A man about to have an online doctor appointment

Online GP

How members used our online GP service in 2021

Clinically reviewed on 23/2/2022 by Bryony Lathbury

GP practices are busy, it can be tough getting an appointment that works for you, and you just don't have time during the day. Sound familiar? Many people prioritise work and family life over their own health; that small rash they've been meaning to get checked can wait, or that the mole that may have changed a little probably hasn't. But is it worth risking your health, especially when there's a solution? Our online GP service can get you in front of a doctor within the same day, at a time that suits you, and that's exactly the service our members receive. But what do they get seen for? And how useful is an online GP appointment in today's world?



We've analysed the data from SimplyConsult, our online GP app supported by Square Health, to understand the types of symptoms online GP patients have been getting seen for. We've used data from January 2021 to December 2021 to cover all seasons.

The top 5 reasons for seeing Simplyhealth's online GP: 



18% Skin disorders


Skin disorders cover any issue a patient may have with their skin, including molesitchy spots, dry skin, and rashes. An online GP is a brilliant way of having these looked at and diagnosed because the condition is visible, and that was shown by our data, with nearly 1/5 of patients falling under the skin disorder category. 


You can show the skin condition on camera, discuss any pain or discomfort, or whether it's changed appearance recently. This can help to alleviate any concerns you may have, discuss advice, possible treatment or a referral to your own NHS GP or a consultant. If clinically indicated, the GP can also prescribe medication through a private prescription.



9% Ear, nose and throat (ENT)


ENT covers any issue a patient may have with their ear, nose and throat. Symptoms can include sinus problemssore throats or changes in hearing for example, and next steps vary based on what the GP diagnoses.  



8% Joint and muscular


The third most common reason for having an online GP appointment with Simplyhealth last year was joint and muscular. Symptoms within this category include joint tenderness, swelling, stiffness, aching, and tight muscles. You might not think an online GP could help with physical symptoms that involve movement, but by answering questions and explaining the problem, the GP can provide recommendations and reassurance. 



8% Women’s health


Women’s health covers issues that patients may be experiencing related to women’s overall health and wellbeing, such as fertility, contraceptionsexual and reproductive health, and menopause. The benefit of the online GP for women's health concerns is you're in the comfort of your own home and are free to discuss anything you need. And if you feel happier chatting through your menstrual health concerns with a female GP, that’s not a problem.  You can select a GP based on their gender, who’s available soonest or someone you have seen previously.



7% Children’s health


Children’s health covers a range of issues that patients may be experiencing related to children’s overall health. These include temperatures, digestion issues, breastfeeding worries, crying in babies, and regular coughing. With an online GP appointment, again you're in the comfort of your own home. The child's adult doesn't have to take them outside or disrupt them when they aren't feeling well, they can simply do it all from the sofa.  


Other reasons for seeing our online GP included digestive problems, cold/flu, and anxiety.


Whatever your concern is, it’s worth speaking to a GP as soon as possible, and with our online GP service, you can normally do that on the same day. It’s not worth worrying, it’ll only cause more concern in the long-run and may negatively affect your mental wellbeing. If it’s nothing. You’ve got that reassurance, and if it’s something, you’ll want to get it sorted as soon as possible.  

Get a doctor's appointment when you need one

Join Simplyhealth today from £7.50/month and you'll have access to online GP appointments at a time that works for you.

What happens during an online GP appointment?


When you first begin your appointment, the GP will typically ask you questions about your issue or any symptoms you're experiencing. They'll also ask you questions about your health and, in some cases, lifestyle to really get a better understanding and to work out the best treatment or course of action for you.


The GP can take a look at any affected areas via video, and you can also choose to upload images prior to the consultation to give a more rounded view. After all this, your GP will be able to provide reassurance by recommending what to do next, whether that's a prescription, a referral, or even a recommendation to see your NHS GP.


If you are prescribed any medication then the GP will advise you on how to take this, and they'll also discuss how you can get your private prescription.


Overwhelmed by all the information given to you during the appointment? Any notes taken during the appointment will be added to the consultation at the end to view on the app and can be shared with whoever you want via email.


The difference between a physical GP and the online version is the absence of contact, but that doesn't mean it can't be beneficial. In fact, 91% of patients* found their concern was alleviated after their appointment with Simplyhealth. 


* Source: Jan - Dec 2021 Square Health Analytical report

A woman using SimplyConsult, the Simplyhealth online GP app

Related guide

Your guide to online GP services

All about the newest way you can speak to a GP, including the differences between appointment types, what happens during an appointment, and, if needed, how you can get a prescription. 

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