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Showing posts from October, 2015

How do the costs charged by private GPs compare to NHS general practice?

As I was returning home via my local tube station, I was handed a flyer for a newly established private general practice. I live in a relatively affluent part of London so there may well be demand for private primary care services, particularly as many local NHS general practices are under considerable workload and funding pressures, and are struggling to meet demand. The new private general practice offers individual insurance plans that start ‘from’ £35 per month (£420 per year). For patients without insurance, a one-off 20 minute consultation is £110 and an ECG is £95. A private prescription (excluding cost of medication) is £15. I compared this to my own practice where the entire sum we receive annually for each patient on our list is about £120 (this includes the annual capitation fee plus various other payments such as reimbursement of costs of premises). The average payment per patient to general practices in England is around £136 annually. It made me realise what good value …

Improving nutrition and hydration care in the NHS

NHS England has recently published new guidance to help ensure patients receive good nutrition and hydration care. Malnutrition is an important issue for the NHS. Around 1 in 3 patients admitted to hospital or who are in care homes are malnourished or at risk of becoming so. Poor nutrition and hydration not only harms patients’ health and well-being, it can also reduce their ability to recover and leads to increased risk of hospital admission. The new guidance draws together up-to-date evidence based resources to help ensure good nutrition and hydration care in place in both the acute sector and in the community. The full guidance can be accessed at:

Advice on How to Apply for Medical School

I am sometimes asked by friends for advice on entry to medical school. Entry to medical school is very competitive with around 11 people applying for each place in 2013 - and it seems to be getting more competitive. All medical schools have slightly different methods of selecting medical students but the selection process usually involves:

1. Academic achievements (i.e. GSCE, AS Level, A Level grades)
2. UKCAT or BMAT score
3. Personal statement
4. Interview The first thing to say is that the academic achievements are the most important. If you don’t get the required grades, then you won’t get an offer no matter how spectacular your personal statement or work experience might be. For example, the medical course at Imperial College London requires 3 grade A results at A level. Hence, it’s important to have good GSCE and AS results when you come to apply so that you get an offer from a medical school on the assumption you will perform well at A level. Most universities also have an asses…