Boots has launched a ‘pay as you go’ Online Doctor service for 45 healthcare conditions, including skin conditions, sexual health and family planning, alongside weight loss support, diabetes testing and menopause treatments.
The new service offers access to prescriptions, treatment and advice, the company says. Prescriptions can be picked up at a local Boots branch or delivered to a home address. Consultation costs start from £15 inclusive of prescription costs and can also earn Boots Advantage Card points on purchases.
“People are increasingly looking online to access healthcare at a time and place that suits them – a trend that has accelerated during the pandemic,” says Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist at Boots UK. “We see a future where patients interact with us digitally and in person in a unique blend that suits their personal preference.”
The Boots Online Doctor service is available via the boots.com Health Hub. Customers go to onlinedoctor.boots.com and select the service they require. After registering, they complete an online questionnaire which can take between 5-10 minutes.
Users get the outcome of their consultation between 2 and 24 hours later depending on the condition. For consultations where medication is prescribed they can collect their items from any Boots branch (excluding the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland) on the same day or get it delivered. They will also receive a video with follow-up advice from the clinician authorising their treatment.
Boots expects sexual health services, cystitis and hair loss to be the most popular conditions for consultation. The Online Doctor service provides convenience to people who would consider using private services to access treatment for non-urgent healthcare conditions, the company says, adding that they are more accustomed to using remote services following the pandemic.
Figures from the Royal College of General Practitioners show that 54 per cent of GP appointments were conducted by phone or video in March 2021. Additionally, sales of healthcare products overall on boots.com have jumped 126 per cent in the 12 months since March 2020.