Experiences of online GP services?

(8 Posts)
duvets Wed 31-Mar-21 06:52:07

Can I ask what are your experiences of online GP services? It seems like there are a few options opening up, e.g. Babylon GP at hand, but only offering F2F clinics in London & Birmingham. My surgery is useless and getting an appointment is impossible, so I'm keen to investigate. Thank you.

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whensmynexthol1day Wed 31-Mar-21 07:01:59

We have Babylon through work so I can't comment on value for money as I don't pay. But otherwise, I think it's great! There are always lots of options for appointments including out of hours. They do video calls or audio calls. I've used it twice to get a referral to a private consultant and both times was no issue. And a third time when my long term condition flared and they sent me to a and e (which wasn't an overreaction as they admitted me)- otherwise I'd imagine I would have been going through 111 and the long wait that that entails.
I don't see it as a replacement for my normal gp but more of a supplement for emergencies and referrals. They can presumably only deal with what they see over the phone and hear as opposed to a physical doctor who can examine your ear for examine or feel your tummy.

TabbyStar Thu 01-Apr-21 07:38:12

I used the Livi app and it was really good. I wouldn't use it for anything that was likely to be complicated but for a one-off prescription it was really quick.

Mabelface Thu 01-Apr-21 07:40:54

Another fan of babylon. Quick, convenient and the gps I've spoken with have been great.

HamFisted Thu 01-Apr-21 07:41:18

I use Doctor at Hand and it's reassuring to only ever be about 45 minutes from a GP appointment.

duvets Thu 01-Apr-21 20:32:30

Thank you very much all.

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Brackla Tue 06-Apr-21 10:54:32

I use Babylon/GP at Hand for my own healthcare and really like it. It's free (not sure what difference getting it through work means, @whensmynexthol1day, are you still registered with a local GP and it's like private insurance on top?) but me registering means this is my only GP now, I can't also be registered at a local clinic (which is what I wanted as it was impossible to get appointments within a month at my local one). I'm in London so luckily there are a few clinics here for face-to-face appointments, smear tests etc but don't think they have clinics outside London and Birmingham.

What I really like about it is that you can speak to the right person for your condition, and on the day - I've recently started experiencing sciatica pains so was able to have a video consult with a physio first then a second appointment that day with a GP for drugs, and then later prescribing pharmacist as required, rather than a lengthy referral process as I would have been as my previous surgery. Always quick to get an appointment, almost always really great staff. Sometimes they're running late but you can usually rebook quickly. And I'd prefer to be waiting at home than sitting in a surgery. Repeat prescription requests are sent immediately.

I am thinking about transferring my kids (4 and 7) on to it too - has anyone got good experience of this? Appointments for anything non-urgent (to look at things like eczema, for example) are becoming impossible to get at our local clinic.

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duvets Tue 06-Apr-21 11:06:57

Having looked into it a bit more, I think you can use Babylon in two ways. There's an NHS option (Babylon NHS GP at hand) for those in range of the London or I think also Liverpool surgeries, or a paid online only option (Babylon) for all others.

I've just signed up for the latter as it's impossible to get through to my local GP (took 5 days of ringing at 8am recently) and 4 weeks+ wait for appointment when you finally do, so it's not a functional service at all. I will remain registered with the local practice as you don't have to opt out with the online only option, since they can't provide F2F consults.

No reviews yet as not used but reassuring to know I can at least speak to someone when needed. But would obviously be a lot more useful if my area had the face to face option (and was free!)

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