5 patients share their stories of video GP appointments
As more patients choose video for their GP appointments over the in-person experience, we find out how digital healthcare works for 5 different people.
At the peak of the pandemic, around 71% of GP appointments were carried out remotely by phone or video. Patients all over the UK have been exploring video GP appointments instead of face-to-face, and this trend seems to be staying put.
If using a GP app from home to get expert advice for a health concern, or to simply avoid the hassle of going to the doctor’s to get a prescription, everyone has a different experience of using digital healthcare. Here, 5 patients share their stories of video GP appointments.
‘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, who didn’t like the idea of going to the surgery in lockdown, and struggled to get a face-to-face appointment 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.
‘GP apps are great if you want to quickly get your prescription or just talk about your 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. She recommended she use Livi to get referred to a doctor quicker, 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 GP appointment from his car just after a sea swim. Because he’s clued up on health, he’s straight on the case when he knows he needs to get something checked. Video GPs help with getting answers quickly, so he can spend more time on his hobbies and with family.
‘Quite often it’s 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 a video GP for his children when they were unwell, as well as himself. They were comfortable using their phones and the doctor was able to make an accurate diagnosis plus a quick referral and a follow-up appointment. He believes everyone, whatever their age, could benefit from using a video GP.
‘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. She couldn’t get an appointment to see a doctor and was in a lot of pain. Her partner, who heard about Livi through work, prompted her to book an appointment.
Within 30 minutes Larissa was talking with a GP, and an hour later, her partner picked up her prescription from the pharmacy. It was a huge relief.
‘The GP I saw was so nice and understanding and 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 thank the doctor who helped her control her get rid of the infection that was causing her so much pain.
‘I felt like my head was going to physically explode and without this appointment I don’t know what I would have done.’
‘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 have to sit in a waiting room with sick people made it a no-brainer for her to use the app.
Once she signed up, Sue managed to get 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 saying it’s ‘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 he’s more mobile in the morning and has to rest later in the day, Mike has to get things done early. But real-life doctors appointments aren’t always available at the time of day he needs, and same-day appointments get booked up immediately.
So Mike chose the app instead. Experienced GPs prescribed him a cream to help the itching in his leg, some painkillers to help on a less comfortable day, and gave him 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.’
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