Private Healthcare: Dr Charlotte Ridout, Deben Private GP Services
Together with Practice Nurse, Amanda Snelling, we have opened a new ‘pay as you go’ private GP clinic in Woodbridge to offer patients a user-friendly alternative. Our aim? To offer speedy and flexible access to essential treatment as well as continuity of care.
I have stood in reception at an NHS practice where a patient on the phone is 74th in the queue – that simply cannot continue. We feel the frustration and dejection felt both by patients and NHS doctors, and we hope to throw a lifeline while alleviating pressure on local services.
I’m originally from Suffolk and have practised Medicine for 15 years, gaining extensive experience as a GP. I also have a degree in Anatomy and Physiology, as well as business experience gained from spending five years in the corporate world as a Business Analyst.
Amanda’s experience as a qualified nurse spans two decades. She began her career in hospital Medicine working in Cardiology, before becoming part of a Rapid Access support team bringing critical care to patients’ homes. She is now a senior Practice Nurse with specialist expertise in diabetes.
We became friends after meeting at a local pub and we worked together at an NHS surgery in Wickham Market. During Covid, we formed a ‘bubble’ between our two families before the term officially existed, in order to continue caring for patients. Throughout the pandemic we discussed launching a private clinic together and decided to go for it at the end of last year.
Giving patients the time
We provide a comprehensive range of services – from blood tests, smear tests and ECGs, to chronic disease management, and onward referrals to both private and NHS services. We work around the patient, offering the flexibility of face-to-face consultations in our clinic, or telephone and video appointments from the comfort of your home. Your health, your choice.
I feel that it’s very important to offer more time during appointments – 15 minutes instead of the NHS’s 10 minutes – to enable continuity of care. Continuity has been hugely overlooked by NHS England because they’ve had to accommodate so many patients with finite resources. I want to get to know each patient as a person, to hear their story, and to ensure we have a comprehensive medical history.
To start with, an initial double appointment is advised to include a medical history review. Fees are £90/15 minutes with myself, and £45/15 minutes with Amanda. Over time, our plans are to extend the clinic services, and we are looking to hold free to attend coffee mornings, mental health days and patient Q&A sessions.