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Scheduling GP appointments through your TV

Over 1000 GP's surgeries can now offer patients the ability to schedule, amend and cancel doctors' appointments through their televisions

Over 1000 GP's surgeries can now offer patients the ability to schedule, amend and cancel doctors' appointments through their televisions.

The news follows a national roll-out of the Looking Local portal on the interactive menus of Sky, cable and Freeview boxes with a modem or broadband connection.

The system underwent successful trials in South Yorkshire recently that indicated subscription to the service significantly reduces the number of missed appointments Aside from improving patient access to healthcare, the service increases the efficiency of busy surgeries, saving time and money.

Product creator ­ EMIS claims that it is planning to include repeat prescriptions and patient health information on the system in the future so as to further reduce the pressures on GP practices.

"As a practicing GP, I know from personal experience that the option of booking appointments online has proved very popular and I would expect that this project will have a similar positive impact," Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of the Royal College of GPs said.

Looking Local can also be accessed on WAP-enabled mobile phones, but the costs of this will vary according to the service provider selected.

23rd July 2007

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