GPs to offer consultations to patients by phone

GP-Online will see face-to-face consultations through smart phones

GPs, GP Online, smartphones, face to face, patients, doctors appointments, new service, app

File photo of a doctor checking a patient's blood pressure | Image: Anthony Devlin / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Doctors are to begin offering consultations over the phone to patients who cannot make it to the surgery.

GPs are to bring out a new app which will allow a face to face consultation to take place without every having to leave the house.

GP Online is at an advanced stage and will be rolled out later this year.

Patients can make an appointment through the app's booking system.

If a prescription is needed it can be issued electronically to any pharmacy.

The service is being launched by the National Association of General Practitioners (NGAP).

It will will enable GPs to provide face-to-face consultations with their own patients using smart phone, iPads and computers.

Cost set by each GP

GP Online will initially only be available for private appointments - but the NAGP says it is hopeful it will be used for GMS appointments in the future.

The cost of this service to patients will be set by each GP, but the NGAP expects it to be considerably lower than the current cost of an appointment.

Chris Goode is CEO of the NGAP, and says it will make for a more efficient service.

"It's not a replacement by any means for person to person consultations, but it's an adjunct to existing services" he said.

"And evidence from around the world has shown this is the future really".

"It's cost effective, it will relieve waiting times...and it'll also have a positive impact on the ED crisis that's going on" he added.