A DIY doctor company has promised to help thousands of people who are aaiting more than a month to see their GP in Milton Keynes.
Medicspot plans to roll out digital health clinics in selected pharmacies across MK next year. But patients will have to pay £39 for the privilege.
The new initiative allows patients themselves to use specialist computer equipment to allow a 'remote' doctor to make a diagnosis.
A Medicspot doctor can listen to the patient’s heart and lungs, look into their ears and throat, and check their vitals including blood pressure, oxygen levels and body temperature – all without needing to be in the same room.
He or she can then prescribe drugs if necessary.
The £39 fee covers the examination and assessment, then patients pay extra for any prescriptions issued.
Medicspot analysed NHS figures to establish that 23 per cent of patients in Milton Keynes are waiting longer than two weeks to get seen by a GP.
Thousands are waiting over a month for an appointment, they say.
Meanwhile 43 per cent of people find it difficult to get through to their practice by phone, and 20 per cent described the experience of booking a GP appointment as poor.
.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 Milton Keynes and help ease some of the pressures the NHS is facing."
He added: “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."
A national survey of patients who have used the new service revealed 40 per cent of respondents would have gone to accident and emergency if they didn’t use Medicspot. This is generating a £1.2 million saving for the NHS, says Dr Ahmed.
Medicspot is already available in McLaren Pharmacy in New Bradwell, where patients can book online and pay for a same-day GP consultation.