A digital health company is hoping to help cut waiting times to see a GP and ease the pressure on A&E wards in Buckinghamshire with a 'do it yourself' examination service.
Medicspot want doctors to perform remote consultations via digital equipment operated by the patient.
The new technology allows doctors to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs, look into their ears and throat, and take their vitals including blood pressure, oxygen levels and body temperature – all without needing to be in the same room.
The service is not free however. Patients can book a same-day appointment online at a cost of £39.
A new report has revealed that 18% of people in Buckinghamshire are waiting longer than two weeks to get seen by a GP – with tens of thousands waiting over a month for an appointment.
And recent NHS figures show that 68% of residents in Bucks were not offered a choice of time or date for their appointment, and six in ten did not get a same-day appointment with a GP. Also, 32% of people in Buckinghamshire say they find it difficult to get through to their practice by phone.
Dr Zubair Ahmed, Co-founder of Medicspot, says:
“In light of these figures, we hope our service will offer a convenient alternative for people in Buckinghamshire and help ease some of the pressures the NHS is facing.
“Longer wait times lead to more strain on an already struggling NHS. When patients are forced to wait weeks to see a GP, they often end up waiting for hours at A&E.”
A national survey of patients who have used the new service revealed 40% of respondents would have gone to accident and emergency if they didn’t use Medicspot – generating a £1.2 million saving for the NHS.
This saving comes after news A&E waiting times have hit the worst level on record, with one in six patients waiting more than 4 hours and warnings that patients are about to endure one of the bleakest winters in NHS history.
As the county gears up for the 12 December general election, the NHS is at the centre of all the major parties' election campaigns.