There is a lot of press about online GPs destabilising normal practices and I have previously blogged about why don’t these companies work with general practice rather than against us. Well, I’ve come across one, that does seem to be working with GPs, that I don’t think is getting enough publicity.
Q Doctor appears to do all the usual – it has an app – you can speak to a GP online however it is free to the patient. The practice pays as its effectively buying in a virtual locum. Practices hire locums all the time to do surgeries. In some areas its easier than others. Companies like Lantum have some innovative products to help however sometimes you cant get one. Or sometimes you don’t want one at their terms. Locums often want full day – half day – surgery only. Sometimes you just want 2 hours covered or you know it’s going to be busy 5-6pm. or 8-10am.
Well Q Doctor links you to their network of locums who work from their own site – so no travelling – and can be hired on an hourly basis whenever you want. Whats better is as they are working for you – they can access your records and my understanding is they record their consultations in your system. Its taken Q Doctor a while to sort this but it apparently works.
Ok the patient needs to be ok with online – and perhaps reception need training to offer it in the most effective way but here is a superb opportunity to assist general practice not harm it. Locally we are hoping to use them for some extended hours access and I’ll feedback but give them a go – their pro-general practice ethos deserves support.