Online consultation provider Livi has announced three NHS partnerships to expand its patient reach in the Midlands and North of England to one million.

The European provider has joined forces with South and East Leeds GP group, OneMedicalGroup of Yorkshire, and City Healthcare Partnership in Hull.

The partnerships mean Livi now offers services across five major regions in England.

Demand for its services have greatly increased in the last year, the company said, with appointments in the UK increasing 534% between March 2019 and March 2020.

Juliet Bauer, managing director of Livi said: “At Livi, we firmly believe that access to healthcare should be equitable and not dependent on someone’s background, or where they live.

“The reality is that this is not always the case, so we are incredibly proud of our new expansive partnerships, extending access to digital healthcare to 1 million patients across the north of England.

“The coronavirus outbreak has shown how vital access to high-quality digital healthcare truly is, in particular for vulnerable communities, and we are pleased to be partnering with three brilliant organisations to continue expanding our services across the country.

“In particular, our partnership with City Health Care Partnership will focus on offering patients vital mental health support.”

City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP) provides a wide range of health and care services across Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire, Knowsley, Wigan and St Helens.

The co-owned ‘for better profit’ organisation invests profits into services, colleagues and local communities.

All three partnerships aim to increase digital healthcare access for millions of patients who otherwise may not have been able to.

Giles Bridgeman, head of the project management office of CHCP, said: “To enable us to improve access to care and to enhance the experience of our patients, CHCP explored the market for a provider who could provide a video consultation solution which matched our intentions.

“The feedback we received from patients and GPs after rolling out video consultations earlier this year has been excellent – with many acknowledging how it has helped patients to continue to receive care during lockdown, so we know how vital access to digital healthcare can be.”

William Dawson, chief executive officer of OneMedicalGroup, added: “We operate nationally as an NHS primary and urgent provider at scale, healthcare estate partner and as a system transformation partner.

“We believe collaboration is one of our greatest strengths and is the key to the future of healthcare. We see Livi becoming a great collaborative partner, whose ambitions, culture and values match our own.”

Livi has also expanded existing agreements to meet demand during the Covid-19 crisis, the company said.

Working with the NICS Federation in Surrey and South Downs Health and Care in Sussex, the provider doubled patient volumes month-on-month.

In Birmingham, it worked with Our Health Partnership to significantly extend the opening hours of the service.