New proposals are being put forward aimed at cutting the length of time people in Horsham and Mid Sussex have to wait to see a GP.
Digital health company Medicspot says that thousands of people in the area currently have to wait over a month to get a doctor’s appointment.
And a quarter of people, the company says, are waiting longer than two weeks. They say that 27 per cent of people in Horsham and Mid Sussex also find it difficult to get through to their doctor’s practice by phone.
Now Medicspot are hoping to put an end to the wait by, the company says, “allowing doctors to perform remote examinations using equipment operated by the patient.” But people will have to pay for the service.
A spokesman said:“This new initiative allows doctors to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs, look into their ears and throat, and take their vitals including blood pressure, oxygen levels and body temperature – all without needing to be in the same room.”
Dr Zubair Ahmed, co-founder of Medicspot, said: “In light of these figures, we hope our service will offer a convenient alternative for people in West Sussex and help ease some of the pressures the NHS is facing.
“Longer wait times lead to more strain on an already struggling NHS. When patients are forced to wait weeks to see a GP, they often end up waiting for hours at A&E.”
Medicspot says its service is already available in Nories Pharmacy in Oakhill Road, Horsham, where patients can book online and pay £39 for a same-day GP consultation.
The company says it plans to bring the service to many more pharmacies across West Sussex early next year.
Meanwhile, local NHS officials say that people should always contact NHS 111 if they are unsure about where they can get care.
They have also now introduced new NHS video consultations for people in Horsham, Crawley and Mid Sussex which, they say, mean that patients can get advice, prescriptions and referrals on the same day, even at weekends.
Dr Laura Hill, chairman of the Horsham, Mid Sussex and Crawley Clinical Commissioning Groups, says: “We want to make it easier for people to see their GP when they need to.”
People can find out more about NHS video consultations by going to https://www.livi.co.uk