How you can get a GP in for a home visit - within 90 minutes

Doctor On Home Visit
Doctor On Home Visit

Can you imagine a world where a family doctor will visit you at home, within 90 minutes of the time you call? They can come any time between 8am and 11pm, and will stay for up to 45 minutes. It seems like an impossible dream, but it's perfectly possible. There's just one small catch.

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There's no queuing for hours with other sick people in depressing waiting rooms, and there's no need to take half a day off work for a five minute chat with a harassed doctor. All you have to do is stump up the cash.

Unfortunately it's not cheap. The service, revealed by Pulse magazine, is being offered by AKEA Life in the North West. It charges £80 a month for people aged under 40, £100 for those aged between 40 and 64 and £120 for those over the age of 65. For your money you will get up to 12 visits each year, although you can have more if you pay additional fees.

There is also 'GP Delivered Quick' in London and Birmingham, which is a pay-as-you go service, which costs £120 for a 25-minute consultation and £150 at weekends.

Array of options

Beyond those services highlighted by the researchers, there are hundreds more. Doctorcall has been operating in London and Manchester for years, with home visits starting at £165.

If you are prepared to visit a private GP in their offices, the options are endless, with everyone from Bupa to Nuffield Health and Doctap offering a huge number of private GPs, with appointments from £24.

If you are happy visiting an online GP, Pushdoctor offers the first 10 minute consultation for £7, and can email your prescription to you.

Last year Doctaly, a GP company offering 'uber' style GP appointments, launched. The idea is to match NHS GPs with fee-paying patients, who see them in their own practice in their spare time for a fee of between £39.99 and £69.99.

There are a few drawbacks to seeing a private GP - aside from the cost. They won't know you, and they won't have access to your medical history or details of any medical allergies, so you will need to be confident you can disclose anything relevant. In addition, while they can prescribe or refer you to a private specialist, they will not be able to refer you to an NHS specialist.

Then, of course, there's the cost. With charges ranging from £24 for a walk-in appointment at a high street clinic, to £165 for a doctor to visit you at home, this is clearly a service for those with plenty of disposable cash.

You have to ask whether speedy healthcare should be something reserved only for those who can afford it, and whether jumping the queue like this is fair. But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.