A leading health journal's review of the Forum's Man MOT service shows how it could benefit primary care.
Man MOT enabled men to chat or email with a GP at any time of the day, anonymously, without appointment. The article in Trends in Urology & Men's Health, ‘Man MOT’: a new approach to primary care for men, was written by men's health consultant Peter Baker. He concludes: 'Man MOT has successfully demonstrated that men, especially young men concerned about sexual, urological and mental health problems, will use an online health information and advice service in significant numbers.'
The article calls on funders of health care to think outside the box. Peter writes: 'Potential new funders have been deterred to date by difficulties in demonstrating cost-effectiveness: there is, for example, no data on health outcomes, evidence that the service reduces demand for conventional GP services, or the exact demographics and location (by postcode) of most of its users. Furthermore, many of the problems raised by men with the Man MOT GPs are not current NHS priorities.'
Jim Pollard, a former Man MOT project manager for the Forum said: 'Peter's excellent report effectively throws down a gauntlet. What matters most: the priorities of patients, who have shown they want instant, online anonymous services that answer their questions or the challenges the public sector have in incorporating an anonymous approach into their management and organisational structures? Effectively funded, a Man MOT type of service could be an excellent self-triaging system for an overworked NHS.'