Norwich Union Healthcare has hit back at recent reports criticising the Medicentre clinics in which it has a 5% stake.
magazine investigated the Sinclair Montrose Healthcare operated “walk-in” private GP surgeries, where customers do not need to make appointments.
But in its conclusions, the magazine stated that it was worried by what it perceived as a lack of proper investigation into patients’ complaints.
The study’s authors said they were also concerned by the failure on the doctors’ part to inform the patients’ registered GPs of the consultation afterwards.
Norwich Union Healthcare invested in Sinclair Montrose last October when the company was floated on the Alternative Investment Market.
Healthcare’s commercial director, Tim Baker, said at the time he looked forward to “developing insurance products linked to Medicentre”.
Baker has refuted the Health Which?
claims that Medicentre’s walk-in clinics have their limitations.
And he disagrees strongly with the findings of the report which say the ad hoc basis of Medicentres means there are “serious implications for the continuity of patient care”.
“The report is misconceived. Medicentres provide a valuable and quality service and have been well-developed. The Health Which?
report is underhand in its methods of using fictitious patients to carry out research – not a valid way at all,” affirmed Baker.
He added there was no reason Medicentre GPs could not provide good medical advice to patients.
“Medicentres are a new way of delivering services and will be important for Norwich Union Healthcare and the private healthcare market as a whole,” Baker said.
Sinclair Montrose has pledged to change its system so reports are automatically made to relevant GPs unless the patient requests otherwise.