NHS GP practices have been offered free use of video consultation technology by a firm that produces a prescription app.
Five groups of NHS GP practices and one “very large” practice will take part in the trial, which aims to begin in the autumn of 2018.
As part of the trial, GPs will use the Now Patient app to hold video consultations with registered patients. Following their consultation, patients will be asked if they would like Now Pharmacy to deliver any prescribed medicine.
Lee Dentith, chief executive and founder of Now Healthcare, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that patients will also be offered the option to have the app forward their prescription to a local pharmacy as a ‘click-and-collect’. In this scenario, the local pharmacy will pick the order from their own stock and claim NHS reimbursement as usual.
Dentith said that Now Healthcare “currently offer the click-and-collect service for all of our private medical insurance clients, and over 85% of the prescriptions we issue for acutes are dispatched to local community pharmacies”.
Sandra Gidley, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board, said: “This model is an encouraging combination of the use of technology, while maintaining the interpersonal link between patient and pharmacist. The recent results from John Lewis have provided a stark reminder that people are accessing services in different ways, but this would appear to be an interesting bridge between technology and the traditional.”