PATIENTS at two York surgeries are now being offered 24/7 same day access to their GPs through a new online consultation service.

Haxby Group’s Gale Farm and Old Forge Surgeries are testing out Klinik Access, which is used by 1.5 million people in Finland and is now being trialled in the UK for the first time.

Patients are being reassured that they can still contact their practice by phone, or by coming into the surgery, if they wish.

“We’re really excited about introducing this new way of contacting the surgery as it will mean we will deal with the majority of our patients’ needs on the day they contact us,” said Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell, Haxby Group GP Partner.

He said the importance of getting a quick response from a doctor and better utilising available resources were key motivators behind the group’s adoption of the 'world-leading' technology.

“Being able to submit information and questions online can improve both the patient experience and communication to the clinician, benefitting patients and the practice,” he said.

“Appointments with doctors and other healthcare professionals are limited and we know that not everyone necessarily needs to see a doctor."

He said the group had spent a long time exploring other ways of satisfying patient need and the new system would allow it to ensure patients were seen by the right professional, at the right time, to suit their individual care. "Patients with urgent needs will of course be contacted more quickly," he stressed.

He said the simple user-led system guided patients through selecting the nature of their query and giving the relevant information. “The surgery then calls the patient back with a comprehensive plan of care. This means wait times will be reduced and patients directed to the best care possible.

"Patients will be asked for feedback on the new system, and changes made, taking patient and staff comments into account."

He said the group aimed to roll out the new service to other surgeries in 2020 after testing at Gale Farm and Old Forge.