An innovative partnership between North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and digital GP service Livi has been shortlisted for two national awards.
The pilot scheme, which has been running for the past year, enables local people to see a GP by video through the Livi app.
Since the online system was introduced over 80% of people who used the service rated their experience highly and it has now been shortlisted in two categories at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value Awards for Operations and Performance Initiative of the Year and System or Commissioner Led Service Redesign Initiative.
The introduction of the app has meant the CCG in North Tyneside has been able to make an additional 400 appointments a week available through digital care with much shorter waiting times.
The digital appointments not only offer more flexibility and longer opening hours but also reduce the need for patients to travel or gather in waiting rooms and risk the possible spread of infection. They have proved popular with patients with the main reasons cited as convenience, speed and reduced waiting times.
Feedback from patients following their appointments shows an average experience rating of 4.8 out of 5. This is from over 10,000 consultations completed since the start of the pilot.
Local GP and clinical chair of North Tyneside CCG Dr Richard Scott said: “Our patients told us they were sometimes experiencing problems in accessing GP appointments which meant they were then using other healthcare services and putting pressure on urgent care such as hospitals.
“By commissioning these video services we’re not only providing better access for patients but also reducing demand on urgent treatment centres, A&E and ambulances at a time when they are under more pressure than ever before.
“The video appointments are not only more convenient but will often mean patients can be seen much quicker and won’t need to travel, however, we are here to be seen if a patient prefers.”
“To be shortlisted for these awards is fantastic recognition for everyone who has worked so hard to improve patient experience and GP access across North Tyneside.”
Harriet Bradley, UK medical director at Livi, said: “These awards provide a platform to share best practice and shape the future of the NHS. We are delighted that our partnership with North Tyneside has been recognised for enabling positive change in the way patients choose to access and receive care. The shortlisting of these awards is testament to the dedication of every individual working across the partnership to maintain high quality, safe, convenient and efficient care.”
Livi operates between 8am – 10pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday for patients across North Tyneside.