At the peak of the pandemic, around 71% of GP appointments were carried out remotely by phone or video. Patients across the UK have been exploring video GP appointments instead of the traditional face-to-face – a trend that seems to be staying put.
Whether using Livi to get expert advice on a long-term condition, or to avoid the hassle of going to the surgery to get a prescription, everyone has a different experience of using digital healthcare. Here, 5 patients share their stories of using the Livi app.
‘Video GP appointments helped massively in the pandemic’
Although Anna lives in Putney, she stayed registered with her GP practice back home in East Sussex. The Livi app allows her to stay connected with a GP who knows her history of psoriasis, but she can have the appointment from home and pick up her prescription locally in London.
Using Livi in the pandemic has been a great help for Anna. She didn’t like the idea of going to the surgery in lockdown and struggled to get a face-to-face appointment to fit around work. She felt a GP practice appointment would be better given to somebody else – someone with a symptom that really needs a face-to-face examination.
‘Livi is great if you want to quickly get your prescription or just talk about your health concerns. I uploaded photos in the app to share with the doctor so he could see my psoriasis had worsened. He was able to give accurate treatment quickly!’
When her grandma had been feeling dizzy, Anna struggled to get her an appointment at the surgery. To get a quicker doctor referral, she and her mum helped her grandma set up a Livi account and book an appointment, and a GP video called her before 9am the next day.
‘I feel much more comfortable in my own environment than a doctor’s room’
Gary likes to keep on top of his health. He swims in the sea every day and has swam across the English channel – he even had one Livi appointment from his car just after a sea swim. Because he’s clued up on health, he’s immediately on the case when he needs to get something checked. Gary explains that Livi helps with getting answers quickly, so he can spend more time on his hobbies and with family.
‘Quite often your health is fine but you just need that reassurance from a GP, and using the app can give you that. You can save time, not worry about parking or sitting in the waiting room, and the appointment is carried out at a mutually beneficial time.’
Gary used Livi for his children when they were unwell, as well as for himself. They were comfortable using his phone and the doctor was able to make an accurate diagnosis plus a quick referral and a follow-up appointment. Gary believes everyone, whatever their age, could benefit from using the service.
‘I’ve raved about the service to anyone who will listen!’
Larrissa first used a video GP app after suffering with a nasty sinus infection. Although she’s the kind of person who likes to get health issues sorted as fast as she can, she couldn’t get an appointment to see her usual doctor, and was in a lot of pain with intense headaches. Her partner, who heard about Livi through work, prompted her to book with Livi.
Within 30 minutes Larissa was talking with a Livi GP, and an hour later, her partner picked up her prescription. It was a huge relief.
‘The GP I saw was so nice and understanding – they could see I was really struggling. I know they must see hundreds of patients each week and I can only imagine how stressful the job can be, even without the pandemic. I truly feel like this service is something really special.’
Larrissa kindly submitted feedback to Livi, thanking the doctor who helped her put an end to the discomfort. ‘I felt like my head was going to explode and without this appointment I don’t know what I would have done. When you’re feeling really poorly, travelling to a GP surgery can feel like too much to bear.’
‘It was done and dusted in an hour and a half, from start to finish’
Sue doesn’t go to the doctors often, but when she needed medication for an infection during the pandemic, she turned to Livi.
After years of working in primary and secondary care, Sue knows the nature of in-person appointments. The fact she didn’t need to sit in a waiting room with people who are unwell made it a simple choice to use the app.
Once she signed up, Sue got an appointment the same day. She loved how she could speak to the doctor while sitting in a quiet room at home, feeling relaxed.
‘The GP was absolutely lovely. He asked me all the right questions – how I was feeling, how long I’d been feeling this way – and he got everything sorted straight away. He then made sure my prescription was sent to a pharmacy within walking distance for me, and I picked it up 20 minutes later. I used the medication and my infection cleared up.’
After Sue’s first experience using a video GP app, she’s recommended it to ex-colleagues in healthcare describing it as ‘the way forward'.
‘I just couldn’t get an appointment at my usual GP surgery’
Mike uses Livi regularly to help manage symptoms from his varicose veins and circulation problems. His leg pain gets worse in the evenings and when the weather’s cold or damp, so sunny days are always welcomed!
Because his mobility is better in the morning, Mike has to get things done early so he can rest later in the day. But real-life doctors appointments aren’t always available at the time of day he needs, and same-day appointments often get booked up immediately.
So Mike chose the Livi app instead. Experienced GPs prescribed him a cream to help itching in his leg, some painkillers to help on a less comfortable day, plus valuable advice to help him sleep through the sounds of noisy neighbours.
‘With Livi, if you need to speak to someone, you can just take out your phone and book an appointment, it’s so quick and easy. And I could just have the appointment in my own home, at a time that suits me.’