North Tyneside CCG News

North Tyneside Improving Access to GP Services: CCG & Livi

Mon 07th September 2020

North Tyneside CCG has worked with stakeholders since the CCG’s inception to continuously improve the quality and access to the services it commissions.

A recurrent theme from the public has been in relation access to GP practices; this has been picked up in the urgent and emergency care review, feedback in GP surveys (for some Practices), in the recent “Hear my Voice” narratives and also the Healthwatch North Tyneside review of Primary Care.

People who have attended urgent and emergency care services for non-urgent reasons often cite “I couldn’t get an appointment with my GP” as the reason for attending urgent and emergency services.

The CCG has listened to patients and invested significantly in GP practices directly as well as in technology to support care delivery. This investment was to improve access, improve patient’s experience of care and improve the wellbeing of staff delivering the care.

There has never been a more crucial time to have enhanced GP and community capacity given the current Covid-19 pandemic and as we enter our busy winter period. The CCG recognised that a different complementary digital solution with additional GP capacity may help to improve access across 7 days a week, and release time for practices to focus on patients who need face to face appointments. It may also release pressure on the urgent and emergency care system. This has been discussed over the past year at the North Tyneside multiagency “Future Care” Programme Board and also at the Primary Care Committee.

The CCG therefore decided to commission Livi on a pilot basis to offer additional GP access. Patients have also been directly involved, via the Patient Forum, in the process of commissioning Livi.

Livi is a digital application that enables patients to rapidly book directly and see a GP by video appointment on a mobile phone or tablet. Whilst Livi brings the technology, more importantly, it also brings additional GP capacity to respond to patient’s needs. This new application will support the North Tyneside health economy to offer additional capacity within the system, providing GP appointments during the day and also in evenings, weekends and on Bank Holidays.

Livi provides the additional GP capacity and for patients who choose to use the service which works as an extension to the GP practice. Patients have to consent for the Livi GPs to access their records. If patients do not give their consent, they cannot be seen by the Livi GP.

All consultations by Livi are recorded in the patients GP record. In the event the GP assessment identifies that a patient needs to be seen face to face by a GP, this is communicated to the Practice. Similarly, where a patient requires diagnostics, e.g.  a blood test, this is also communicated to the Practice and the Practice will undertake those diagnostics. Livi GPs follow the same clinical protocols as all NT GPs and can refer to other services, prescribe and provide fit notes.

This is a complementary GP service for North Tyneside residents and patients will remain on their GP practice list. The triage element of the app is very clear about the type of ailments and conditions which it can deal with.

This new approach to improving patient access and choice is a 12 month pilot and we will work with our stakeholders to evaluate the impact of the service before making a decision whether to continue, change or stop the service.

You may have seen and read a number of things about this service and the approach North Tyneside CCG has taken to get to this stage of implementation. We thought it would be helpful to develop a fact sheet which can help to dispel some of the myths and ensure that the public have the correct information.

For more about Livi visit