The number of GP appointments available and the speed in which patients can access them is set to dramatically increase thanks to a ground breaking partnership between the NHS and babylon. The innovative new babylon app allows patients for the first time to book a video consultation with a GP through their smartphone or tablet anytime, anywhere, changing they way we access healthcare in the UK.

Two GP practices in Southend are taking part in the initial trial launched this month helping to free up GP time to care for more complex cases. Over 20,000 patients from the Highlands Surgery and Eastwood Group Practice in Essex will be encouraged to use the innovative new service which allows patients to access NHS doctors from the comfort of their own home without the need to wait for the next available appointment, go to their local GP practice hoping for cancellations or visit A&E unnecessarily.

Heralding the return of house calls but with a 21ST century twist, patients can use the babylon service from 8:00am-8:00pm, six days a week, taking only seconds to book an appointment with a GP. Phone or video consultations normally occur within minutes and following the consultation, if a prescription is required, this can be sent instantly to a local pharmacy for collection within the hour. People can also use the in-app messaging service to contact clinicians and get fast and informative answers to their health queries. Consultations are recorded and stored so patients can always check what advice a GP has given.

(Paul Husselbee, from Highlands Surgery added: “Millions of people seek advice from their local GP across the country each year. This places huge amounts of pressure on our frontline services not to mention increasing waiting times for the very people we serve. We see this strategic partnership with babylon alleviating some of these pressures through innovative use of technology allowing quick and easy access to GP consultations while complimenting the existing high quality care that the NHS delivers.”

Dr Ali Parsa, Founder and CEO of Babylon said: “The partnership with the NHS is about supporting and complimenting the excellent level of service already in place. We see applications like babylon, that bring the most advanced technology together with the best doctors, heralding a new age in healthcare, giving millions of people access to GPs more quickly and easily than ever before.”

“We know that illness is, at best, inconvenient and difficult, but seeing a doctor should not be. This service allows users to take back control of their health, getting quality healthcare when they want it, where they want it,” added Dr Parsa. 

babylon service does a lot more than just provide an appointment with a GP. It also fully integrate with the data collected by a user’s wearable tech or mobile phone and compatible health apps. This means babylon can build an accurate and personalised picture of a patient’s health for them, creating a profile more bespoke and detailed than a local GP could. Complex algorithms could in time predict when a user may become ill and what illness they may get and offer lifestyle and medical advice to avoid issues in the future.

babylon is the first organisation of its kind to be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and receive designated body status from the NHS England. Anyone in the UK can access NHS registered GPs, nurses and specialists via the app six days per week between 8:00am and 8:00pm.