Unnecessary A&E Visits to Cost the NHS £10 Million Over Easter
LONDON, March 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
With GP surgeries closed over Easter, it's estimated around 80,520 people will descend on A&Es and cost the NHS £9,519,074 in unnecessary consultations, diverting resources and lengthening waiting times.
The findings come from an analysis of the GP Patient Survey by MeeDoc, which shows that one third of people who can't get a GP appointment opt to visit A&E.
NHS GPs have warned that from today to Easter Monday, 80,520 people could clog up A&Es, so have called for more out of hours care provision, particularly via the use of mobile health (mHealth) services.
Dr Oliver Large, a GP from High Wycombe and a clinical director of MeeDoc, said: "I feel the frustration of patients who need a GP's advice but can't get it. With surgeries shut for four days, patients with health complaints are left with limited options, and it is understandable when they feel compelled to attend A&E.
"There should be greater provision for mHealth services. With many doctors being happy to consult from home via instant messaging or video, we could save the NHS millions, whilst saving thousands of patients the misery of hanging around in overcrowded waiting rooms."
Dr Sandeep Geeranavar, a GP from Birmingham and a clinical director of MeeDoc, adds: "mHealth services such as MeeDoc could help ease the pressure on GP and A&E departments as another avenue for patients seeking medical advice. We have a seven day NHS service but to provide a high quality, safe and effective primary care service, mHealth resources need to be allocated."
"General practice is evolving and in the long term we need more investment by the Government to promote and embrace the use of mHealth for patients wanting to access their GP. I can see MeeDoc as the catalyst for that change to be implemented."
Mikko Kiiskilä, chief executive of MeeDoc, says: "We live our lives through mobile technology so it makes sense to consult with a GP through a smartphone or tablet when appropriate. mHealth is not a replacement for the NHS, emergency or long-term care, it is an affordable, accessible way to see a doctor at a time that is convenient to the patient."
The findings are published on the day that MeeDoc launches in the UK. MeeDoc is a CQC licensed, pan-European healthcare provider with an app that enables people to arrange a consultation in minutes with a GP. For an introductory offer of £1 MeeDoc allows people to contact a GP through a secure instant message or video service, with no time limit on the consultation. If a prescription is required, the doctor will fax a private prescription to a pharmacy of the patient's choice.
MeeDoc is an international healthcare company developed by doctors in Finland in 2012, which provides a GP consultation through a free desktop, smartphone or tablet app.
 NHS England. GP Patient Survey 2016 - https://gp-patient.co.uk/surveys-and-reports#jan-2016
Mark Terry-Lush +44-(0)7740-432-112 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE MeeDoc UK
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