GP services are not usually covered by private
medical insurance, but some health cash insurers do cover GP charges.
The way that customers choose GPs is probably
going to change, and insurers will need to look at the implications.
Patients in parts of London, Manchester and
Nottingham will be able to register or receive a consultation with a GP
practice of their choice. Busy commuters will benefit the most from the new
pilot scheme, which allows patients for the first time to choose whether to
register with a practice close to their workplace or home, without worrying
about practice boundaries.
The announcement means commuters in the pilot
areas, who are often away from their local area during the working day, will
find it easier to see their doctor where it suits them, and receive the same
services as in their old practice.
The pilot will begin in April 2012 and last for
Health secretary Andrew Lansley says:” This is
just the beginning of a range of measures we hope to introduce to make the NHS
truly patient focused and will allow us to better understand their needs. Many
patients are happy with their local GP practice, but a significant minority has
problems registering with a practice of their choice. This pilot will mean
patients taking part can access the high quality care they deserve in a place
and at a time that suits them. I believe patients should have the freedom to
choose a GP practice that suits their lives, and not be restricted by geographical
The pilot sites are in Central London,
Manchester/Salford and Nottingham. The trusts involved in the pilots are
Westminster, City & Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Manchester, Salford and
Nottingham City. GP practices in these areas will be able to join the pilot on
a voluntary basis. The pilot sites have selected because they have high numbers
of commuters travelling into the area each day, and one of the sites
(Nottingham) is an existing live 111 pilot site. Participation will be voluntary.
The pilots will be subjected to an independent
evaluation organised by the Department of Health.
Private medical insurance news: 12 January 2012