The Man MOT service from the Men's Health Forum, which launches nationally this week, enables men to contact an NHS GP at any time, from any place, using a mobile, tablet or laptop.
Two types of contact are offered. There is live text chat with a health professional on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (7-10pm) and a full email service at all other times. The full schedule is:
- Monday and Thursday: text chat with a GP 7-10pm
- Wednesday Workshop: text chat on a specific topic with an expert 7-10pm.
- Email service at all other times: GP to reply within 72 hours.
Wednesday workshops change every month. The service begins on 3rd December with Dr Luke Sullivan from Men's Minds Matter taking questions on beating stress and the winter blues.
Man MOT is a free, confidential-one-to one service open to all men in England. For text chat, it is completely anonymous. It is not necessary to give a name or any other contact details.
Tracy Herd, who manages Man MOT for the Men's Health Forum charity said: 'Man MOT offers what men have told us they want - a free, confidential online health information and advice service. No appointment necessary. We have pioneered and developed it with our partners in Haringey and now it's available across England.
'Two key challenges for the NHS right now concern the difficulties around getting a GP appointment and the inappropriate use of A&E. Man MOT helps address both those challenges in a way that enables men to get the appropriate health information more easily not less. It's a win-win for both service-provider and men.'
Using a Department of Health innovation grant, Man MOT was developed in the London Borough of Haringey with local men in partnership with the Council's public health team and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. The Men's Health Forum will continue to work with the borough to develop and improve the service.
Councillor Peter Morton, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing in Haringey said: 'With research showing that men are far more reluctant to visit their GP than women, it is important we do everything possible to encourage men to seek medical advice and support when necessary. Schemes like the Man MOT service help achieve this by offering men quick, easy and anonymous access to GPs and other health professionals which can have a profound impact in reducing the numbers of preventable deaths.'
Man MOT national begins 1 December 2014.