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New study claims more patients in Hampshire turning to private healthcare
PATIENTS are increasingly turning to private healthcare providers after being failed by the NHS, it is claimed.
A survey has revealed that GPs in Hampshire are often unable to refer patients for further treatment on the NHS because they do not ‘fit’ with the current criteria set by the Primary Care Trust.
The research, commissioned by private healthcare provider BMI Healthcare, also suggests patients are becoming dissatisfied with waiting times for NHS treatment.
It found that at least once a month or more frequently, 83 per cent of GPs in Hampshire are prevented from making a referral for further treatment on the NHS.
Local GPs also believe people are increasingly seeking information about paying for healthcare outside of the NHS because of concerns about waiting times, with 59 per cent agreeing that patients are less willing to wait to receive treatment and 67 per cent saying patients believe NHS waiting lists have got longer.
Two in five Hampshire GPs said they had already seen an increase in patients asking about paying for care outside of the NHS, and one in three said they are increasingly instigating discussions about private healthcare options with their patients.
Justin Hely, executive director of BMI The Hampshire Clinic, Basing Road, Old Basing, said: “As this survey shows, patients are being forced to consider how they will be treated and how they will pay for their healthcare.
“There are a number of reasons for this. Coupled with the reforms and the ever-increasing restrictions, it is essential patients understand what options they have to access healthcare outside of the NHS.
“We already know patients don’t always remember to ask their GP all the important questions about their care and treatment. Coupled with the increasing pressure on GPs to consider restrictions and referral requirements, it is important patients gather all the information they need to make an informed decision about their healthcare.
“To help patients with these complex decisions, we have developed a patient guide – questions to ask the GP about the condition, alternative options and what they can do to find further information about the treatment they need.”