LIVI pilots in-store GP video consultations at largest high-street pharmacist

Digital healthcare company LIVI is working with Boots to offer GP video consultations on the NHS at a high street store, in the latest high-profile expansion of digital primary care services.

Video consultation (Photo: KidStock/Getty Images)
Video consultation (Photo: KidStock/Getty Images)

Patients at an NHS service in north-west Surrey and a private service in London's Liverpool Street will be able to see a GP by video consultation in-store.

A pharmacist will support patients on arrival and offer follow-on services and advice on medication after the appointment.

The pilot is part of Boots UK’s larger plans to create ‘a market-leading omni-channel pharmacy experience’ and means that patients without a smartphone will be able benefit from LIVI services. 

GP access

Last month, the digital provider announced a major expansion of its services, signing deals to provide online services to patients in Birmingham, Shropshire, Northamptonshire and parts of south-east England, as well as boosting its presence in Surrey.

It was estimated that the planned growth would see LIVI providing video consultation access to almost 2m patients in over 200 practices across England.

Patients at practices linked to LIVI are able to have a consultation with a GMC-registered, UK-trained GP through an app, and can request medical advice, prescriptions, fit notes and referrals to further NHS services in both core hours and out-of-hours.

LIVI GPs will be able to access the same NHS Electronic Health Record (EMR) system that is used in patients’ existing practice, meaning they can access and consider a person's full medical history before making a diagnosis.

They will also be able to update patients' NHS medical records, which are available to their existing GP practice in real-time.

Unlike the controversial online service GP at Hand, patients do not need to de-register from their practice to have access to the service.

Online consultation

Under the five-year GP contract in England all practices are expected to offer online consultations by April 2020 and video consultations by April 2021.

LIVI UK country director Luke Buhl-Nielsen said digital services could take pressure off the NHS. ‘We believe that the health system should be more responsive to the needs of patients; digital health tech, such as LIVI, is the key to unlocking a more responsive and flexible health service,' he said.

Transformation director at Boots UK Paul Dunne said GP video consultations in the pharmacies had ‘huge potential to alleviate the growing pressure on our healthcare system’, while allowing patients to ‘manage and take control of their health’.

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