Pharmacist urges Brits to use online services to book GP appointments

A pharmacist has reinforced the importance of Brits to use “online services” when struggling to book an appointment with their GP.

With most GP surgeries across the UK struggling to meet the demand for appointments, Navin Khosla, an experienced pharmacist, has offered tips for Brits to secure the elusive sessions.

The healthcare professional with Now Patient told The Liverpool Echo: “It’s no secret that the NHS is under immense pressure and as a result of this, we are seeing nurses, junior doctors and other health professionals staging strikes.

“One thing many Brits have experienced over recent years is that seeing a GP isn’t as accessible as it once was and for a number of reasons.

“It’s understandable that people will feel frustrated if they are unable to see their GP, so it’s important to be aware of the other avenues that can be explored in order to get people the treatment and advice they need.”

He added: “In today’s world, carrying out tasks and seeking advice is much quicker when done online and this is the same for contacting your GP.

“If you have the option to sign up for an online service, it’s well worth doing so.

“This will then give you access to appointments, online consultations and general advice which would save you a long period of time trying to contact your GP over the phone.

“It’s also important to be aware that your local pharmacist can give advice on minor illnesses, medication and more and NHS 111 was created to relieve some of the pressure GPs are experiencing, so be sure to contact them if you feel you need urgent assistance.”

Three steps to take if you can’t book a GP appointment:

Register for online services

There are many providers who now integrate directly with the NHS to offer online platforms that connect directly to your GP.

Although most platforms are used to order repeat prescriptions, there are some that also allow users to book GP appointments and records such as test results.

One of the main barriers between you and a GP is the number of people contacting the practice by phone, so booking appointments online can be quicker and more flexible.

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Seek advice from a pharmacist

People often resort to their GP when they are feeling unwell or have questions regarding any medication they are taking, but a pharmacist is qualified to offer advice regarding these things.

If you have a minor illness or have a query regarding medication, you’ll be seen much quicker by a pharmacist and if they are unable to help, they can then advise you to see a GP.

For added convenience there are a handful of online pharmacies that offer secure live video consultations, in a real time setting.

Contact 111 for more severe illnesses

If you or someone you know is suffering from a severe illness or has injured themselves in some way, ringing 111 is the best port of call.

A trained advisor will be able to give you the advice you need and if necessary, can seek help from a GP, paramedic, dentist, pharmacist or another health professional.

111 also offers an online service which asks you a series of questions in order to work out the best course of action, meaning you will get a quick response.

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