Published: 13 March 2020.
We find out how the Vitality GP app works and chat to Vitality GP Doctor Vinay Uppal about the benefits for members.
With people becoming increasingly open to video calls for everything from mortgage consultations to business conference calls, it’s no wonder that booking an appointment to speak to your doctor via a video call or app is growing in popularity. According to research consultancy Deloitte, the virtual medical market is predicted to grow from 19.7 million consultations globally in 2014 to 158.4 million this year.
Vitality has been offering health insurance members access to its Vitality GP app since June 2015 and many are taking advantage on a regular basis. So, could this service work for you and your schedule? To find out more, we spoke to Vitality GP and Clinical Lead, Doctor Vinay Uppal.
What is Vitality GP in one sentence?
Vitality GP provides you with quick and easy access to speak to a GP through an app.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit for Vitality members is convenience. If you need to speak to a doctor, you can do your consultation at work from a meeting room, for example, so you don’t need to take half a day off just to speak to someone.
If you are feeling really bad or want complete privacy, you don’t need to travel out of your way and you can get a face-to-face consultation with a doctor online from your living room.
The other big advantage is that there are no long waits. As a rule, you are able to book video consultations within 48 hours, and that includes evenings and Saturday mornings.
How do I book an appointment?
As a Health member, you log into the Vitality GP app using your Member Zone details and select ‘Book appointment’. You’ll then need to take a selfie (to verify who you are and only the first time you ever book),then you will need to confirm who on your plan needs care. You can then describe your symptoms and condition and search for a date and time that’s convenient for you. Confirm your booking and then you’re all booked in and ready to see a GP. For more information on how to book a Vitality GP through the app.
How does it work on the day/time of your appointment?
It’s really simple. Your GP logs into a web portal and you log in to your Vitality GP app. Then, at the time of your appointment you’ll be connected so that they can see you and you can see them. Just like any video call, you can then discuss your needs and they will advise you.
How long do I have to wait for an appointment?
It depends when you want your appointment. We don’t operate on a Sunday and it’s limited to Saturday mornings. That means that by the Monday we are usually full if you go to book on a Sunday night. However, by mid to late week there will usually be lots of slots. As a rule, we can usually get you seen within 48 hours.
What else can you use the app for?
The Vitality GP app is not just for booking GP consultations; it gives you access to lots of useful services. There’s a GP telephone advice line where you can speak to a GP. You can self refer for physio treatment and there’s direct access to our Mental Health Panel – including self-referral for a range of treatments, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You can also book a face-to-face service, for members who live or work in London (please note this is dependent on COVID restrictions at the time).
Can I use the service for my children?
Yes, we can consult on children as well, although with kids it can be more difficult, so it’s often more helpful to see a doctor in person.
If someone has never tried the Vitality GP app before, what would you say to encourage them to use it?
The service has been designed to make people’s lives easier and despite the fact that it’s remote, it’s pretty much like seeing your GP, but without the travel.