Family Matters – the importance of having a family GP
May 27, 2022
It is estimated that fewer than half of UK patients regularly see their own doctor with millions of patients also facing delayed GP appointments.
This is due to a rising population and an increase in sick patients, which has left many practices understaffed and overworked. As a result, GP leaders have expressed concerns that ‘continuity of care’ and traditional family doctors are becoming a thing of the past.
It’s a fact of life that sudden and unexpected illness can happen anytime. But wouldn’t it be great to have a ‘go to’ person when medical issues do arise? I say ‘person’ because that’s what a first-rate GP is; a caring person treating a person in need. A good family GP will take time to listen to a patient’s stories and their concerns without clock-watching, this is followed up with consistent long-term support.
Continuity of care has always been at the heart of the general practice in the UK. So how do we stop this from becoming a thing of the past? How do we make sure that consistent, personalised primary healthcare doesn’t disappear forever?
Many people are turning to family-run private GP clinics where core values of traditional GP services are very much alive and practised daily. Here are the key benefits of having a family doctor for you and your family:
Quick access to longer appointments.
It’s not fair for a sick patient to have to explain their background and symptoms in only a few minutes. It’s also not fair for a GP to be expected to assess, diagnose and treat a patient during this short time. Private, family-run GP clinics are able to offer longer, more thorough consultations resulting in a more personal and caring service.
In-depth knowledge of your personal and family history.
A family doctor has a close relationship with each of its patients. Treating families from generation-to-generation can help aid a doctor to compile accurate records and have in-depth knowledge of family history. This in turn allows the doctor to be able to identify trends and genetic tendencies within your family. By building a relationship, a doctor can truly get to know you and your family! It is the very essence of ‘continuity of care’.
Assurance that you’ll find the best secondary care.
Secondary care is when a patient requires a referral to a medical specialist. This could be for cancer or chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis. On the NHS, waiting times for secondary care can be months. Private GP’s often have close working relationships with ‘highly sought after’ specialists and hospitals, meaning faster referrals and quicker diagnosis, which can be vital when treating cancer and heart conditions.
Complete peace of mind.
In our busy day-to-day lives, having a peaceful mindset cannot be undervalued. Simply knowing that your family’s medical issues are being handled by someone who is dedicated and familiar with each of you is one less thing to worry about alone. Right? So imagine also knowing that you’ll receive speedier access to support, personalised care, quicker diagnosis, less duplication and more consistent, proactive, coordinated primary care… Well, that may just be something priceless!