Accurx Self-Book, a system designed to help GP surgeries schedule and book appointments, could save an estimated £123.1 million over five years if scaled up nationally, according to an evaluation published by Prova Health in conjunction with Unity Insights.
More than 46% of practices nationwide have used the Accurx system since it launched in September 2022.
Self-Book allows practices to offer patients a range of appointment slots to choose from through a link sent directly to the patient. The system avoids the need for phone calls to help with the booking process.
Self-Book is meant to address declining patient satisfaction with access to GPs as the health service continues to come under pressure.
According to the Prova and Unity evaluation, participants reported a range of benefits, for both practices and staff, with staff emphasising time-saving benefits that helped them to deliver more to patients, as well as lower levels of stress and higher job satisfaction.
Responses to a patient survey that were part of the Prova evaluation found that when booking vaccination appointments, 82% of respondents found the experience good or very good. In addition, 77% found making an appointment through Self-Book easier or much easier than calling their GP.
More than two-thirds of patients (68% for vaccine appointments and 62% for other appointments) said they would use Self-Book again.
Because the launch of the system coincided with the autumn vaccination campaign for Flu and Covid, a number of early adopters of its batch-message tool used it as part of their communication around vaccines.
Yet, although the evaluation found that more than three-quarters of the links sent through Self-Book so far have related to Flu and Covid, practices have also used the system to manage long-term conditions and routine appointments, such as blood tests.