PATIENTS will be able to get vital medical checks and monitor their own symptoms - all without seeing a doctor.

Computers, called Surgery Pods, are being introduced to GP practices so people can perform their own tests and record information that will be transferred directly to their patient medical record.

The pod is a multilingual touchscreen computer that is connected to digital scales and a blood pressure monitor.

So far, 21 GP practices in the area have already had the systems installed, with 13 more to follow. Measurements such as weight, blood pressure, height and lifestyle choices can be recorded.

It also reviews issues with anxiety.


Tricia D’Orsi, NHS Alliance Director in south east Essex said: “I am very glad to see such positive feedback. “We know that for some local residents English is not their first language, providing services that are accessible to all is vital and the Surgery Pods are a great way of ensuring no-one is left behind when it comes to preventing ill-health. “Locally, our vision is to ensure we have empowered citizens that are well informed to make a choice and have control over their health and wellbeing and the roll out of Surgery Pods is absolutely a step in the right direction.”

It also allows for reviews of anxiety, contraception as well as a comprehensive new patient health review.

Other types of reviews may be added in the future. Results automatically get sent straight into the clinical system to save time at the patient’s next appointment.

They can be tailored to the individual needs of a surgery and patient population.

It is available in multiple languages.

In addition, more than 600 residents across Southend and Castle Point and Rochford are set to be the first in line to benefit from free blood pressure monitoring kits to help support self-care and prevent the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

The area has been selected to be a trailblazer as part of a national pilot to test out how residents can improve their health outcomes through self-monitoring their blood pressure.

Dr Taz Syed, a GP and digital clinical lead, said: “This is fantastic news, thanks to the hard work of staff behind the scenes, our health and care system will get a head start in trialling this technology, potentially saving lives, making it easier to prevent crisis and keep people healthy and independent for as long as possible.

“Learning and outcomes will be fed into the national programme to help pave the way for other health and care systems across the country so that more people can benefit.”