred back to the NHS for diagnostic tests, etc. In other words a referral from a private GP is just the same as that from a NHS GP. A possibility, but you might pay a private GP who may not then provide the referral you wish.
    IMHO you need to get across your wishes to your current GP practice.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you @chiarieds that is very helpful and I appreciate your opinion as well.

    I have a support worker who is very good and has offered to write me a supporting letter as well, so that may come in handy.

    I'll update the thread with how I get on. :)
  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 2,285 Scope online community team
    There is also a route to go through private specialists and still get the medication on the NHS. A Shared Care agreement, though each GP has their own policy on this and it can be a minefield. Especially depending on the condition. For instance I went private for my ADHD diagnosis, there was a 3 year waiting list in my area. Me and my partner researched the most reputable clinic we could find, not the cheapest. This was even before the panorama "documentary" that came out about unprofessional private clinics diagnosing poorly. I had 1 GP refuse to consider my diagnosis, I was luckier with my 2nd GP after I moved to a different area. After the incident with the first GP I also sent my diagnosis report to my Trusts ADHD clinic and they affirmed the diagnosis so it put me more at rest. I was then able to go through titration and shared care.

    But after the panorama "documentary" I heard many stories of people who had been on ADHD medication for years suddenly having them removed because the GP all of a sudden "didn't trust" the private diagnosis. Even though they could show marked improvement after being medicated... People without ADHD do not react to ADHD medication the same way.
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,009 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2023
    Jimm

    Shared Care is exactly what the specialist clinic is demanding that I get my GP to co-operate with. The clinic needs to be able to administer medications and request blood tests, but they do not have funding to give scripts or pay for the bloods so they need a GP to be on board.

    I have researched prices and am more than happy, and able, to pay for the GP side of things - e.g. private blood tests and medicines and GP appointments - but I can't afford to go completely private on the specialist clinic side of things. As a last resort I do have some favours I can call in, money owed to me, also relatives willing to help, but this would exhaust all avenues and erase any possibility of me buying a property in the future.

    That said I do understand that being healthy is more important than owning a house. But would rather not have to overstretch myself & my family.

    I hope this makes sense.

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