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Family Health Insurance

GP on Hand

What is GP On Hand?

GP on Hand (or Doctor on Hand) services are private health insurance add-ons. They provide 24/7 advice for common conditions and ailments. It's great when you need repeat prescriptions or speedy doctor referrals for specialists.

Access a virtual network of medical professionals no matter if you’re at work, home or travelling abroad; saving you time and money.

While the “official” GP on Hand (formerly known as Babylon GP at Hand) is a free NHS service available to London residents, there are other private medical insurance (PMI) companies that offer GP video consultations around the clock.

This guide provides everything you need to know about these virtual doctor consultations. From what they are, to how to register and find clinic locations nearby, MyHealthPal has got you covered.

Virtual GP Consultation Options

As mentioned, several private healthcare insurance companies are offering 24/7 doctor-on-call features. Here are a few examples and how they work:

AXA Health Insurance

Download the AXA Doctor at Hand app through the Apple App or Google Play Store. Use your private AXA membership number (or activation code) to get started.

Summary:

Tap into a wide network of healthcare professionals, GPs, advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), specialists and therapists.

20-minute consultations.

All GPs, ANPs and therapists are GMC-registered.

Quick repeat prescriptions sent to your door or local pharmacy.

Access free, medical assistance between 08:00 - 22:00 seven days a week.

Diagnose and treat your symptoms in no time.

Note:

AXA Doctor at Hand does not treat emergencies, please call 111/999 for A&E services.

How does it work?

Step #1:

Book your first appointment once you’ve created your account by logging into your account via your desktop, laptop or mobile device. Find a timeslot convenient to you.

Step #2:

Doctor Care Anywhere will send an email or text reminder 10 minutes prior to your appointment.

Step #3:

Speak directly to a medical professional via video or phone call. Please note, you may have to show some things via the camera for an accurate diagnosis, such as swollen glands, eye infections, etc.

Step #4:

Receive a consultation summary at the end of your call. You can share this with your NHS GP if needed.

Step #5:

AXA’s professionals will also provide any referral letters, should you need follow-up treatment and care with a specialised physician.

Vitality Health Insurance

Get the Vitality GP app for free when signing up with Vitality private health insurance. Using this digital feature does not count as a claim, so you don’t have to worry about paying any excess.

Summary:

Quick and convenient access to a GP.

Get fast specialist referrals when you need it.

24/7 healthcare advice.

Have prescriptions sent to your pharmacy.

Physiotherapy and mental health support available.

How does it work?

Step #1:

Book a private video GP appointment via “Member Zone” on the app to discuss your health concerns.

Step #2:

A trained medical professional will attend to your query.

Step #3:

Access your consultation notes at the end of the call.

Step #4:

Vitality medical staff will provide referral letters for specialists if needed.

Step #5:

Have prescriptions sent to your pharmacist directly.

Step #6:

You can also refer yourself for up to six physiotherapy sessions (as part of your Core Health Insurance cover).

Step #7:

Book a face-to-face doctor appointment via the app - available in Greater London, Birmingham, Manchester, Guildford, St Albans and Glasgow. However, you need to make a £20 upfront payment (and Vitality will cover the rest).

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The Exeter Health Insurance

The Exeter members can access virtual doctor appointments via the HealthWise app - at no extra charge. Use it while in the UK or abroad, anytime, anywhere.

Summary:

Unlimited online consultations each year.

Reduces the need to claim on your policy (and won’t affect your premiums!).

Speak with a trained healthcare professional via phone or video call.

GPs can issue a prescription or recommend further treatment, including referral letters.

Access to second medical opinions (two per year).

Physiotherapy and mental health support (six sessions each annually).

Dietitian and lifestyle consultations.

How does it work?

Step #1:

Book a GP, therapist or lifestyle coaching consultation via the app.

Step #2:

Get notified when a trained professional is ready for the call.

Step #3:

Download your consultation summary at the end of the appointment.

Step #4:

Quickly book specialist appointments (if needed) through the app.

Step #5:

Access discreet emotional and behavioural support with the mental health support feature.

NHS: GP On Hand

The NHS GP on Hand version is 100% free for patients registered on the eMed/GP at Hand app and living in the designated London catchment areas. It won’t cost you anything extra on your private medical insurance premium and can be used 24/7 365 days a year.

Summary:

Input your health concerns via the Symptom Checker or My Health feature(s).

Tap into a network of doctors, ANPs, phlebotomists and mental health therapists.

Get quick referrals to hospitals or clinics in emergencies.

Pop into multiple London clinic locations (i.e. face to face appointments).

How does it work?

Step #1:

Fill out a quick questionnaire on the app with a few basic details.

Step #2:

Connect with a doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional best suited to your health concern.

Step #3:

Select a convenient doctor appointment time slot and one of GP at Hand's trained medical professionals will contact you directly.

Step #4:

GP at Hand is free when consulting medical professionals via video consultation. Private healthcare services via the eMed app require payment.

Conclusion

While the NHS offers a free virtual GP service called GP On Hand in specific areas of London, it has limitations. This guide focuses on 24/7 virtual doctor consultations offered by private health insurance companies in the UK.

These consultations offer wider availability and allow you to keep your existing NHS GP with the benefit of quick access to private physicians through your PMI policy.

If you need further assistance with GP on Hand services, contact MyHealthPal today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get Answers to Common Queries About Health Insurance Coverage

  • How much does private GP insurance cost?

    The cost of private health insurance in the UK varies between insurers. It also depends on the type of cover you choose, your age and how many people are on the policy (e.g. family or four vs. single individual).

  • Can I use NHS services with private medical insurance?

    Yes, you can still access (free) NHS services even if you have private healthcare insurance.

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