As the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the UK, millions of patients could stay safe inside their homes while getting vital support from family doctors.
The need for digital solutions and telemedicine became more pronounced as the UK tried to curb Covid-19 infections and encouraged people to stay home.
Unfortunately, other medical issues can’t be put on hold because of the novel coronavirus and therefore remote consultations were one way to ensure patients to still receive quality care without risking infection.
People should not shy away from care
The NHS urged people across the UK not to neglect their health during the Covid-19 pandemic and told them to come for care when they need it. This was part of the NHS’s campaign called Help Us Help You.
According to Raj Patel, deputy medical director of primary care at NHS England and practicing GP, it’s vital even during a pandemic for people to get the necessary help they need from a family doctor.
In order to do so in a safe way, remote consultations were implemented for patients to consult their GP from home. This didn’t only protect them against Covid-19 transmission, but also healthcare workers.
“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,” Patel stated in a press release.
Could remote consultation form part of the future?
While some medical issues do require a face-to-face appointment with a medical professional, many appointments can be done remotely. Not does this alleviate the risk for Covid-19 infection, but it’s also convenient.
The NHS Long Term Plan already includes the possibility of moving towards primary care via digital methods. And while Covid-19 made the move towards telemedicine a necessity as a safety precaution, NHS leaders and GP practices are now seeing whether digital consultations could be implemented permanently for the future.
Marelize has 10 years’ experience in both print and digital media working closely with the healthcare sector. She is a journalist here at Health Tech Digital and manages our editorial calendar.