GP leaders have raised concerns about the first NHS smartphone virtual GP service.
Millions of NHS patients who live or work in various locations in London can sign up to the service offering a GP consultation via a smartphone 24 hours a day.
But the Royal College of GPs said that while the scheme might be seen as a golden ticket for some patients, others are not eligible for it.
The GP at Hand service – created with the technology company Babylon Health – offers a booking system through a smartphone app, with the promise of a video consultation within two hours of booking.
If a patient needs a face-to-face appointment, he or she must travel to a clinic in a commuter hub.
Commenting on the launch of the project, Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Technology can achieve wonderful things when used properly, but we are really worried that schemes like this are creating a twin-track approach to NHS general practice and that patients are being ‘cherry-picked’, which could actually increase the pressures on traditional GPs based in the community….read more