New to Online GP Appointments? What to Expect

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Almost everybody in the UK has attended a GP appointment in the flesh and knows what to expect. In most circumstances, you go in, explain your symptoms to the doctor, you may have your blood pressure taken, as well as your weight and temperature, and then you are prescribed medication or referred.

However, with more people now being encouraged to attend online GP appointments, it can raise a little bit of confusion. How exactly does the online GP take your temperature? Do they need to? Plus, what do you need to do to ensure that the appointment goes off correctly?

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Here is a very brief guide on what you can expect to occur at an online GP appointment.

Download and Book

Firstly, you need to find a suitable app and download it onto your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. If you are registered with a GP surgery in the UK, they will likely provide you with the app that their team uses, and one of the most popular ones is tapgp.co.uk

This will allow you to book your appointment with the touch of a finger and many people find this more convenient than booking a regular GP appointment, as you don’t have to wait in a queue to talk to a member of the reception team. You can also fit it around your schedule. Then, you will likely be sent a text or e-mail reminder confirming your appointment.

Prep the Equipment Beforehand

It’s worth noting that, before you have your online GP appointment, you will need to test the equipment on your phone, tablet, or laptop. You will need to have a working webcam and microphone to communicate clearly with your GP. 

If you are having issues with any of the digital aspects of booking an online GP appointment, please contact your GP surgery for advice.

The Consultation

The consultation itself is not overly different from a Zoom meeting. You will have to log in, and a few moments before the consultation is due to begin, you will receive an e-mail with a link.

You will then see a doctor appear on your screen via their webcam and you will need to describe your symptoms to them as they type them into a computer. Of course, they will not be able to take your temperature or blood pressure, but if they have any concerns, they will be able to refer you back to your regular GP surgery to have these taken. They do this by placing a note on the system.

Prescriptions

In many instances, online GPs can offer prescriptions to the patients that they are seeing and can even help with repeat prescriptions too, as they will have access to your medical file. They will be able to send out prescriptions digitally to your nearest pharmacy and you can pick them up as and when you need to. Once the appointment is completed, you simply close the window down and the appointment is over.

Rating

You may then be asked to leave a rating for the GP appointment and the usability of the app itself. While you don’t have to do this, it can be beneficial to help the providers monitor the service.

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