A revolutionary new service has been launched offering people online access to specialist mental health doctors – in the comfort of their own home.
The website www.psychiatry-uk.com has been set up by a group of doctors who wanted to provide people with more than the NHS can offer.
Managing partner Jon Chanter said: “People can often wait weeks or months hoping to see a consultant psychiatrist after they’ve first made contact with their GP, and still end up just being sent back to their local surgery.
“That’s just the way the NHS works, with patients often having to go through a number of stages before hopefully getting to talk to someone who can really help.
“So a group of friends, who are all psychiatrists, and I sat down and decided to see if there was an alternative way of going about it”
The doctors wanted to provide a service that was confidential, affordable and trustworthy. And their efforts have been rewarded as they have been registered by the Care Quality Commission, which ensures hospitals, doctors and other healthcare services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care.
Clinical lead Dr Andy Montgomery, who has been a practising psychiatrist for 18 years, said: “From the very beginning, we set out to offer people the best service available, with UK-registered consultant psychiatrists providing advice to people with mental health issues and their families and friends, in the most efficient way possible.
“With our online service, bookings can be made within just a few hours. From the initial contact, which can be over the phone or online, our specialist receptionists will help the patient decide who is the best consultant among our many experts to advise on the patient’s concerns.
“The patient is then sent a link to a secure video-conferencing site where they can talk to the psychiatrist.
“We’re also able to prescribe medication through the digital prescription pad service, should any be necessary, and provide access to suitable online psychotherapy services if needed.”
Mr Chanter added: “While many people still don’t like to discuss mental health, it is a huge issue both for many individuals and for society as a whole. Our website provides a simple, affordable and confidential way of treating patients quickly and in their own homes or offices.”
Consultations are available in the UK for £100 from the website, which can be found at www.psychiatry-uk.com.