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NHS England to look into GP practice which set up private side clinic

NHS England is going to take 'a hard look' at NHS GP practices which also offer private appointments, its chief executive has said.

Speaking at today's meeting of the NHS England board, held in public, Simon Stevens addressed reports on Dorset GPs offering charged-for appointments.

As Pulse reported earlier this week, partners at the Poole Road Medical Centre in Bournemouth have set up the Dorset Private GP service, which charges £80-145 for appointments.

NHS GP practices cannot charge their patients for services, and the GP practice clarifies that its private arm does not currently accept patients who are on its NHS practice list.

Mr Stevens said: 'There have been reports this week of a practice in Dorset proposing to start offering private charged for appointments alongside its NHS appointments.

'I think we want to be absolutely clear that it is not permissible for a practice to charge its own registered patients, and even the circumstances that have been described here look questionable.

'So we're going to take a very very hard look, as NHS England, at anybody proposing that kind of approach.'

The Dorset GPs said on their website that 'sadly at current times the NHS restricts us from treating our own patients for GP services, but this may change soon so please keep in touch'.

Readers' comments (20)

  • I assumed that the "very hard look" was to see if this model works well to roll out. I find it hard to believe that a right wing government cannot see the advantages here

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  • If I were at Poole Road it would be quite interesting to see or even hear someone from NHSE. Since the NHS reorganisation they have proved to be a rather elusive bunch, who keep their names secret and rarely accept responsibility for anything. The only times they approach us is when we formally object to them trying to degrade our NHS income and terms & conditions even further. Good luck to Poole Road!

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  • NHSE surely don't own GPs and their spare time. They cant possibly expect to have control over what GPs do in their 'own time'? Oh - yes I forgot, they are trying to get GPs to work 12hours per day, 7days per week, and private work gets in the way of this!

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  • Brilliant initiative. Let's see how many other cardigans have the balls to do the same.

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  • Looks like their website is down. Hacked by NHS E already?

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  • In France, coal mining area, a nationalise health care was started after the WWII. To sart the system, Private GP's were ask to accept small list of mine patients. Was very well paid at first (but of course the pay would go down after!).
    So theses GP's had at first paying patients and the miners did not had to pay.
    Some Drs then would reserv the heated inside waiting room to the paying patients, with immediate appointment, while non paying patients had to wait in the street and the cold...

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  • Vinci Ho

    I said again:
    All GP routine appointments in the weekend should be charged with a fee . Full stop.

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  • Rogue1

    Why not? Dentists and hospital consultants have been doing that for years! But we aren't allowed to, its very double standards

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  • Council of Despair

    'sadly at current times the NHS restricts us from treating our own patients for GP services, but this may change soon so please keep in touch'.

    why not just go completely private and cut out the NHS?

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  • Surely this is far more ethical than consultants advising their NHS patients to see them privately!

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