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NHS offers smartphone GP appointments

From BBC - November 6, 2017

A 24-hour service has been launched for NHS patients, offering GP consultations via videolink on smartphones.

The pilot scheme will initially cover 3.5 million patients in Fulham, west London.

Patients will be able to check their symptoms through the mobile app and then have video consultations within two hours of booking.

The Royal College of GPs has warned the service may not help patients with complex needs.

The new free service has been launched by a group of London GPs and the online healthcare provider Babylon.

Patients joining will leave their existing practice, with their records transferred to a group of five central London surgeries.

Virtual consultation

Dr Mobasher Butt, who is part of the team behind the GP at Hand 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.

"We have benefited from this kind of technology in so many different aspects of our lives, whether that be shopping or banking, and it's really time that we were able to do that in healthcare for NHS patients."

Concerns

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