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Independents' Day

Message-based digital GP provider launches

A Swedish digital provider which allows patients to talk to GPs through a message-based service has launched in the UK. 

Docly claims it is the first message-based digital provider to register with the CQC, and is currently providing message-based consultations for patients at Willowbrook surgery in Leicester, which serves over 12,000 patients.

The provider has said it will roll out to other practices in Leicestershire in the next few weeks and by the end of the year, it will be live in London, the Midlands and the south-east.

The app provides a same-day service from Monday to Friday, where patients join a queue to consult with a GP. Patients will have to fill out a questionnaire for each time they want to talk to a GP and is free for patients at a participating registered surgery.

Although the app provides primarily message-based consultations, video calls can be scheduled if a GP needs more information to make a diagnosis.

The digital provider is fully integrated with its participating practice, meaning that GPs using the service have full access to a patient's records.

GP partner at Willowbrook Surgery, Dr Rishabh Prasad, said: ‘The launch of Docly at the practice has been hugely beneficial for patients and staff alike. Docly allows my practice to offer advice to patients within a couple of hours, rather than them waiting days for an appointment.

‘I have always been concerned with the unmet need of my patients and I hope to be able to offer 1,000 appointments a month with the app.’

Docly managing director, Barnaby Poulton, said: ‘We are rightly proud to be the first messaging-based digital consultation service to receive CQC accreditation.

‘We are now helping patients who may otherwise have needed to take time off work or waited over two weeks for an appointment. Docly is supporting the people that need it the most, getting care to people at the right place at the right time.’

Meanwhile, another digital provider Livi has partnered with over 150 new GP practices across Birmingham, Shropshire, and the south-east.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Being a "thicko" one assumes the person that has the message based conversation actually has a medical degree.

    That being the case he's not seeing them face 2 face, unless of course he shoe horns the replies in during the time between calling the patient into the room and them actually entering the room, while on a toilet break etc

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  • Thank you Dr Chalmers for the comment. I am one of the doctors working in the Docly service and the patient does indeed have a consultation with a fully qualified UK based GP.

    The service is a combination of the consultation tool and our team of Docly GPs responding to the patient whilst integrating into the practice and its existing systems.

    We fully agree that GP's are working very hard, which is why Docly aims to work in partnership with practices to build capacity rather than reducing it. We certainly want to protect those necessary toilet breaks, and the occasional cup of tea in between clinics.

    If you would like more information please feel free to reach out to me directly or to any of our Docly team. We would love to hear from you.

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