There is no getting away from the fact the profile of digital GP services is increasing, which means Dr Bunstone, the recently appointed chief medical officer at online consultation provider Push Doctor, is set to become a familiar face.
A quarter of GPs would consider working for an online private provider of general practice according to a recent Pulse survey – meaning the likes of Push Doctor are unlikely to experience the same recruitment problems faced by traditional NHS practices – a fact that has been criticised by some GP leaders.
And over the coming months there are likely be more opportunities for GPs to work for Push Doctor; the provider, which currently offers video consultations for a fee of £20 each, has said it wants to work with the NHS, across multiple CCGs.
Dr Bunstone, who also chairs NHS Warrington CCG, has only been in post at Push Doctor for some three months, but has already brought in changes, such as a development programme for GPs, which he hopes will help ensure patients get the ‘best consultation experience’ possible.
In the next 12 months, Dr Bunstone says he hopes to create a culture of ‘being a Push Doctor, rather than simply working for Push Doctor’.
But with criticism of online providers reaching a crescendo recently, that aim might not be straightforward.
Private digital-first GP looking to make a move on the NHS
What he says: ‘The growth of technology in healthcare can seem daunting from the outside, but working alongside so many people dedicated to helping others lead healthier lives is enormously humbling’
Random fact: Competes in Olympic-distance triathlon