Why see a private GP?

For many people, their local NHS general practitioner (GP) is their first point of contact for medical attention. However, with growing demand for medical services and long waiting times, some individuals may choose to seek the services of a private GP instead. In this article, we explore some reasons why a patient might choose a private GP over an NHS GP.

One of the most significant advantages of choosing a private GP is shorter waiting times. Unlike NHS GP services, which can have long waiting times for appointments and specialist services, private GPs typically offer same-day or next-day appointments, with little to no wait times. This can be especially beneficial for patients who require urgent medical attention or who have busy schedules and cannot afford to wait for appointments.

Access to Specialist Services

Private GPs can provide patients with access to a range of specialist services that may not be available through the NHS. These services can include specialist tests, procedures, and treatments, as well as access to private consultants and specialists. Private GPs can refer patients to these specialists quickly, often without the need for a long waiting period. This can be particularly beneficial for patients with complex medical conditions or who require specialist care.

Flexible Appointment Times

Private GPs often offer flexible appointment times, including evening and weekend appointments, which can be beneficial for patients who work during the day or have other commitments. In addition, many private GPs offer online or remote consultations, allowing patients to receive medical advice and prescriptions without having to leave their homes.

Personalised Care

Private GPs often offer personalised care, with longer consultation times and more one-to-one attention. Patients can build a relationship with their private GP and receive tailored advice and treatment plans that take into account their individual needs and preferences. This level of personalised care can be particularly beneficial for patients with chronic conditions or complex medical needs.

Privacy and Discretion

For some patients, privacy and discretion are essential factors when seeking medical attention. Private GPs can offer patients greater privacy and discretion than NHS GPs, with confidential consultations and private testing and treatment facilities. This can be especially important for patients who require sensitive or confidential medical care, such as reproductive health or mental health services.

Choice and Control

Private GPs offer patients greater choice and control over their medical care, allowing patients to choose their GP and access the specific medical services they require. Patients can also choose to pay for additional services or treatments that may not be available through the NHS. This can be particularly beneficial for patients who want more control over their medical care and treatment options.


While NHS GP services are available to all UK residents, some patients may choose to seek the services of a private GP for a range of reasons, including shorter waiting times, access to specialist services, flexible appointment times, personalised care, privacy and discretion, and greater choice and control. Ultimately, the choice between private GP services and NHS GP services will depend on individual circumstances, including the level of medical care required, the urgency of the medical condition, and the financial means available.

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