Push Doctor video consultations now available to 2.1 million patients in Britain on the NHS

Figures show that waiting times for appointments are an average of 26 minutes after logging on to the service.
By Tammy Lovell
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Free GP consultations are now available to over 2.1 million people across the country through Push Doctor partnerships with the NHS.

The UK-built digital GP service is growing its partnerships with the NHS – currently working with doctor’s practices across Yorkshire, the Midlands, London and the South East. It is on course to have 200 NHS surgeries registered by the end of this year.

Patients who access the service can choose whether they would like to see a GP in person or have a consultation with an NHS doctor either via smartphone app or online.

All GPs, digital and in-surgery have full access to patient records, with clinical and governance policies created by a co-working group.

WHY IT MATTERS

According a press release from Push Doctor, its service has “drastically reduced the time patients have to wait to see a GP for any health complaint, no matter how minor, without compromising on the quality of care that they receive”.

Figures based on analysis of service users over the last 12 months show patients receiving free Push Doctor video consultations on the NHS wait an average of 26 minutes to be seen by a doctor from the point they log onto the website, versus two weeks which is the current average wait time for an appointment.

If a patient receives a virtual consultation with a GP and needs a face-to-face appointment, they will be seen in person as required.

Patients are also able to receive prescriptions, referrals and fit notes, and will not have to de-register from their existing surgery, adding to the convenience of the service.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

Push Doctor is one of 20 innovators taking part in this year's DigitalHealth.London accelerator programme, in an effort to speed up adoption and spread of innovation across the NHS.

The platform was the first in the UK to begin offering video GP consultations with patients online and via smartphone in June 2015.

Last year, the service treated more than 1,000 different condition including a wide range of infections, gastric, respiratory and mental health conditions.

ON THE RECORD

Dr Dan Bunstone, a practicing GP and chief medical officer at Push Doctor said: “GP practices are doing an incredible job serving their communities - by working with them we’re bringing innovation and choice to people, particularly helping those who may be juggling busy lifestyles, living with mobility issues or mental health conditions. And we’re helping free up tens of thousands of GP appointments in the process.

“We’re on a mission to bring tens of millions of video consultations to the nation for free on the NHS, so they have the option of seeing a doctor on their phone, tablet or computer wherever they are.”