Positive patient feedback following North Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group pilot partnership with digital healthcare provider Livi.
Patients across North Tyneside can see an NHS GP by video using the Livi app, with a new survey finding that 8 out of 10 respondents (79%) in the area rated their experience with Livi ‘good’ (17%) or ‘very good’ (62%).
The survey also found that nearly 20% of respondents who used Livi would otherwise have gone to A&E or an urgent care centre.
Livi, which recently became the first digital healthcare provider rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), enables patients to see GPs and other healthcare professionals by video through their smartphone, tablet or computer seven days a week. North Tyneside NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) entered a 12-month pilot partnership with the company in July 2020 to help give patients more choice when needing to see a GP.
Through its partnership with Livi, 222,000 patients across 25 practices have access to GP appointments, from 7am until 10pm during the week, and from 8am until 4pm at weekends.
Findings from the patient survey, conducted by Livi, found that almost 20% of respondents said they would have sought some form of urgent care had they not had access to the service, with 6% saying they would have attended A&E, and 11% saying they would have visited an urgent care centre.
John Liddle, 76, from Percy Main, recently injured his leg, and knew he needed help quickly.
John said: “Without my appointment with Livi I would have had to attend A&E because the injury was on my shin where there is very little skin. I’m diabetic, so I don’t heal up. I knew it required medical attention to prevent an infection. I was unable to get an immediate appointment with my doctor, so the receptionist at my local surgery suggested I use Livi to see a GP.
“Though I’d never used the Livi service before, my overall experience was very good; I was able to see a doctor in less than 24 hours via my smartphone. The doctor prescribed me an antibiotic cream after I showed her my wound using the video camera on my phone during my appointment. Consequently, this enabled me to avoid attending A&E.”
Dr Robyn Kewley, Northumberland Park Medical Group, Shiremoor, said: “Livi is especially good for patients who have busy lives and want quick access to medical care that fits into their routine. The consultations over video call allow them to have face to face contact with a GP, to discuss anything that is concerning them, without the need to travel to the GP surgery. Having a choice is very important for patients”
Richard Scott, clinical chair, North Tyneside CCG said: “With health services being very busy at the moment, it’s important to give patients choice in the way that they can access a GP that’s convenient to them. Supporting increased flexibility and better access to high-quality healthcare remains our priority and it’s been encouraging to hear the positive feedback from patients using this online GP service.”
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