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GP practices asked to have video consultation system set up by Friday

NHS England has said GP practices should have a video consultation system in place by Friday (17 April).

According to NHS England, this is 'essential' for the remote management of patients during the Covid-19 epidemic.

It also said GPs needed online consultation systems in place that supports the total triage approach by the end of the month.

NHS England and NHSX fast-tracked a tender process and selected 11 providers of online consultation systems at the end of last month.

The bulletin said: 'Practices are reminded that as per our letter of 27 March, all practices should be remotely triaging all patient contacts. To support this, all practices must have an online consultation system in place that supports total triage.

'While total triage can be done over the phone, this is less efficient and risks patients being unable to contact the practice if phone lines are busy.

'Commissioners and practices are asked to ensure all practices have an online consultation system in place by the end of April 2020 at the latest.'

NHS England said GPs must also be able to consult patients via video, with a shorter deadline of the end of this week.

The bulletin said: 'It is also essential that all practices have a video consultation system in place to support remote management of patients. This should be in place by 17 April 2020.'

However, speaking in a live webinar on Thursday evening, Dr Kanani clarified that this was not a 'hard' deadline.

NHSX has previously said GPs can use commercial software such as FaceTime and Skype if they don't yet have access to NHS-approved video consultation software.

NHS England's bulletin said 84% of practices already offer video consultations, while 49% offer online consultations.

'These measures are helping to reduce avoidable footfall in practices, protect both patients and staff from the risks of infection, and enable practices to manage work more efficiently,' it added.

GPs had previously been told they should be supported by their commissioners to have online consultation software by 3 April.

Readers' comments (15)

  • with what help, time and money?????? Can we please have Piers Morgan interview Nikita Kanani over this whole debacle....

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  • have the elderly patients all got access to these????

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  • GPs will be asked to purchase suitable IT equipment for all registered patients in their homes, care homes and nursing homes. GPs will supply staff who will install all kit and undertake training of the elderly and all carers in its use. This will be achieved by 18th April 2020. CQC will then begin remote surveillance and inspection of all services on 19th April.

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  • I say again, or what? Or what? Why do we permit such treatment?

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  • Not showing my pretty face to no strangers camera. Next thing you know is you’ve gone viral for the wrong reasons.

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  • COVID is being used as a veil, for ALL of NHSE fast-track super ideas under technological Babylon-registered Hancock and NHSX. Their ability to change our contracts at a click of a finger and put you at risk of breach of contract is worrying - (look at what they did to historical half-day closures) and they are now vying and preying for FULL access to your appointment books and using the PCN model and their friendly directors to dissect the profession, and to rule it under one salaried/locum model. The end of partnership, the rise of super managers and commercialised medicine.

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  • Vinci Ho

    No surprise
    GPs to provide these softwares . I use AccuRx at the moment with limitation only on mobile phones , others use Skype etc
    Again , imposition by NHSE without providing tools GP to do their jobs . Getting tired of the arguments about PPE already .
    Total loss of trust and faith in this kind of leadership

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  • National Hopeless Service

    Used it for two days. It was useless, the picture quality is too rubbish to diagnose any rash, lump or bump with any safety. Patients also have confidentiality issues because it is not as private as a telephone conversation.

    This is NHSE using the opportunity to force video consultations on GP for the longterm.

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  • doctordog.

    As others have said, the legal pitfalls and ramifications have not yet been properly explored with video consultation. Now they are trying to rush and bully us into this.
    So that’s a definite NO from me.

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