Milton Keynes residents can now skip surgery waiting lists and get seen by a GP at a pharmacy store - via a two-way live video link.
The private consultation will cost £39 for 15 minutes, plus the cost of any medication prescribed.
The doctor will give long distance advice after a 'virtual examination' using state-of-the-art diagnostic technology including a connected stethoscope, close examination camera, thermometer, pulse oximeter and blood pressure devices .
The new service is available at Mclaren Pharmacy, which is in New Bradwell. It has been launched by Medicspot, a startup founded by an NHS doctor to support overstretched resources.
Founder Dr Zubair Ahmed says the service has proved invaluable in other parts of the country, where NHS patients are regularly forced to wait over two weeks for a GP appointment or in more urgent cases, spending several hours in a waiting room at A&E.
“We’re not aiming to replace NHS GP surgeries but as doctors, we are all concerned about waiting times and the problems this can inevitably cause”, he said.
“We believe that giving patients options of how and when they see the doctor will improve satisfaction and health. We are delighted to be one of only a few online GP services to have been commended by the Care Quality Commission.”
Sahil Shah, the pharmacist at Mclaren Pharmacy, believes the new service will help to ease pressure on local NHS resources, offering time-strapped locals and visitors an alternative to the traditional GP surgery.
He said: “Increasingly, pharmacists and GPs are working together to provide a health service that’s second to none. It makes absolute sense to work as a team, ensuring that patients will benefit from our joint medical expertise, benefiting from peace of mind or relief from discomfort, often much faster than has previously been possible.”
Dr Wasif Razzaq, a GP who will be using the technology to see patients in Milton Keynes, said: “The ability to take vital signs and examine patients is a massive step forward in how clinically supported I feel when managing patients remotely.”
Medicspot at Mclaren Pharmacy is open 9am–6:30pm, Monday to Friday and 9am–12pm on Saturday. Consultations cost £39 plus the cost of any medication and last for around fifteen minutes.
To make an appointment, people in Milton Keynes can book online, at Mclaren Pharmacy or over the phone by calling 01908 983026.