A NEW private GP service is being launched at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton to 'complement the existing NHS GP service'.

Parkside, the private wing of Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton, is now offering a private GP service following the success of a similar project at The Kingston Wing at Yeovil General Hospital.

The private service comes following a reported surge in demand for private doctors' appointments.

Sarah Porter, Private Patients Business Manager at Parkside, said:  “We have noticed an increase in the last six months of people ringing to see if we have a private GP service, with stories of long waits for an NHS GP appointment being top of the list.

“What is being offered now, both in Taunton and Yeovil, is designed to complement the existing NHS GP service and not replace it. 

"The purpose is to fill the gap in the market where a patient requires a longer consultation, a quicker or more convenient appointment, a second opinion or a service that is not available on the NHS.”

The  services being offered by Parkside’s new GP service (and in Yeovil) will include:

  • Travel vaccinations
  • Medicals including HGV, Taxi etc
  • A second opinion
  • A more convenient appointment time or longer appointment
  • Health checks / cancer screening (including smear tests) where a patient is not eligible under the NHS
  • People visiting the UK or not registered for an NHS GP
  •  Onward referral for private diagnostic tests, to a private consultant or for private inpatient care

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Both GP services will also offer a 'well woman' or 'well man' service for those simply wanting a general health check-up. 

They can also complete medicals such as those needed for the DVLA or occupational health departments.

Hannah Pitman, Head of Private Patient Services of the Kingston Wing, added: “At a time of growing pressure on the NHS, anything that can help relieve that pressure – and provide services not routinely offered by the NHS, as well as offering patients greater choice – has to be a good thing.”

Parkside at Musgrove and the Kingston Wing at Yeovil District Hospital operate independently from the main hospitals, but all profits will go straight back into the NHS.

Sarah Porter added: “That is what makes our offering at Taunton and Yeovil different from any other private health provider.  The patients benefit and so does the NHS.”