MORE patients are being seen face-to-face at four Basingstoke GP surgeries, according to the American health-firm which runs them.

Operose has released statistics following the introduction of a new app – Dr.iQ – and has hailed its rollout “promising and positive”.

READ MORE: BBC found Operose replacing doctors with less qualified staff 

As reported in June, Operose suspended routine appointments at the surgeries run by Camrose, Gillies and Hackwood (CGH) while it rolled out the new app for all patients, used to provide a range of services including medication requests, medical certificates, online consultations and queries.

Operose said the new app has since resulted in more patients at CGH being seen face-to-face.

The app was launched in response to patient feedback calling for faster access and more face-to-face appointments, and dissatisfaction with the previous e-consult digital platform.

Since the roll-out, all GP appointment requests are triaged by GPs or another member of the clinical team first.

The practice has received almost 1,000 calls a day on average over the past four weeks.

Figures from July 1 to 7 show there were 2,092 GP telephone appointments, 614 Dr.iQ appointments and 800 face-to-face consultations. According to Operose, face-to-face appointments have increased by 10 per cent since the changes were brought in.

So far, 12 per cent of the 50,0000 patients at CGH have registered for the app.

Of those who contacted the surgery using Dr.iQ, a quarter received the help they needed without having to travel to a surgery.

Claire Osborne, practice manager, said: “The new systems are looking promising and positive, and it’s great to have increased the number of face-to-face appointments already. We know its early days, but hopefully patients will see that we are responding to what they want, which is more advice, more quickly.”

Another change implemented in June at CGH was the introduction of ‘team of teams’.

Each practice has five teams consisting of a GP, advanced nurse practitioner, care navigator, clinical pharmacist, physiotherapist, paramedic, physician associate and healthcare assistant.

A patient is assigned to one of these teams, and, when requesting an appointment, will be booked in to see a member of their designated team, overseen by their named GP.

Jane May, regional manager, said: “The benefits of Dr. iQ have been great for our patients, and also for our staff. It has only been live for less than a month but patients are benefiting from rapid help without having to travel in, and more face-to-face appointments available for other patients.

“We appreciate it can be difficult adapting to new technology but we believe this is a huge improvement on the e-consult system which our patients told us they didn’t like.”

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