Bognor to offer ‘on demand’ private GP service

A Doctaly patient. Do you think this is needed in Bognor?
A Doctaly patient. Do you think this is needed in Bognor?

A new ‘on demand’ private GP service offering people 15-minute appointments to fit around their busy lives has arrived in Bognor Regis.

Through the new online service Doctaly, The Maywood Healthcare Centre on Hawthorn Road is offering slots during normal working hours, out-of-hours and at weekends, fitting doctor appointment around work, school and family commitments.

Doctaly claims to be the UK’s first online platform that supports NHS doctors to see private patients around their contracted NHS core hours.

Following a pilot in London and an injection of more than £900,000 from crowdfunding that ended in January 2018, Doctaly is expanding nationally.

The Maywood Healthcare Centre is one of the first sites outside of London to offer the service, Doctaly said.

It promised that NHS patients already registered with the practice will not be affected as the private Doctaly appointments will be fitted in around the contracted NHS hours.

Dr Nicholas Sheppard, GP Partner at the Maywood Healthcare Centre, said: “Doctaly offers a high-quality, user-friendly service for patients who are finding it difficult or inconvenient to access their GP.”

Doctaly appointments cost from £39.99, depending on the day and time of the slot booked.

However, patients at the Maywood Healthcare Centre are not eligible to use the Doctaly service at this surgery as their appointment requests will be fulfilled on the NHS system, Doctaly said.

Co-founder and CEO Ben Teichman said: “Every Doctaly patient is one less person in the NHS queue.

“Our London pilot proved that both GPs and patients welcome the convenience of our service.

“The new wave of telephone and Skype-type GP services attempting to fulfil appointments are proving to have serious limitations when it comes to diagnosis and there is nothing better than seeing a GP in person.

“We are very pleased to be offering Doctaly appointments at the Maywood Healthcare Centre for people who find this practice accessible and convenient.”