What will round-the-clock GP access mean for business?
GPs are set to offer extended opening hours for patients unable to attend surgery during working hours, the Prime Minister has announced today. £50million of government funding is being spent on enhancing access to appointments; with some consultations happening via the use of Skype and other modern technologies.
Steven Cairns, Managing Director of Virtual VIP; a service aimed at reducing customer waiting time for business clients, said, “This news is representative of our society in general. We are in an age of 24-hour supermarkets, the internet; globalisation. In today’s corporate environment, consumers expect to have access to commodities around the clock. A missed phone call can be a missed business opportunity. If clients can’t always be by the phone, we will pick up for them and treat their clients just as they would.”
Since the country began its rapid restoration from recession this year, there has been a sharp upward shift in sales throughout the UK. Cairns said, “Where businesses would’ve previously required a new member of staff to handle the increased sales, they’re delighted to find a solution in our services.” Prices for virtual assistants start at just £45 per month, saving many firms a fortune in wages.
Digitalising doctors’ diaries is just one step of the government’s plan, in which people’s access to GP appointments is being targeted for improvement. Just like Mr. Cairns’ business model, ministers advocating the GP Access Fund expect that Brits working anti-social hours will benefit the most from the scheme.
Elderly patients will also be encouraged to embrace the digital age by being issued with iPads; enabling extra assistance. Ninety-two-year-old Dr. Rosalys Coope, an architectural historian, is a tech-savvy senior who relies on her iPad for research, buying goods and communication. Concerned that most of her age group would struggle to master managing one, she said, “I was recently in hospital with mine and the other elderly on the ward thought it was a marvellous thing. However, they did not understand how it worked!” She believes that with the right training, the technology could be a real lifesaver for many patients.
Empowering the elderly with health monitoring apps will also provide them with purchasing power via the use of iPads. This is likely to further contribute to the soaring sales market 2014 has seen. As many firms – from florists to pharmacists; printers to painters – seek to take on additional staffing in the second quarter of the year, hiring a ‘virtual’ PA is a viable solution to increased demand. Far from being faceless, the idea of virtual VIPs is that they are a friendly, dedicated team of professionals who learn their clients’ business needs and provide outstanding customer care 24/7.
To find out more information about Virtual VIP, visit their site at www.virtualvip.co.uk