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Home Industry News New scheme to pilot GP consultations via smartphone videolink

New scheme to pilot GP consultations via smartphone videolink

6th November 2017

A new 24-hour service is to be trialled by the NHS that will allow patients to speak to their GPs via a smartphone videolink.

Dubbed GP at Hand, the service is being launched by a group of London GPs and the online healthcare provider Babylon, and will initially be available to 3.5 million patients in the Greater London region.

By downloading a mobile app, users can check their symptoms straight away, before getting a chance to speak to a doctor through a video call within two hours of making a booking. Patients wishing to take part would have to leave their existing practice, with their records transferred to a group of five central London surgeries.

The aim of this trial will be to see if such schemes can deliver better-quality services to patients, while also freeing up time for GPs.

Dr Mobasher Butt, part of the team behind the new service, told BBC Radio's Today programme: "It's high time that NHS patients were given the opportunity to benefit from technology to improve access to healthcare."

However, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, warned that services of this kind are unlikely to meet the needs of all patients, particularly older people and those with complex health conditions.

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