It may be holiday season for some but the digital primary care provider Docly has had a busy August, becoming the first messaging-based consultation service to receive CQC registration on 9th August 2019. It has subsequently launched across in the UK.
In the first weeks since launch, Docly has provided 200 additional consultations to one practice alone. Patients’ cases are routinely picked up in less than an hour. This comes in stark contrast to the news last week that average waiting times for a routine appointment with a GP are now almost 15 days – the first time ever that it has been above two weeks.
Docly is integrated into and works in full collaboration with practices to enable messaging-based digital consultations. Its streamlined data collection methods allow the patient as much time as they need to express their symptoms, whilst providing the doctor with all the information they need. Doctors can provide prescriptions if required. As standard, neither doctor nor patient have to work to a scheduled appointment, saving valuable clinic time and avoiding disruption to the patient’s day with less than 1% of any consultations require a video interaction.
The service is having an immediate impact, supporting patients who may otherwise have neglected the need for care due to long waits, only to seek care at their practice or A&E after their conditions had worsened. Patients are positive about the service, calling it “prompt” and “easy to use”. Uptake has also been cross-generational, with the average user age currently being 42 and oldest user being 84.
And it’s not only patients that have benefitted. Practice teams have seen an immediate impact on their workload, with much reduced pressure on staff and better availability of care for their patients. Other practices will go live with their partnership with Docly in the next few weeks.
Docly actively works to prevent burnout and fatigue amongst doctors, promoting a Swedish approach to work-life balance. Its ability to provide additional clinical capacity enables practices to optimise their resources and provide flexibility for doctors.
Prof Rishabh Prasad, GP Partner at Willowbrook Surgery in Leicester, speaking to the Leicester Mercury last week, commented, “The launch of Docly at the practice has been hugely beneficial for patients and staff alike. Docly allows my practice to offer advice to patients within a couple of hours, rather than them waiting days for an appointment. I have always been concerned with the unmet need of my patients and I hope to be able to offer 1,000 appointments a month with the app”.
Barnaby Poulton, Managing Director of Docly, commented, “We are rightly proud to be the first messaging-based digital consultation service to receive CQC accreditation. We are now helping patients who may otherwise have needed to take time off work or waited over two weeks for an appointment. Docly is supporting the people that need it the most, getting care to people at the right place at the right time.”