A former NHS Improvement chairman has been appointed to an advisory board of the private GP digital service Push Doctor.

Ed Smith will chair the newly formed Strategy and Governance Advisory Board which has been tasked with providing regulatory guidance and help develop the company’s strategy as it plans to expand its digital healthcare services.

Smith, who has recently retired as the chairman for NHS Improvement, will be joined by Dr Marc Farr, director of information at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, Michael Lennox, a member of NHS England Local Professional Network for Pharmacy and Christine Outram, chair of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Nicola Blackwood, who has previously served as an MP for Oxford West and Abingdon and parliamentary under-Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation has also been appointed to serve on the board alongside retired GB athlete and non-executive director for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matthew Campbell-Smith.

Smith said: “The important advances being made in digital healthcare today are fascinating and something I have been keeping a close eye on. So I am delighted to be given this opportunity to chair the new strategy and governance advisory board of such an exciting healthcare provider.

“The depth and breadth of knowledge and experience we have across the advisory board is a valuable asset for Push Doctor. Together we will work towards patients having access to primary care whenever and wherever they need it.”

Launched in 2014, Push Doctor charges patients £25 for a 10-minute video consultation with a GP.

Supported by GPs working in their spare time, it carries out up to 100,000 consultations a month.

In June 2017, the service was deemed to be neither safe nor effective by the CQC.

Their report found that blood thinners and antidepressants had been dished out without patients first being given the correct monitoring and blood tests.