How do primary care patient portals compare?

In recent years a number of online services have been launched, aiming to bring to primary care the everyday convenience of shopping, banking and buying a train ticket.

They have not taken off.

Patients have not flocked to them as they don’t offer the two key things they crave:

  • fast response.  Later the same day or the next day simply doesn’t work when you are anxious about a health problem.
  • a known and already trusted GP.  Seeking medical help is not a transaction like buying a book, and while the medium may be the latest thing, the personal relationship is what matters.  Around half of patients ask for a named GP at their local surgery.

askmyGP is different, as the response time during working hours is usually within the hour. Patients love the service.

Even more important for some patients is the choice of GP, and this is built into the askmyGP service.  Patients can name a GP at their participating practice, and though it’s unwise to offer a guarantee, in over 90% of contacts the request can be granted when the GP is working that day.

The other online route is a private, subscription based service.  That’s fine for patients willing to pay £7.99 per month or more, but with the NHS already taxpayer funded, why pay extra? What’s more, a GP on a purely remote online service can’t decide to see you, and can only refer you to your own local NHS or private GP.  This is simply rework.

askmyGP - free at the point of use, convenient, easy, fast and personal.

Compare askmyGP and webGP, two services offering online access to your NHS GP.