Why don’t we offer “all inclusive”?

We aim to offer our patients an unhurried, high quality GP service, with continuity of care at its core, and allow them to make the choice about whether to access secondary care on the NHS or privately, and in all things to make meaningful choices about treatment options.

If you think about it, paying a fixed fee for any service for which demand is unpredictable is “betting against the house” – and the house is always going to win (or go out of business).

There are some private practices that offer an all-inclusive package for around £100 per month (over the age of 50). I would hope that a typical 50 year old would need to pay considerably less than £100/month in consultation fees, but we would expect to be there for them when they need us.

Most concierge-style services that we are aware of set a limit on the number of contacts in a year. Furthermore, many seek to attract the healthy and undertake assessments and tests that are not indicated, and therefore have significant potential to cause harm such as anxiety and complications of unnecessary treatment.

Further, such an arrangement necessarily encourages people to consult when they might not necessarily need to.

One of the challenges for NHS General Practice is that it is free at the point of delivery and therefore has had placed on it expectations (in terms of access, helping people who are not ill, etc) that it could never meet.

We want to form long term, adult-adult relationships with our patients, where we are no longer the gate-keepers, but can help to guide them through their options when they are ill.

Additionally, our practice has a strong emphasis on not recommending unnecessary investigations or treatments, for fear of doing harm. In private medicine, where one is paid for activity, we believe it is important to resist the temptation to encourage unnecessary consultations.

Finally, consider how eager we will be to book each appointment if that is the only way we get paid! We certainly do not want to become embroiled in contractual disagreements about whether we are failing to offer appointments of sufficient length or readily enough, or whether our patients use of our service is “fair” – hardly a respectful interaction!

Our approach might not be for everyone. We consider it to be ethical where others might not always be. Our price list is at www.FormbyGP.com/pricing.

We do, however, offer Priority Club membership, benefits of each include a guarantee of access, waiving of our prescription fees, half price text consultations and access to our community forum. If this appeals, why not ask at your next appointment whether it could be right for you!

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