This study highlights the importance of providing patients and clinicians with a high-quality choice in consultation type.
There will always be a role for telephone and face-to-face consultations, and the option of video consultations is an important part of that choice. With record pressure on general practice, embracing digital solutions including video consultations is a vital part of helping the health service recover and build for the future.
The Digital Healthcare Council represents the UK’s leading providers of online primary care, secondary care and pharmacy services. Evidence from our members shows that when given a meaningful choice of consultation type, less than 15% choose face-to-face provision. Feedback from patients shows that video consultations can be the ideal choice for many people, including those who are unable to take a day off work or cannot travel to a hospital or GP surgery, those with conditions that have visible symptoms, and those who want to report a sensitive new medical condition while seeing a friendly face. We also hear from our members that video consultations are an important and welcome tool to support clinicians, helping them to deliver patient care on a daily basis.
We understand there can be challenges in the implementation and use of new technologies. That is why it is crucial to ensure hardworking medical professionals have access to the best possible tools and that they are given the support and training they need to use them effectively.