New £65 GP depression service among Boots mental health initiatives
Boots has announced it is launching a number of private “on-demand mental health services” including an online service offering GP-led support and treatment for patients with depression and anxiety.
The multiple said that with 1.6 million people on NHS waitlists for mental health services, it has seen a rise in patients requesting advice and support in this area.
In response, it has launched a number of initiatives including the Boots Online Doctor Depression & Anxiety Treatment, which offers a GP consultation followed up with a treatment and support plan and prescription medicine “if appropriate”.
The service costs £65 for an initial consultation and first month’s medication. Patients are then ‘enrolled’ onto a “membership service” that costs £65 per month.
Other new remote services announced today include SupportRoom, a £40-a-month subscription service matching people with a therapist who communicates over text and video, CBT sessions over video call through Livi Talking Therapies priced at £65 a session, a £10 mood and symptom checker and a free to access information hub.
Boots said it has conducted research showing that 88 per cent of people who used digital healthcare services during the pandemic plan to continue using them out of convenience, with 82 per cent of two thousand respondents saying they would consider digital mental health services and 72 per cent saying they would rather access therapy digitally than face to face.
Boots chief pharmacist Marc Donovan commented: “Mental health is an important part of our wellbeing, and our pharmacists are always on hand to provide advice and support as a first port of call for people – whatever their healthcare issue.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our pharmacists noticed an increase in requests from patients for mental health services. In response, we’re making dedicated online mental health services available to our patients, providing accessible support and helping relieve pressure on the mental health services already available through the NHS.
“The services you can now find at Boots offer a range of treatment options including talking therapy and access to prescription medicine for those who need it. When it comes to mental health, it’s important that patient can access the treatments that suit them.
“Mental health issues like depression and anxiety affect people differently and there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.”