We're used to TV-on-demand, fast food and instant access to our friends and family, but what about your health? A new doctor-on demand service has just launched with the intention of producing quick access to thousands of private and NHS appointment slots online.
Zesty is the first free healthcare appointment booking service of its kind in the UK. The idea is that customers can access over 10,000 appointments every day across both private and NHS practices.
The online service covers a broad range of healthcare services including GP surgeries, physiotherapy, osteopathy, private doctors, dentistry, sexual health clinics, facial rejuvenation and dermatology. To book an appointment, all users need are their name, email address and contact telephone number – Zesty is keen to stress that additional information like symptoms will never be asked for.
Analysis by the Royal College of GPs found that last year 47 million GP appointments involved a wait of at least seven days to see a doctor or nurse. This is up 17 per cent from the 2012 figure of 40 million. If this trend continues next year 57 million GP appointments will involve a wait of a week or more.
So why are so many appointments available? According to Zesty, across the UK thousands of appointments are cancelled every day. Previously these slots have then sat empty and wasted, but no longer.
Still, the service also offers regular, available appointments alongside last-minute cancelled ones. By allowing healthcare professionals to fill their cancelled and rescheduled slots in real time, Zesty aims to benefit both patient and practitioner.
"Every day thousands of healthcare professionals are left with gaps in their schedule due to last minute cancellations," said Lloyd Price, Co Founder of Zesty,"but at the same time people struggling to get an appointment regularly hit the headlines. By providing users with access to these appointments Zesty is unlocking this lost time for the first time, allowing people to see a healthcare professional in seconds at a time and location that suits them. Whether you want to book a check-up on your lunch-break, or if you want to get your teeth whitened a few days before your friends wedding, Zesty provides flexible 24/7 access to trusted healthcare professionals."