We're pleased to share this message from NHS Devon:
People lead busy lives and need to access services at times that are convenient for them. This December, the NHS is reminding people through a short film that there are plenty of innovative new ways to access their GP this winter.
Many GP practices across Devon offer their patients the choice of online consultations, saving time waiting and travelling. The online consultation service, eConsult, was introduced in Devon GP practices last year and growth in the use of the technology has been more than 500% in the last 12 months.
More than 600,000 patients in Devon are now able to benefit from 24-hour online access to their GP practice.
The new service is on many of Devon practices’ websites, aiming to help people get the right treatment they need at a time that is convenient to them.
Dr John McCormick, GP and chief clinical information officer for Devon CCG, said: “Devon is leading the way in embracing new technology in healthcare.
“For many patients, the traditional face-to-face appointments with a GP are vital and the most effective way to get advice and treatment. But we know that accessing services through telephone or online options are much more convenient for a lot of people.
“It’s great to see such a variety of consultation types are available to Devon patients to better meet the needs of our varied population.”
As GP practices consider the options and tools they want to introduce in the future, they are working with patient groups and local populations to rightly determine what best fits for their practice and their patients.
Evening and weekend GP appointments available in Devon
GP practices in Devon are now open longer so patients can get the help they need more easily.
Busy people in Devon who struggle to get to the doctor in working hours can now see a GP during evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays. Additional appointments make it easier for people to be seen at a time that suits them.
Patients should contact their GP practices directly when they need to make an appointment.
Patients might not be able to see their usual doctor in the evening, weekend or Bank Holiday. However, the GP they see can prescribe medication or refer the patient for further treatment if necessary.
Dr Dafydd Jones, a GP in Plympton, said: “Good access to GP services is very important and we have increased the number of appointments available for evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays.
“We know people lead busy lives so we want to make it easier for patients to get an appointment and by making additional appointments available, we can ensure patients can see a doctor or a nurse at a time that is more convenient for them.”
Check symptoms and book appointments on the NHS App
People in Devon can now access information simply and securely about their medications, conditions and treatments 24 hours a day through the new NHS App.
The digital tool gives patients the ability to book and manage GP appointments at a time that is convenient for them, order repeat prescriptions, view their medical records and access a range of other services.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple or Android app stores. There are simple on-screen instructions to set it up and it will link the person to their GP practice.
Dr Paul Johnson, Devon GP and Chair at NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group said: “I’m delighted that patients across Devon can now enjoy the full range of services that the NHS App has to offer.
“This is a significant step in modernising NHS services, and should make life easier for patients and for practices, with the ability to book and manage appointments online, order repeat prescriptions, view your medical history and access 111Online, among other services.”