Millions of patients benefiting from remote consultations

Millions of patients have been getting expert support from family doctors from the comfort of their own homes while the NHS responds to coronavirus.

Remote consultations are just one way in which GP practices have changed the way they work to ensure people can get expert care and advice in a safe way throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Health leaders had already signalled the intention to move towards digital first primary care in the NHS Long Term Plan. Progress towards this has accelerated during the pandemic, with 99 per cent of GP practices now activating remote consultation platforms, and NHS bosses are now examining how this progress can be locked in.

Now, with GPs and their teams standing ready to assist, one of the country’s top GPs has urged people to continue to come forward for care when they need it, as part of the NHS’ ongoing Help Us Help You campaign.

Raj Patel, the deputy medical director of primary care at NHS England, said: “Even during these unprecedented times, if people need help from a family doctor they are able to get it. Our GPs are quickly adapting to new technology – including phone and video consultations – to continue providing care in a different way. Not only do remote appointments allow patients to consult their GP from the comfort of their own home, it helps protect staff and patients by limiting exposure to infection. If you are unwell, the NHS is here for you and practice staff are working hard to ensure that everyone gets the care they need, whether that is face to face or virtually.”

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