Understanding Shared Care Between GPs and Consultants or Private Providers.

Here is a summary on what GPs can and cannot do regarding private medical care:

Referrals to Private Care

You can self-refer for private treatment without involving your GP.

Some private consultants may require a referral from a GP to see you.

GPs do not charge for providing a referral letter, as this is part of their NHS work.


Sharing Medical Information

You can share copies of hospital letters or access your medical records via the NHS app to provide information to private providers.

Your GP can provide a medical report summarizing your records to a private provider, but they may charge an administrative fee for preparing it.


Arranging Private Tests/Investigations

GPs are not required to arrange tests or investigations requested solely by private healthcare providers.

GPs may order tests if they deem them clinically necessary and can interpret/manage the results as part of your NHS care.

You can access results of any tests done by your GP and share them with private providers.

The results of any tests carried out by private providers remain the responsibility of that provider for interpretation and follow-up. Your GP can not respond to results from testing that they have not requested.


Prescribing Medications from Private Care

GPs can prescribe medications on the NHS if they agree with the private provider’s recommendations and feel competent managing the prescriptions.

If the GP is not comfortable prescribing a private provider’s medication, the prescribing remains the responsibility of the private provider.


Shared Care Arrangements

“Shared care” agreements formally define responsibilities shared between your GP and the specialist who is monitoring your condition.

GPs can decline entering into new shared care arrangements with private providers.

There are usually shared-care agreements already in place for commissioned NHS services.

Your GP has a responsibility to ensure they can safely manage any medications they prescribe. So, while shared care can be convenient, it is not automatic. Your GP will make this decision carefully based on their competence, your specific case, and their current workload capacity. If shared care is not possible, your medication prescribing and related monitoring will remain under the care of your specialist and their team.

In general, a clear separation is maintained between private care you pay for and the NHS services provided by your GP. Your GP will determine what falls under their NHS responsibilities for your care.