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A NEW healthcare clinic opening in Colchester promises to give residents an ‘easier way to access GP appointments’, but patients will have to pay for it.
Private GP Services, based at the new Chesterwell Plaza development at Leda Way, will welcome its first-ever patients from next Monday.
The clinic, which has free customer parking, will offer wide availability of time slots, including evenings and weekends.
Expanding on its existing practice inside Oaks Hospital, the surgery will include three consultation rooms, a large waiting room and modern facilities.
According to bosses, face-to-face appointments will be scheduled for a variety of primary care services such as screenings, medical exams, vaccinations and sexual health.
Unlike NHS doctors’ surgeries, however, patients looking to acquire the services of doctors on the site will have to pay their own way.
For a standard 15-minute consultation, for example, the cost is £90, while a 30-minute session with a doctor will cost residents £165.
Acute care for sick children, lasting just 15 minutes, costs £90 and a six-week checkup for mother and baby costs £210.
Blood tests checking the likes of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis, on the other hand, cost £190, and a telephone consultation costs £40.
Dr Sibel Peck, Partner and Director of Private GP Services, said: “This way we can offer more patients an alternative and easier way to access GP appointments.
“We offer longer appointments and pride ourselves on providing excellent, accessible patient care with timely access to testing and diagnosis.”
The opening of the new practice comes after figures released in June this year laid bare the pressures facing GPs in North East Essex.
According to data released by the Nuffield Trust, the number of patients per capita in the area was 2,265 – which was one of the highest figures in England.
As a result, many residents can often struggle to get an appointment, sometimes having to wait weeks to see a GP.
Dr Peck, who has over 30 years of experience, added: “It is becoming increasingly difficult for patients to get to appointments when they need them.
“We are busier than ever with growing demand for our services, so now was a good time to invest in new clinics with additional clinicians.”