Large numbers are now avoiding the health service as NHS GPs have admitted they are “happy” if patients ask to go private with Lloyds Pharmacy trying to cash in on the boom by offering £20 appointments including medication and sick notes.
With waiting lists for routine treatment at an all-time high, Brits are even going deprived to treat minor problems like fungal nail infections, warts, and warts.
The number of patients paying for private treatment in the UK has risen by 39% in the last two years, now one in ten, and millions now bypass their own GP as they struggle to get appointments and make ends meet. the long lines.
At least 1.6 million people have used a paid GP for the first time since the pandemic, where NHS face-to-face appointments have been cut sharply and two-week waits for non-urgent consultations are common.
Lloyds Pharmacy is among those looking to cash in on the boom, offering £20 for a video appointment with a GP, up to £49.99 after that, with the price including basic medicines, referrals and even a sick note for the job.
Marley White (pictured) has been on the waiting list since she was just two years old after suffering painful bouts of chronic tonsillitis. His family is raising money for him to go private.
Llloyds Pharmacy offers £20 appointments with private doctors with the price including notes and basic medicines
Dr Sarah Levy, NHS GP at Bushloe Surgery in Leicestershire, told The Daily Telegraph: “I’m happy when patients ask for a private referral because I know it will save the NHS work and the patient won’t have to.” wait so long.’
Private GPs are busier than ever, despite Bupa, for example, charging £79 for a short appointment or £250 for 60 minutes. The cost soon adds up even more if blood tests, scans, and small procedures are needed. A non-NHS psychiatrist will charge £300 or more for a first consultation.
Despite the costs, a recent YouGov survey found that seven per cent of people had used private GP services since 2020. Almost half of them were doing so for the first time.
Spire Healthcare, which runs 39 private hospitals in Britain, says self-pay cases, where clients pay for treatment themselves rather than through an insurer, are up 81 percent from before the pandemic.
According to a study conducted by myTribe Insurance, the average price in the UK for a colonoscopy is £2,005, £7,531 for a hysterectomy, £13,982 for a new knee and £16,403 for prostate cancer treatment if the patient avoid the NHS.
Dr Hana Patel said: ‘For conditions like kidney stones or hip replacements, you can choose to go private. There are also issues that the NHS will no longer deal with, such as warts and warts, so you’ll need to go private to treat them.’
Nigel Bunce, 75, from Hertfordshire, has suffered from hip problems since a fall in the autumn, so he plans to pay around £16,000 for a hip replacement due to a wait of more than a year on the NHS.
He told the Telegraph: ‘I was losing sleep over the sharp, stabbing pain. The pain was so intense that I made the decision to self-finance my treatment privately.”
Dr Sarah Levy admitted she is pleased when people ask to go private because it reduces pressure on the NHS.
Six-year-old Marley White has been on the waiting list since she was two after suffering painful bouts of chronic tonsillitis.
He was finally scheduled to come to the hospital for a pre-op appointment this month, but it was canceled just five hours earlier.
Mother Lisa White, 28, is now hoping to raise money for her son to have a tonsillectomy after his condition has worsened over the years.
It comes after doctors previously said Marley was “not a priority case” despite the fact that he has had 18 episodes in just one year.
His pre-op appointment was canceled due to the nurse being sick at the Aneurin Bevan University Board of Health.
Lisa, from Monmouth, South Wales, said: ‘I’m very upset and so is Marley. She is suffering from her worst bout of tonsillitis to date, she has blisters at the back of her throat which is extremely distressing for him.
“He was so excited the day of the pre-op, he even went to school while sick to do his nativity play, but he was heartbroken when the teacher broke the news of the canceled appointment.”
General view of the waiting room at the NHS Bodmin Treatment Center
The graph of GP practices in England that provided the fewest in-person appointments in October (red), fewest GP visits (purple) and fewest same-day appointments (green)
Lisa says she is concerned about the amount of time her son is missing from school due to his ongoing medical issues.
She said: “His friends have been understanding and welcome him back to school when he’s been sick, but it’s putting him at a disadvantage because he’s missing out on a lot.”
In November, doctors seeking to reduce their working hours to 9-5 during the worst NHS crisis in history were branded “insensitive” by patient groups.
Members of the public also criticized the sweeping proposal, saying it will make it even more difficult for patients to get appointments.
A family doctor nearing retirement said he “no longer recognized” the profession, saying GPs should look to do “more, not less”.
The staggering scale of the appointments crisis was exposed after the worst performing services were ‘named and shamed’. MailOnline turned NHS figures from over 6,000 surgeries into a handy search tool that lets you check how yours went.
Family doctors in England, who earn an average of £111,900 a year, voted to cut their working hours last year. It means that they will now put pressure on the NHS to adopt their demand.
Currently, all practices are required to provide services during ‘prime hours’: 8 am to 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
They do not necessarily have to be open for all that time, but they must ensure that patients can access services.
If the lobbying is successful, it could mean GP services are cut by 2.5 hours a day, making it even more difficult to see a GP.
Doctors who support the proposal say that giving family doctors a better work-life balance will increase the number of professionals, which have declined in the last decade.
This, they claim, could increase the number of appointments available during prime hours, even if those hours are reduced.
Family doctors have complained that their workload is now “intolerable” and that appointment limits are needed “before it is too late”. They warned that squeezing so many appointments into a single day increases the risk of missing diseases and prescribing the wrong drugs.
But campaigners also warned that GPs closing their doors at 5pm could essentially eradicate many working families’ chance of getting an appointment.