Boots UK is to trial a video consultation service that will allow customers to speak to a GP in-store.

The high street pharmacy chain is working with online GP provider LIVI to allow customers with health concerns to drop into a Boots store and speak with a GMC-registered clinician via LIVI’s video consultation platform.

Consultations will be offered in select Boots consultation rooms using an in-store tablet computer.

GPs will be able to offer medical advice, diagnostics, referrals and prescriptions supported by a Boots pharmacist, who will offer follow-on services and medication advice after the appointment when required.

The pilot of LIVI’s video consultation service forms part of larger plans by Boots to create what it called an ‘omni-channel pharmacy experience’.

Earlier this year, the retailer introduced a free online NHS repeat prescription service, a cystitis test and treat service as well as VOYCE, an interpretation service for non-English speaking pharmacy patients.

Paul Dunne, transformation director at Boots UK, said: “Technology is changing the face of pharmacy and in this digital age, we know our patients, and their carers, want convenient, simple and accessible solutions to manage and take control of their health.

“Our collaboration helps make this new, digital model of care a more mainstream part of the NHS and has huge potential to alleviate the growing pressure on our healthcare system.”

The LIVI video GP service is initially piloting an NHS service in North West Surrey from 5 September, and as a private service in Boots London Liverpool Street store from 19 September.

A Boots spokesperson told Digital Health News that the in-store service aimed to undercut private GP services, offering consultations for £25 per appointment. However, they pointed out that any necessary prescriptions or medication would come at additional cost.

Luke Buhl-Nielsen, LIVI UK country director, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Boots to help more patients access quality healthcare at a time and place that suits them best.

“We believe that the health system should be more responsive to the needs of patients; digital health tech, such as LIVI, is the key to unlocking a more responsive and flexible health service.”

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