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'Uber-style' private GP company crowdfunds to boost recruitment

A private GP company is crowdfunding to recruit more GPs in a bid to offer ‘Uber-style' appointments across the country by 2018.

Doctaly, which matches NHS GPs with fee-paying patients, is aiming to raise £500,000 in four weeks to recruit more GPs, to build a mobile app and to spend on marketing.

A spokesperson for Doctaly told Pulse that the service is looking to recruit ‘as many doctors as possible’ from across the UK but only from practices with a CQC rating of good or outstanding.

GPs are being enticed to join Doctaly with added benefits when they invest in the campaign.

For example, if a GP donates £150 or more and signs up to participate in Doctaly, they will get to keep all appointment revenue for the first six months as opposed to facing the 20% cut taken by Doctaly on appointment fees that range from £40 to £70.

Meanwhile, GPs who invest £1,200 or more and sign up to participate in the service, will get an Alive Cor ECG device, which the NHS already offers to secondary care consultants as part of the innovation and technology tariff.

Doctaly’s co-founder Ben Teichman told Pulse that the incentives are ‘merely a bonus’.

He said: ‘We’re hoping that Doctaly attracts the part-time work force of 20,000 GPs with its flexible and lucrative solution. 

‘We also work with many full time GPs, who tend to add a Doctaly appointment before or after their NHS clinics and possibly at lunch time if they have time.’

He added: ‘The most important point is that NHS provision must not be impacted by additional private work.’

Pulse reported last year that Doctaly was preparing to roll out across England after two pilots in London, with local GPs saying the service encourages ‘queue jumping’.

Readers' comments (11)

  • I’m very wary of these companies a la Babylon. But as far as I can see any GP can create a profile and income is paid to the Practice. Is someone trying to challenge the NHS monopoly over primary care that has decimated us?

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  • Diazepam, tramadol anyone?
    No notes stored and you can hop from one GP to another, as often as you like.
    Oh dear!

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  • If people that can afford to pay to see a GP pay, and some GPs are interested in making some extra cash, why not? This sounds like a great idea. General Practice must be ready to change to survive the ongoing chaos.

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  • AlanAlmond

    Well at least there are going to be some private alternatives where we can work seeing how the NHS GP service is heading for the tip. Will probably beat working for a large American private health corporation. You don’t hear many Uber taxi drivers complaining..just the black cab drivers they have replaced. Only the black cab drivers have a good deal..where as we in the NHS are on the rack. Why wouldn’t some be tempted. Beats working for Jeremy Hunt.

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  • A new way of working. This will help us to treat illness like we are trained and stop appointments for school, housing,child protection letters turning us into social workers. Prescribing food and paracetamol will also stop. We should welcome the change and go the dentist way so we can once again be professionals and stop everyone else telling us what to do.

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  • Just another access point and using money to try to entice already overworked GPs to work more hours for cash.

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  • This gives both patients and doctors an alternative. We are overstretched and under resourced, and Mr Hunt as told General Practice to fix its own problems. I can see Doctaly to be beneficial for both patient and GPs. Gives patients what they want and values our worth. The government deep down is rather encouraging such providers in my opinion as they have no answer to what is going on in primary care or the ability to change it as that would be political suicide.

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  • Utterly ridiculous proposition

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  • i agree with vrigo6. deep down govt and nhs leaders are up creek. so anyone that comes out of the woodwork seems to be welcomed despite no evidence base or proper evaluation.
    so if you have wacky ideas and want to make some $ roll up roll up as the nhs muggins machine is handing out

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  • Patients today struggle to see a doctor when they want to unless it is an emergency, and even then, that isn’t always guaranteed. The supply of GPs simply does not meet patient demand and is only going to get worse as more and more GP’s leave the field. Doctaly seems like a great platform to alleviate this exact problem - a practical solution that brings a win/win situation for both doctors and patients. Any patient can see any GP at a time that is convenient to both.

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