- Is this an NHS service?
Duality Health is a Private GP service. We are not a replacement for your regular GP surgery but a supplement to it.
- What’s wrong with NHS services?
The NHS has reached crisis point. In evenings and weekends it is almost impossible to see a GP in a timely fashion for an emergency. Regular GP appointments during weekdays are more difficult to book due to increasing patient volume and demand. This means we are waiting longer and longer to see the Family Doctor. The Family GP is overworked and underfunded, meaning they have less and less time on average to give each patient on their list. When this is combined with funding shortfalls one can see how this has led to the BMA’s recent announcement that Northern Ireland GPs will further reduce their services.
- What can Duality Health Offer?
Similar care to your regular GP but with many advantages. We provide appointments in the evenings and weekends. We do not screen or triage your problems – if you feel you need to see a doctor – we want to see you. Whether the problem is urgent and you have just popped in with a child, or you can’t see the GP in an acceptable and accessible timeframe and want to pre-book an evening or weekend appointment with us.
Duality Health also offers additional services in terms of Health Screening and Patient-Directed Needs that NHS General Practice is not funded for. See Services we Provide PDF
- Why is a Private GP needed?
Patient choice. Most larger towns and cities in Scotland, Wales and England have access to Private Healthcare and GP Services.
At Duality Health we believe that all patients should have the option of Healthcare at a time that suits them, fitting in with busy lives and responsibilities.
- I have been told if I use a Private GP that I am no longer entitled to NHS treatment. Is this true?
No. This is a common misconception. We are a Private GP Service and thus you pay for your consultation/procedure + prescription as private GP’s cannot issue NHS prescriptions. Other than this if you are an NHS patient you can be referred by us for the full range of NHS investigations and secondary care facilities. You can choose to be referred privately or have private investigations if you wish. Patients from Ireland or other countries only have the option of private services unless presenting in an emergency.
- If I am unwell and need admission to hospital what happens? Do i then need to go to a+e? Am i considered a private patient?
Your access to the hospital is no different had you seen your own GP or the NHS out-of-hours. When a patient needs urgent review by secondary care the Doctor (our GP) phones the relevant speciality and refers you. The hospital (e.g.Daisy Hill) then decide where you are assessed based on bed availability e.g. if awaiting surgical assessment they may arrange this to be done in a+e or on the surgical ward – you are waiting on the specialist, you are not in the queue to see the a+e doctors as you have already been assessed.
Our doctor supplies you with an appropriate referral letter. Essentially the process is the same.
- Why do I now need a H+C number to have bloods and referrals done? Can you not access these?
NOTE: From 1st February 2018 we must have access to your H+C number to send any referral or investigation on your behalf to the NHS. You will find your H+C number on your NHS Healthcard. It will also be on any official documentation from your GP Surgery, Hospital Letter or communication from NHS/BSO Northern Ireland. This is a 10 digit number. If you do not have this number it can be obtained by requesting it, IN PERSON, from your local NHS GP surgery. It can also be requested during opening hours from BSO Belfast on 0300 555 0113.