There’s no doubt that the NHS is stretched right now. Whether that’s down to post-COVID backlogs, not enough medically-trained staff, other factors or a combination of things, waiting times can be pretty dismal. And as we all know by now, when it comes to serious illnesses, the sooner you get diagnosed and treatment begins, the sooner you get back on your feet. It can even make a huge difference to your survival chances.
But it’s not just waiting to see a GP that’s frustrating right now, it’s every step of the process. From waiting to get an appointment that suits you, then waiting to get a referral letter to see a specialist – and then another wait to see the consultant and get the treatment you require. And of course, while you’re unwell or are waiting to get a lump checked out, the added stress of waiting is far from ideal.
That’s where ZoomDoc can help. Recognising delays in diagnosis as a major problem, Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenny Livingstone and his team have come up with a clever way to cut out some of the waiting time and speed up the process of getting to see a specialist when you need to.
With its GP Online Referral Service, ZoomDoc is on hand to provide GP referral letters at the click of a mouse, without you needing to see anyone. Sounds too good to be true, right?
Here’s how the service works and why we should all be heading online for a speedy, stress-free and convenient way to get well soon.
You’ll see a specialist without delay
We Brits are notoriously bad at looking after ourselves at the best of times. Let alone when you can’t get a doctor’s appointment just to get the referral you need, or even get through to the practice to enquire. That’s where an online referral letter can help.
Once you’ve ordered the ‘GP Referral Letter’, which costs £35 – roughly the fee you’d have to pay by getting it through the NHS anyway – the whole process takes minutes. You’ll upload a short video explaining your symptoms and why you think you need to see a specialist. Once ZoomDoc’s GPs have looked at the evidence and asked any further questions they need answers to, you’ll be sent the referral letter within hours so you can spend the time making an appointment with a specialist.
‘Getting a GP referral letter can be the easy bit of the puzzle. Our online service speeds things up considerably, even enabling you to see a specialist within weeks, if not days,’ says Dr Kenny.
- It’s a stress-free service
Getting a referral letter via your usual NHS GP means booking an appointment, taking time off work to get there and then returning to collect it once it’s ready, sometimes over a week later. And did you know you’ll still have to pay for this non-NHS service? All that creates extra stress that isn’t necessary.
The convenience of online referral letters means you can sort it out in your own time, from your own home, when it suits you. Because it’s all done via ZoomDoc.com you can arrange it while you’re on the school run, on your lunch break, on the train home, or even in bed.
‘Our online GP referral letters are designed to take the stress out of a potentially stressful time. And they’ll also free up NHS appointments for patients who really need to see a doctor, rather than just to collect a letter in order to move up the chain,’ says Dr Kenny.
- It’s so easy to sort
Not sure what it involves? It couldn’t be easier. Simply visit ZoomDoc’s GP Referral Letter and click ‘add to basket’. Once you’ve checked out, follow the instructions, which will ask you to:
- complete a short online form
- upload a 30-second to 1-minute video to explain your condition and why you are seeking specialist care
You’ll need to have the following ready to hand:
- photo of your passport or driving licence
- your medical condition and symptoms
- Confirmation of when your condition started
Once the evidence is validated by doctors and any further questions answered, your referral letter will be with you.
What are you waiting for?
Other ways ZoomDoc can help