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GP bookings via digital TV

23rd July 2007

Some patients in the UK could make GP appointments using their televisions, following the success of a pilot scheme.

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The pilot, trialled in South Yorkshire, indicated that it lessened the number of missed appointments.

More than 1,100 surgeries could use the service, which gives patients the option of booking, changing and canceling appointments by using the interactive service on their digital television. The service can also be accessed by WAP-enabled mobile phones and is charged according to the user's service provider.

Patients in areas which use the service can look at information provided by their GP's receptionist and use a password to gain access to the system. Appointments are shown
in the same way as the receptionist sees the system.

The service is provided on the Looking Local portal on the interactive menus on Sky, cable and Freeview boxes.

The service's manufacturers EMIS said their future plans included repeat prescriptions and patient health data.

Sean Riddell, healthcare managing director of EMIS, said: "Thousands more people across the UK will now be able to enjoy the convenience of booking a doctor's appointment via digital television...as well as improving access to healthcare for patients, this unique service also saves valuable time and money for busy surgeries."

Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said in his experience online booking had been popular and he expected this service to have "a similarly positive impact."

 

 


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