5th November 2019

What are the benefits of a virtual GP?

By Alexandra Sweeney
Employee Benefits Consultant
GP on iPad

A recent survey by Pulse found that the average wait time for a GP appointment in the UK is now 14 days or longer, with three in 10 GPs giving an average wait time of between 2-3 weeks.

The good news is that there is an easier solution – a virtual GP.

This service can act as a stand-alone product, as part of private medical insurance policies, or even to individuals as a replacement for standard NHS GP services.

Most virtual GP providers offer a 24/7, 365 day per year service, and allows patients to select the preferred gender, language and specialism of their GP.

What are the benefits of a virtual GP?

For an individual, virtual GP appointments can be obtained much faster than normal GP appointments, usually within 24 hours, and in some cases on the same day, with the added benefit of giving patients the flexibility to arrange the call at the time and place of their choosing.

For an employer, virtual GP services provide an opportunity to reduce absenteeism by providing speedy access to primary care, which usually results in more effective treatment and shorter absences.

Whilst virtual GP services are available through the NHS, these are offered as a replacement of face-to-face appointments, and are not suitable to everyone. For example, patients with a complex medical history will be refused access. However, employer funded stand-alone plans, or those included within Private Medical insurance plans can be used in conjunction with employees’ existing GPs.

These services can be offered to a large number of staff to enhance an employer’s existing employee benefits package, typically at little cost.  With lifestyles being busier and busier and more dependent on technology, virtual GP services really do come into their own.

Aston Lark has a specialist Employee Benefits team, who would be happy to guide you through this and any other benefit queries you may have. Please contact our new business team on 0207 543 2841 for an informal chat.