Why your GP shouldn’t request a test from a private clinic

Increasingly, patients are turning to private medicine to manage their health because of the NHS backlog. This post explains why one element of this, requesting investigations by your GP afterward is not ideal and using the analogy of your mum’s cooking…

So let us find out why a private doctor or clinic asking you to get your GP to do tests, is like asking your partner to cook your favourite dish made by your mum?

Forks at the ready, as this post might be spicy….🌶️

Increasingly due to NHS backlog, excess demand, lack of primary care workforce etc more patients are going to see private clinics, but then hoping to get tests etc done on the NHS by their GP after.

This thread will explain the pros, cons and issues….

Seeing a private clinic can cost £25-150 per contact excluding tests or treatments. This can build up.

The benefit is rapid and tailored service and the ‘expert’ opinion perspective.

Like your mum’s special homemade dish, as mums are the expert at making it.

Your mum has the knowledge of how to make it (recipe) and the skills of how to make it (practice).

Kinda like a specialist.

But what if you want that dish at home, well you might someone else like your partner to try making it?

But they will need a guide, maybe a recipe?

But is your partner likely to make it like your mum?

Having the recipe doesn’t mean it will turn out the same.

Your partner may use the same ingredients, but it still has a different taste.

Your partner may have different equipment/ingredients, meaning a different result.

It might turn out worse in which case you may blame your partner, even though they followed the instructions..

It might turn out better, as your partner will put their own spin on your mum’s recipe (but will you share that bit back to your mum?)

I’d be careful either way…..

So how does this relate to GPs and private clinics?

Well, the private clinic may give instructions (recipe) on what they want but not give the full context or reason (experience and skill).

They may be a specialist clinic focused on one part and not the whole picture and able to suggest very specific tests of varying value.

Your GP may not have the access to all the tests suggested due to resources /commissioning so can only do what they would normally do.

This gives only part of the assessment requested.

It is then no different from having seen the GP in the first place, but what is the point then?

This may mean you get a better or worse answer but as mentioned earlier but which result are you getting and how would you feel, especially if you paid for it…

So what is the best option?

Well, if you want your mum’s cooking, then get your mum’s cooking.

If a private clinic wants to investigate you, accept they should be doing the tests and not transferring to your GP.

Because you will get your GPs spin on it because we’ll they should 😊

Disagree or agree?

Please note this example is based on:
1. You have a favourite dish made by your mum (feel free to change it to whatever suits)
2. Your partner is willing to try making the dish (doesn’t work if you are making it yourself)
3. You have the resources to seek private healthcare.

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