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Patients to access GP video consultations in Boots pharmacy stores

Digital healthcare app Livi is offering video GP services in two Boots stores, as part of a new partnership between the digital GP provider and the high street chemist.

The collaboration will allow patients to see a Livi GP via video consultation in two Boots stores in Surrey and London.

GP leaders said this 'further erodes' traditional general practice. 

But the private provider has said the service will be convenient and accessible for people who don’t have smartphones.

A private consultation room with an instore tablet will be available in each store and a Boots pharmacist will follow up with the patient after the consultation with regards to medication and other follow-up services.

The digital GP provider is first piloting an NHS service in a Boots store in Woking, Surrey and will launch a private service pilot at London Liverpool Street’s store on 19 September.

It follows the pledge to make digital appointments available to all who want them as part of the long term plan

Tower Hamlets LMC chair Dr Jackie Applebee said this scheme 'flies in the face' of continuity and 'further erodes' list-based general practice.

She said: 'This means more fragmentation and loss of continuity with a big advantage to Boots, who will then be able to reap the benefits of any prescribing that is done. Convenience is not everything.

'If there is money to fund this it would be much better spent in supporting existing general practice. Schemes such as this further erode list-based general practice which is the bedrock of the NHS. Continuity is proven to improve health outcomes, this scheme flies in the face of that.'

Luke Buhl-Nielsen, LIVI UK country director, said: ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Boots to help more patients access quality healthcare at a time and place that suits them best.

‘We believe that the health system should be more responsive to the needs of patients; digital health tech, such as LIVI, is the key to unlocking a more responsive and flexible health service. LIVI lessens the burden on the NHS – using technology to reduce missed appointments, lower costs, and improve care.’

Paul Dunne, transformation director at Boots UK, said: ‘Technology is changing the face of pharmacy and in this digital age, we know our patients, and their carers, want convenient, simple and accessible solutions to manage and take control of their health.

‘Our collaboration helps make this new, digital model of care a more mainstream part of the NHS and has huge potential to alleviate the growing pressure on our healthcare system.’

The digital healthcare app recently announced its expansion from north-west Surrey to 150 new GP surgeries in Birmingham, Shropshire, Northamptonshire, and the south-east.

It was previously operating exclusively in practices in Surrey serving around 360,000 patients.

Readers' comments (14)

  • about time lazy GPs consulted via FaceTime and Skype. The fact EMIS doesn't work most days at work due to inadequate internet services is irrelevant let alone adding video consultations to the mix and remember the mantra about how much consultation time it will save. 10 minutes on Skype is not 10 minutes in real time, NHSE tell us this, which is why it saves so much time to see patents….
    Sorry forgot we all have to be really positive about the job now!

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  • National Hopeless Service

    Skypy Doctor I have a triviloma.....

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  • Vinci Ho

    You see that coming anyway . If pharmacy is to sell more high dose statin , the ‘legitimacy’ can be supported by these video consultations inside the pharmacy. Let them ! As I wrote , this morning , the government and its health secretary needs to make a decision who needs who more in this equation. If they decide that we and hence , continuity of care , are not that vital and essential. Fine , we are not there to pick up pieces and they will have to bear the political consequences.
    While more and more experienced GP colleagues will walk , we are already sleepwalking into scorched earth politics ( if you know what I mean) . If the government wants to throw itself off the cliff ( sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Oh , the Brexit story ) , let it f***ing do it .🤨🤪

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  • when GP dies and there are no more doctors the videos will be then with nurses, paramedics, PAs, then it will be HCA based and then with a computer programme. This is the way medicine is heading for the masses. Actual GPs will become private practitioners and only those who can afford it will receive traditional 1 to 1 consultations and continuity of care. GPs will charge the going rate for such professional high class work at around £300 an hour plus at current rates. This is what will happen. As GPs do not strike or protest, as well the government knows, this will be the outcome. By doing nothing as GPs and I include the RCGP and BMA in this, we have created this system. It wont be fair or have equal access. Welcome to the IT world of medicine. The doctor will not see you now.

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  • Soon it will be just like specialist care, a two tier system. Long waits for underfunded NHS Primary cafe delivered by exhausted staff from scruffy buildings; but short waits for those willing to pay £50 for a quick fix in a pharmacy for relatively trivial stuff, with all the real medicine being shunted back into the NHS. Only way to put the private resource patients are willing to spend back into services that’s serve the whole population is to go for a mixed funding model: do what the dentists did but do it ethically and responsibly: perhaps co-payments, means-testing, or allow us to run private services (for treatments the nhs doesn’t provide) alongside nhs treatments. Or maybe, if pharmacists are increasingly allowed to deliver medical care and erode our business model, we should all be able to run in-house pharmacy?

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  • This is why I am planning to leave GP and retrain in a speciality. Proper GPing is great, but all this does is scream "GP's are second rate doctors who are just barriers to care". Can you Skype consultants from Boots? No, they still have some street cred. I'm not prepared to spend my life looking at patients through a fu$^&%g screen. What does this say about the value of our exam skills, or the way we change body language to reassure a patient, or how an exam can be a therapy rather than just to look for clinical signs? Total BS

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  • I agree with d in Vader. By not striking and acting firmly and decisively, the same doctors who believe in medicine free at point of delivery will enable this ideal to disappear. You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette.

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  • Btw. I don’t think this will work practically. If you are a patient and the booth is being used, are you going to wait around? Not that convenient for those wanting it all now.

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  • This is brilliant. Why fight it? Of course it won't save the NHS any money , but does Joe public care about that anyway.

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  • Looks like a Carzi!

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