Dr Nicholas Hillier of The Walcote Practice talks about being Winchester’s First Private General Practice
Why Have You Decided To Open A Private GP Practice in Winchester?
This is a great time to open a private general practice in Winchester. Many residents will appreciate the benefits of a comprehensive private personalised medical service delivered at their convenience as, surprisingly, this isn’t currently available.
The Walcote Practice provides the highest quality modern medical care. However, our ethos also harks back to the older model of general practice where the doctor is more available and can provide real continuity of care for every patient through a long running healthcare relationship.
Appointments can be made within 24 to 48 hours, often on the same day, and they last for as long as a patient needs. We offer clinic times both within and outside of standard working hours and we are more than happy to provide a home visit to anyone who lives within a 20 minute drive of Winchester city centre.
Who Will Benefit Most From Seeing A Private GP?
We anticipate that our service will appeal to busy patients, including commuters, who require appointments quickly and who need to work around their own busy schedules. It will also appeal to any patient who wishes to efficiently address a health issue, and to those wish to focus on achieving and maintaining the best possible health long-term.
We can provide healthcare to people at every stage of life right from birth to old age, from busy professionals and young families to retired individuals.
We also provide a very responsive end-of-life service when people need a doctor they can call on day or night to ensure that a relative is comfortable in their own home at this very sensitive and important time.
Why Are Longer Appointments So Important?
Our appointment times of at least 20 minutes ensure that we can fully explore a patient’s health concerns and anxieties in detail. More than one health issue can be addressed in one appointment.
Longer appointments also enable us to involve our patients much more comprehensively in their own healthcare. We have time to educate them about their health and to give them ownership of their health. Patients find this hugely empowering but unfortunately that particular emphasis may not be fully explored in the NHS simply because of the constraints of an appointment of under 10 minutes.
What sort of services do you provide that you can’t get on the NHS?
There are particular medical or GP services that aren’t covered by NHS funds which The Walcote Practice offers at favourable rates. Patients might use our services for vaccinations, travel health needs, minor surgery, medicals and reports, sexual health, occupational health or for confidential advice on certain issues.
Importantly, we also offer quick, often same day, access to diagnostic tests, scans and health screening, and rapid referrals to leading hospital consultants.
What is your surgery like?
The Walcote Practice is located in Winchester city centre. Our premises are well appointed and designed as a convenient one stop facility for patients.
We are set up for face-to-face consultations, medical examinations and investigations, blood tests, vaccinations, minor surgical procedures and the dispensing of common medications. To reduce the number of GP visits that a patient needs to make, several of these elements may be combined in one appointment.
Are you very expensive?
The Walcote Practice is surprisingly affordable. Our emphasis is on time with the patient and tailored healthcare which is good value for money. Consultations start at £65 and they can cover more than one health concern.
We also offer Individual and Family Annual Healthplan subscriptions for less than the cost of a daily take-out cup of coffee. These subscriptions are excellent value, offer a wide range of benefits and enable patients to spread lower payments throughout the year for Private GP Services.
How does your private GP service link with the NHS?
We provide a complementary service so that patients have greater healthcare choices. We encourage people to remain registered with both The Walcote Practice and their NHS GP, so that they can choose which service they would prefer to use at any given time, or for any particular medical condition.
We provide a full Private GP Medical Service, and will often be able to access more rapid initial investigations and hopefully allay health concerns, or commence treatment, faster than may otherwise be possible. Should a patient desire, with the patient’s permission we can make the details of their private consultations and test results available to their NHS GP.
What is your background?
I was born and brought up in the Winchester area and my family still lives here. My father has recently retired as Senior Partner at Bishops Waltham surgery and will also be providing his GP services at our practice here in Winchester.
I’m a GP with considerable experience of working in the NHS in the local area. I’ve been a doctor for 14 years. My training was undertaken at Cambridge University and University College London. I’ve worked in various parts of the world including the Royal Flying Doctor service in Australia before settling back in Hampshire.
Why did you want to become a doctor?
I enjoy interacting with people and getting to know and understand them; it’s a great privilege. The exciting thing to me about medicine is that you don’t know what challenges are going to be posed to you next or what interesting things may come out of a discussion or what position you might be in to be able to help people. It’s incredibly rewarding as a profession.
Find out more at The Walcote Practice website or phone The Walcote Practice on 01962 828715