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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.