Finding a private GP in Scotland that is the perfect fit for you is so important. Being comfortable and happy with your GP is vital in order to ensure you build a good relationship and get the most out of your care.
If this is your first time considering visiting a private GP, the first challenge you may face is finding a clinic which is local and convenient for you. You can find a private GP near you, by searching the internet, asking for recommendations from friends and family or using tailored search databases.
At Vaila Health we know it can be challenging to know where to begin when considering private healthcare, and we hope this article will help you to gather the information you need to find a local private GP that’s right for you.
What is a private GP clinic, and how does it differ from an NHS clinic?
A private GP clinic offers medical treatment and care funded by the patient and not the NHS. A private GP can offer a wide variety of services, some of which are often not offered routinely by the NHS. Private clinics are also able to offer longer appointments as standard and can get tests done quickly with fast results. A private clinic usually has a short waiting time and can offer appointments the same or next day. All of these reasons can be contributing factors to people choosing to see a GP privately. You can find out more about the differences between a private GP and NHS GP here.
Choosing to see a private GP will not impact on your registration with your NHS GP. This means that you can still access your NHS GP whenever you may need them, alongside the private clinic you choose to attend. Often private GPs will work alongside NHS GPs to provide seamless care. However, if you do not wish for your private GP to disclose information to your NHS GP, your care can be kept separate. Find out more about mixing private and NHS healthcare by watching this video.
Are private GP clinics easy to access?
Yes, private GP clinics are extremely easy to access. Once you find a clinic that you’re happy with, all you have to do is contact them to make an appointment. There’s no need to register like at an NHS practice, and you can often see a doctor on the same day. Unlike NHS practices, the area you live in does not affect if you can attend a clinic or not. So if you wish to, you can travel further to a clinic which you feel is best suited for you. Most clinics now have online booking systems available, so you can book an appointment from anywhere at any time.
How can I find a private GP near me?
As you may already know, private GP clinics are not as easy to come by as NHS GP practices. This means you may have to do a bit of research to find your local private practice. There are a few different ways you can find a private GP local to you. We will summarise these below.
Sometimes the best way to start is by asking friends and family if they have any recommendations. This way, not only are you finding a local clinic, but you’re also finding one which is thought highly of. Recommendations often give you a better insight than simply visiting a website, and you can hear first hand about many aspects of the clinic – not just its location.
In some situations, you may find yourself asking your NHS GP to refer you to a private clinic. In this circumstance, your GP will be able to tell you what clinics are available and which ones are nearby.
The internet is a great place to do some research and find out more about local clinics nearby. Most clinics will have an established webpage, with more information about their services and fees. This means you can find out some more details about the clinic, alongside their location and accessibility.
Before you search, you should try and decide how far you are willing to travel. What journey length is practical for you, and how you would travel. If you are going by bus, you may wish to consider the bus routes and which clinics have bus stops nearby. If you’re travelling by car, you might want to check if the practice has a car park or on-street parking.
Internet Search & Database Sites
You could also use a search site, which is specifically designed to allow you to search through a bank of private GPs. An example of a webpage that does this is www.privatehealthcare.co.uk. You can either search for a specific location or view the GP locations on a map. This means you can explore where you live and the surrounding areas, and get a better overall picture of what is available to you.
You can also visit the Health Improvement Scotland website to view all the private GP clinics registered with an official healthcare body. Searching this way also ensures that you are choosing from reputable, regulated clinics.
There aren’t any private GPs near me, what can I do?
Don’t panic! It’s not uncommon for smaller towns and less populated areas not to have local private practices. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t see a private GP.
As mentioned earlier, there are no restrictions on who can be seen at a private clinic by the patient’s address. This means you can travel to your nearest big city to go to the private GP if you wish. This also means that if you move home, and move further away from the private clinic you would usually attend, you don’t need to move GP.
However, if you don’t want to travel you can always see a GP via a telehealth consultation. A telehealth consultation allows you to consult with a GP from the comfort of your own home. You can have a video consultation using the camera on your laptop, tablet or phone to talk to a GP confidentially. If you’d rather not be on camera, you can also talk to a GP via a telephone consultation. If your problem is something which can be diagnosed during one of these consultations, the GP can send you an e-prescription (if you need it) to your local pharmacy. This means, even if you don’t have a private clinic nearby, you can still see a private GP.
Is there a Vaila Health clinic near me?
At Vaila Health, we currently have GP clinics in St Andrews, Dundee and Perth. In the future, we are pleased to announce, we will be providing in-clinic services in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. However, if none of these locations are local to you, we can still see you via our telehealth consultations. This means no matter where you are, you can talk to a Vaila Health GP. If you would like to find out more about our clinics and what services we provide, why not visit our website: https://www.vailahealth.com/clinic-locations
In summary, there are a few ways of finding a private GP in Scotland near you. The internet has a vast amount of information, and a quick google search can turn up a number of local clinics. If you prefer, you can access a map view of private GPs using websites like Private Healthcare UK. Another great way of finding a local private GP, is by asking friends and relatives if they have any recommendations.
Remember, even if you don’t have a private GP in your local area you can still access private healthcare. Many clinics now offer video and telephone consultations, so you can talk to the GP from the comfort of your own home. At Vaila Health, we have a variety of clinic locations around Scotland and offer video and telephone consultations.
If you’d like to find a top private GP in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen, why not have a look at our blog articles:
If you have any other questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 577 5999
Dr Darcy Wilson
hello@vailahealth | 0333 577 5999