Publication date: 9 April 2020
Over 15,000 patients at two GP surgeries in the London Borough of Newham can now benefit from our text-based GP messaging service in a bid to cut the face-to-face transmission of coronavirus.
In line with government advice, GPs are being encouraged to recommend remote messaging services such as Docly to their patients. This is to help patients and clinicians avoid face to face contact unless absolutely necessary, and thus reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission.
The coronavirus outbreak presents a huge challenge to the NHS, with many GP practices already straining to deliver services due to illness, two-week self-isolation from suspected coronavirus cases, and required social distancing for high-risk groups of healthcare professionals who then cannot work in the conventional service.
Digital healthcare can ease the burden on primary care, and can do so extremely quickly. The Dr Knight and Dr Ashar Surgery in Stratford, which began working in collaboration with Docly last week, has been able to offer the remote GP service to its 10,000 patients within just 48-hours of signing with us. The service is also available to the Project Surgery’s 5,000 patients in Plaistow, where we have been operational since November 2019.
The roll out is set to benefit over 15,000 of Newham’s 363,552 residents, 73 percent of whom are of BAME origin - a group more likely to be badly affected by coronavirus than white people, according to recent research.
Dr Vaishali Ashar, GP Principal at the Dr Knight and Dr Ashar Surgery, said:
“Our collaboration with Docly allows our patients to get same-day GP consultations without having to set foot outside their front door. Crucially, this means that patients do not come into the surgery and ensures that they are able to maintain appropriate social distancing for their own safety, but they can still access the medical care they need safely and quickly.”
Dr Farzana Hussain, lead GP at the Project Surgery, said that the practice has only been able to stay open to patients during the pandemic because of its partnership with Docly.
“Coronavirus has come against a backdrop of tremendous shortages in the medical workforce, especially in primary care, so demand is already really very high and continues to grow day by day.
“Digital healthcare, if done well, has a way of creating positive change - GPs can see their patients remotely and much faster, as well as being able to see more people during the working day.”
Dr Caroline Pilot, GP and Docly’s Chief Medical Officer, added:
“We are geared up to help the NHS and GP practices with this unprecedented level of demand from the public during the coronavirus outbreak.
“In the last three weeks we have seen a 17 percent increase in the number of patients enquiring about coughs and colds, and when the UK went into lockdown we saw 103 percent increase in registrations from the previous week. A large proportion of those are coming to us because of raised fears around coronavirus.”
Docly is free to all NHS patients registered with a GP surgery partnered with our text-based GP service.
The service works in unison with GP surgeries and can deliver services the way practices would normally do - arranging tests, referrals and prescriptions.
Patients can have a written message conversation with a GP without the need for an appointment. Docly offers same-day consultations, repeat prescriptions, advice and treatment - from anywhere, at home and all at the speed of a text message.
Patients registered at participating GP practices can download the Docly app from the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) or visit www.docly.co.uk.
For further information about our services please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.