A partnership between a GP Federation in Surrey and an online GP provider has been hailed “extremely successful”.

In November 2018 LIVI, a service which allows patients to access online consultations via their GP practice, signed a deal with the GP Federation in north west Surrey.

Once signed up with LIVI, patients were able speak to GPs who can provide medical advice, prescriptions, fit notes and referrals.

Dr Caroline Baker, GP Partner Southview Medical Practice, CEO North West Surrey Integrated Care Services (NICS), said the launch of LIVI in the area had been “extremely successful so far”.

She added: “We face many of the same challenges that are common to GP Federations across the UK – with the rising cost of care, a stretched workforce and increasing demand.

“As a forward-thinking Federation, LIVI’s ability to adapt its offer to meet our local needs was crucial in forming the partnership. Within six months, we increased capacity across our 40 practices, helping to alleviate pressure on our GPs.

“Our patients have benefited from extended hours on weekends and weekdays through LIVI’s video consultations, allowing greater access to quality GP care.”

LIVI allows patients to book an appointment at times that suit them, including during evenings, weekends and on bank holidays.

This can be done through their GP practice without having to re-register with a new one, which isn’t the case with fellow online consultation provider, GP at Hand.

Since the service was launched in north west Surrey, 90% of patients using LIVI said they would recommend the service to their family or friends and 95% of patients said they received lasting help for their problem.

Luke Buhl-Nielsen, UK Director at LIVI, said: “With the launch of the NHS long term plan, there is increasing recognition that technology will play a pivotal role in the future of healthcare as the system undergoes a digital transformation.

“However, we know that the NHS is facing a number of challenges, including strained workforces and increasing costs. That is why LIVI has partnered with the service to deliver an innovative solution that provides high-quality care, while alleviating pressure on the NHS.

“For instance, with 1 in 4 people across the country currently having to wait over a week to see their GP in person, we offer free-to-use video consultations with experienced NHS GPs to patients, including on evenings and weekends. We’re also able to see 80% of patients in less than 30 minutes.

“Following our partnership with the NICS Federation in Surrey, we have already seen tens of thousands of patients register for the service .

“We’re excited to play our part in enhancing general practice and look forward to increasing access and equality of care for patients across the UK.”