National Friendly private GP access plan to ease NHS waiting times
National Friendly, the mutual and private health insurance specialists, is pushing its new Out-patient Plan as a potential solution to UK GP waiting times. The insurance plan offers customers immediate access to a network of private GPs across the UK, making it particularly suited to patients who are time poor or who are not prepared to wait on average 13 days for a GP appointment.
A recent survey by Pulse, the monthly GP news magazine and website of 830 GPs has shown that the average wait for a GP appointment is now around 13 days, despite changes introduced by the NHS to alleviate pressures on general practice. The average waiting time, although stable, is up from 10 days in 2015, according to the data.
The survey also reveals that more than 40% of patients must now wait longer than 14 days for a routine appointment.
Head of sales and marketing at National Friendly, Wayne Carter comments; “GP waiting times are a highly visible issue for the NHS, as a visit to the GP is key to unlocking access to both NHS and private care, even for relatively minor ailments. Delays of up to two weeks inconvenience many, so we have designed a straightforward insurance plan that allows easy access to a private GP when needed.”
National Friendly estimates that there are currently 371 private GPs nationally in the UK.
Details of the new insurance plan are available on the National Friendly website at www.nationalfriendly.co.uk/optimum
National Friendly was formed in 1868 to provide sickness benefits for working members and today has over 35,000 members.