ALMOST a third of employees in the West Midlands said they would rather use telemedicine services than visit their GP practice.

A study of 2,000 UK workers by Willis Towers Watson found that 30 per cent of workers in the region would rather go online and use video links to access GP services, such as medical advice, consultations or prescriptions.

Mike Blake, wellbeing lead at WTW, said: “Telemedicine can enable employees to receive a swift diagnosis and treatment, particularly for less complex illnesses and medical conditions, without the need to take time off work.

“When used appropriately, it has the potential to reduce healthcare costs, increase productivity and employee engagement while reducing the burden on primary care services.”

Nationally, the research found that younger workers were more likely than their older cohorts to use telemedicine. Forty-one per cent of employees age 18-24 said they’d prefer to use digital GPs, compared to just 16 per cent of those aged 55 and over.

This post-millennial workforce was found to be three times more likely than over 55s to have cancelled a scheduled GP appointment in the past 12 months (24 per cent vs eight per cent), and six times more likely (24 per cent vs four per cent) to be a no-show.

Mr Blake added: “Culturally, Millennials and Generation Z are used to accessing anything, anywhere at any time and accept mobile tech, subscription and on-demand services as the everyday norm.

“These younger workers are perhaps less prepared than their older colleagues to wait, to make arrangements or to take time out of their working day, for appointments. Workplace telemedicine offers a convenient, flexible solution by bringing GP services into the ‘on-demand services’ fold.”

Forty-five per cent of all workers who failed to turn up to GP appointments said they forgot, 35 per cent said they arrived late, 33 per cent said work commitments prevented attendance and 20 per cent said they were unable to arrange transport.