There are always ongoing discussions and comments in the media regarding reform and future privatisation of the National Health Service (NHS). Would this improve the care we receive from our GPs, or would GPs be wiped out from the service altogether? Ultimately can the National Health Service provide adequate care for the 21st centaury patient?

The NHS has always involved a mixture of public and private provision. For example, most GPs are not public employees but rather independent contractors to the NHS. Under the ‘any qualified provider’ system, patients can now choose to be seen by any organisation that is registered with the necessary regulatory agencies, willing to accept NHS prices and agrees to the terms and conditions laid out in the NHS contract.

Therefore in recent years, the NHS has become an even more mixed system. These reforms may, over time; result in an increase in the proportion of NHS-funded care delivered by private and voluntary sector organisations, however, this will depend on both commissioners and patient choice.

According to a survey reported by the journal for GP practices, Pulse, almost 85% of GPs believe the NHS will be privatised within ten years, with 45% predicting it will occur within five years.

Although GPs manage 90% of all NHS patients they only receive 8.4% of the funding provided to the NHS. Therefore, should the recently publicised offer of a “golden hello” for all trainee medics, to become GPs, be supported?

By increasing the number of GPs will this reduce the number of mistakes made and take some of the strain from the current GPs and surrounding hospitals?

Here at Forster Dean, we have a number of cases relating to misdiagnosis and delay in diagnosis by GPs. We examine our clients’ medical records in great detail to determine whether a client has been misdiagnosed or a diagnosis has been delayed by a member of the medical profession. If you would like to discuss a potential claim with our Clinical Negligence Team please do not hesitate to contact us on 01925 575566.