Digital First GP services

Digital technologies are gradually transforming the relationship between doctor and patient. In England, general practices are expected to be available to patients online. GPs are required to provide counseling, support, and treatment to patients through digital tools.

NHS England is developing a program to support the transformation of primary care networks towards Digital First services. In practice, this means that patients can now book and cancel appointments, consult a healthcare professional, receive referrals, and obtain prescriptions online.

During the online consultation, patients do not have to visit the practice in person, nor do they have to wait on the phone. They can ask questions online, describe their complaints, and even attach photos. The doctor will respond within a specified time, give advice, and connect the patient with the right person or service.

Video consultation is also available in some practices. Research shows that online consultation helps GPs manage time and workload, while patients report it enhances their experience of care.

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