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April 26, 2023

Independent evaluation highlights how Self-Book could release £123m in benefits to primary care

A new independent evaluation led by Unity Insights and Prova Health has highlighted how the use of Accurx's Self-Book technology could deliver benefits of over £0.65M to ICBs in the next year, equating to £3.2M over five years. The evaluation looked at both quantitative and qualitative data, and concluded that if scaled nationally, Self-Book would bring benefits of at least £123M over five years to primary care across England, felt primarily through reductions in the number of phone calls GP practices handle and a reduction in ‘did not attends.’

Accurx is already used by 98% of GP practices and Self-Book is a key part of its offering, enabling GP practices to invite patients - either individually or in batches - to book for specific appointment types. Patients receive an SMS with a booking link for a particular clinic or service, and can book online at a time that suits them, rather than joining the 8am phone rush to make an appointment. 

The bookings sync with practice appointment books, making management of clinics like flu and COVID vaccinations, cervical screening, blood tests, and asthma reviews much less admin intensive. 

The evaluation is published at a time when the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service (DES) has seen changes for 2023/24, focusing around priorities including flu vaccinations.

77% of patients found using Self-Book easier than calling their practice to make an appointment, a significant finding in the context of increasing concerns around access to primary care and the upcoming publication of the recovery plan for primary care access.

Download the full report here.

Improved efficiency, fewer DNAs

‘Did not attends’ were found to fall as a result of the intervention, whilst practices using the function saw that those using the function shifted thousands of calls to Self-Book links. 

Practice staff unanimously reported that Self-Book has saved their practice time, improved staff ways of working, helped to fill unused capacity (often at short notice), and improved overall practice efficiency.

One Practice Manager noted that, ‘Self-Book has impacted our phone calls... We send out 8,000 Flu invites. Most of our Flu this year [2022] got booked by Self-Book, 90% just for Flu. So that's a significant number. Otherwise, those patients would've called into the practice.”

Reduction in health inequalities

Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN commissioned a portion of the evaluation on health inequalities. This found that Self-Book reduced health inequalities by reducing call queues for patients that need support on the phone and by providing an easier alternative to phoning for non-English speaking patients. 

Practices in more deprived areas saw higher uptake rates of Self-Book compared to less deprived areas when Covid and Flu appointments were excluded. 

What the evaluators say

Gianluca Fontana, CEO at Prova Health and Richard Lee-Wright, CEO at Unity Insights said, ‘We are extremely proud to have worked with Accurx on the evaluation of their Self-Book product. Accurx are considered to be one of the UK’s most respected digital health companies and take transparency and evidence seriously. This was highlighted by their willingness to be impartially evaluated and then publish the results, showing the real value that Self-Book is bringing to the NHS.’

A final word from our CEO...

Jacob Haddad said, ‘Every day we hear directly from practice staff about the enormous pressures they are under, but also how simple technology is making a difference. This evaluation quantifies the size of that difference - on the day-to-day lives of staff working in busy practices, on the time saved and wastage reduced, and on improving access to essential health services.

‘From GPs inviting patients to book follow-up bloods to reception staff inviting patients for routine screenings or vaccinations, we are excited to see how hard working practices up and down the country are using Self-Book to innovate their services.’

Our CEO, Jacob Haddad

To find out more about Self-Book, visit this page or get in touch to talk about how we can work with you at