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Patients urged to book online

​Dr​ John McCormick urges patients to book online.
With the busy festive holidays approaching, patients are being urged to save time by booking GP appointments online.

Nearly all practices are now able to provide this service, called Patient Online, making access easier for the public.

The service is accessible from any online computer or mobile device, and patients can also book repeat prescriptions.

Dr John McCormick is a GP at Kingskerswell Practice and chief clinical information officer at South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, which is responsible for the majority of healthcare in the area.

He said: “Booking your GP services online offers more convenience, choice and control to patients.

“Patients can access these services anytime, anywhere, and it removes the need for them to call or visit the surgery in person for routine assistance.

“The response from patients has been very positive. They really appreciate the convenience of the service.

“It’s easy to use, it’s secure, and the registration process is quick and simple. In most cases people will have immediate online access.

“Practice staff are saying that there are fewer phone calls coming in, which means they have more time to talk to those patients who do call and may have complex problems.”

NHS England has launched a campaign to promote Patient Online, particularly targeting people who might struggle to find the time to book GP appointments.

The campaign is also aimed at carers who often have to make appointments and order repeat prescriptions for relatives and for themselves.

Adverts will be appearing on buses and trains, and there will be stands in local shopping centres to give people information about the service.

Dr McCormick added: “With the festive holidays approaching, I would encourage patients to make use of the service to order repeat prescriptions prior to the Christmas and New Year, when many pharmacies will be closed.”

Residents can start using the service once they have registered with their GP practice.