Our vision: to transform access to medical care.

Simon Stevens on the virtual general practice

If you didn’t catch it Simon Stevens comments on the “virtual service” general practice of the future have been brilliantly lampooned in Pulse.

In an interview with the FT he said that rather than registering with a GP, patients would sign on to: ‘the virtual primary care service, and then… rather than booking an appointment, just be able to call up a doctor or a nurse on [their] iPhone, and have the face-to-face interaction there.

‘The idea of booking appointments and physically turning up to GP surgeries for routine things is an alien concept’ to entire generations of people in their teens, 20s and 30s.’

Star comment.. “Reminds me to book in on that “how to do a virtual PR examination” course….”

The lack of understanding of value in the GP-patient relationship (never mind what you can’t do remotely) is tragic.  But at the risk of being half-lampooned, I say he’s half right.

He’s right that young people can’t see why they can do everything online, while seeing a GP means standing in line. (and this is the generation most likely to go straight to A&E). But he’s wrong to limit it to the 30s.  Last month I bought a Chemistry textbook for my son, on my smartphone, on a train. in five clicks.  Perfect.

The beauty of this is that it’s remote and asynchronous.  That means anytime, anywhere.  It’s also great value, lower cost for the provider as well as easier for the consumer.

Replace with the words GP and patient.

You can’t replace the GP-patient relationship, and you can’t replace the value of face to face, either because an examination is needed or simply because it’s therapeutic to talk.  But a lot could be done remotely and asynchronously.

We hate moaners and moaning, so we’re doing something about it.  It just has to align with our values of responsive, relational and professional primary care.

The thinking behind askmyGP is to put the GP-patient relationship at the centre, make it easy to access online, then easy for the GP to see from the detailed history what to do.

Early interest has been huge, with numbers of PMCF bidders asking us how to build this in.  Reply now and I’ll explain how we can help today.

We have a fabulous video in production for a case study in Manchester.  Will let you know as soon as it is up on the site, but meanwhile do take a walk through the “How it works” section.

Harry Longman
Founder, Chief Executive
GP Access Ltd

PS I want to shout 10 cheers for this article.  Do read Trish Greenhalgh in BJGP on the value of relational continuity.

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