In my opinion, the days of big clunky hospitals filling thousands of beds will soon be a relic of the past. Digital technology, telemedicine and concierge services, where people can access personalised medical care, will be much more efficient as well as more comfortable for patients.
Concierge services so do not have to be super expensive. Private concierge providers already exist for people with private health insurance (around 10 per cent of the UK population now) and they cost hundreds rather than thousands of pounds per year. The idea is that people are able to access services like consultations with specialists, tests and scans, wherever they are. Concierge services hold portable digital records which mean that there is no need to waste time tracking down patient notes and histories.
I am supporting, without pecuniary incentive, the launch of London Medical Concierge, which is being launched by the wife of a former patient of mine who sadly died after being diagnosed with cancer in 2014. I know that Kirsty Ettrick struggled to find the right medical treatments and expert care for her husband, Neil and has now made it her mission to help others in a similar situation access the most appropriate and timely medical care.
While her husband was ill, Kirsty spent hours every night researching doctors, calling and emailing experts all around the world, trying to find options for him, whilst single-handily raising three small children. She became torn between trying to spend as many precious hours together as possible and finding the best treatment options for him.
I became involved in his treatment at a late stage, when his prognosis was already very poor, and I know that Kirsty feels it would have been beneficial if she had been able to find me earlier in his disease progression. Hopefully, her new service will mean that others will be able to access treatments they need when they need them.
The idea of Quintessentially and other luxury concierge services gives the impression that medical concierge will be reserved for the super elite, but the opposite will be true. In my opinion, it will be a game changer when it comes to providing excellent health care at a reasonable cost with minimum waste and could be even be adopted by NHS managers.And why not? Everyone deserves excellence in clinical care.