Rochford residents now have access to remote clinical services amid Covid-19 pandemic

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We’ve been sent the following press release to share

From June 2020, everyone registered with one of Rochford Primary Care Network (PCN) GP practices (approximately 40,000 people) will now have free access to remote video consultations for the first time on the NHS – a key move as face-to-face GP appointments decreased by 60%in April 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic (compared to April 2019).1

The four practices in the area have partnered with the UK’s leading online GP consultation service, Push Doctor, to offer video consultations to patients. Patients can now decide whether they would like to see a GP in person or via Push Doctor’s online consultation platform.

The free service will lift the burden off local surgeries by cutting waiting times, helping them adapt to the changing requirements and expectations of patients such as evening hours (for example, appointments up until 20:00). 

The services arrived in the region shortly after results from an NHS England poll suggested that patients are not seeking help from their GP during the pandemic.It has also been estimated that the NHS is facing a back log of approximately 2.4million patients missing out on cancer tests and treatments despite NHS officials continuously encouraging that patients should not stop seeing their GPs during the pandemic.3

In Rochford, the online GP consultation service has been fully rolled out at the following practices:

The Puzey Family Practice

Wakering Medical Centre

Leecon Way Surgery 

Ashingdon Medical Centre

The launch sees Push Doctor’s services now available to 6.4 million NHS patients across England in areas including the North West, Yorkshire, the Midlands, London, the South East and the South West.

Dr Sadik Merali, Clinical Director for Rochford PCN said:

“We are delighted to offer this new service to our patients in Rochford, as this now provides a greater deal of flexibility and choice, which is particularly important during these unprecedented times we are currently living in. Our partnership with Push Doctor means that we are now offering patients additional appointments between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday and also the option of speaking to their GP remotely.”

“Push Doctor have worked closely with us to make sure the needs of all of our patients are met. We will continue to build on this partnership so our patients will be able to benefit from digital technology even more in the future.”

Dr Dan Bunstone, Chief Medical Officer at Push Doctor, said:

“Push Doctor is proud to be a long-term partner to the NHS and UK healthcare system, working together towards the same goal of delivering outstanding care. Push Doctor is already live in hundreds of NHS surgeries across the country, enabling digital consultations to take place between clinicians and patients, and we are pleased to now be able to bring this service to the residents of Rochford.”  

“As the country is adjusting to the new lockdown measures, digital health will still play a critical role in connecting GPs with patients. The unintended consequence of the Government’s earlier advice to “stay at home – protect the NHS” is that patients, despite the ‘modest’ steps being taken to ease lockdown restrictions, are still not seeking out healthcare when they need it. Through this partnership, we aim to change this, by supporting local GP practices to address these changing patient needs, enabling the innovative delivery of digital healthcare across the region.”  

GP practices across the UK have been partnering with Push Doctor since a roll-out in September 2018. The roll-out found that:

70.5 per cent of patients made same day appointments.

Over 60 per cent of the people are seen within 15 minutes.

Nearly 80 per cent of the video consultations did not require a follow up appointment.

ENDS

Reference

  1. NHS Digital. Appointments in General Practice – April 2020. Available online:https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice/april-2020#summary Last accessed June 2020.
  2. GP Online. ‘Millions of patients ‘avoiding calls to GP’ during COVID-19 pandemic’. Available online:https://www.gponline.com/millions-patients-avoiding-calls-gp-during-covid-19-pandemic/article/1681384 Last accessed May 2020.
  3. The Times. Missing cancer tests hit 2.4m because of pandemic backlog. Available online:https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/missing-cancer-tests-hit-2-4m-because-of-pandemic-backlog-zxgg5pps2 Last accessed June 2020. 

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact:

Rachel Morgan:  rachel.morgan@zpb-associates.com +44 7922 576 785

For those residents we asked about this service coming to doctors surgeries in Rayleigh and this was the response we received

There are intentions to roll out to the other surgeries, but no current timeline for action. At the moment it is just the surgeries within Rochford PCN, one of the PCNs that make up Castlepoint and Rochford CCG.