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GPC negotiator calls for move towards virtual consultations

GPs should move towards setting up ‘virtual surgeries’ using social media and Skype, a GPC negotiator has said.

The new chair of BMA Wales, Dr Charlotte Jones, said that such schemes were ‘some way off’ but added that GPs should be open to new ways of working.

In a statement on the BMA website, Dr Jones said: ‘We need to be thinking about new ways to consult patients in the future.

‘Online consultations through virtual surgeries and Skype could be used, when appropriate, and it could help people manage their long-term conditions better. We must remain open to new ideas.’

The RCGP in its recent 2020 strategy plan recommended that GPs should run virtual clinics, hold consultations over Skype and communicate with patients over social media in an effort to provide more flexible and remote types of consultation.

The UK and Welsh governments have both signalled a desire to harness available technology.

Welsh health and social services minister Mark Drakeford earlier this year announced a rollout of a system of booking GP appointments online, while the UK Government has introduced the online DES, which rewards practices for offering online bookings and online patient access to records.

Readers' comments (11)

  • If these are the guys representing us what chance do we have?

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  • Has she suggested this in her role as a GPC negotiator or as a personal opinion. I suggested as a GPC negotiator does this represent the majority of GP's views?

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  • oops should say if not I.

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  • This comment has been deleted by the moderator

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  • We use the phone to triage not to diagnose.Skype will be used in the same way.So pray tell me how will this be an advance over the usual telephone consultation?For someone at the top of the GPC to come out with such a facile suggestion is deeply worrying.

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  • And how exactly do you check a bp via Skype.

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  • Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad

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  • 'Some way off' just about sums it up - its bad enough having to Skype the children to micromanage them!
    There does remain of course something plastic with a wire in it called a bleedin' telephone!

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  • Can't understand if she was giving some vague generalized answers and wasn't taking it too seriously - the some way off and being open comment; or was she serious and is a fan as the headline suggests.
    Is this poor journalism? or an eager to please GPC negotiator

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  • Can I start to record virtual BP and virtual lu jabs in my virtual consultations soon?

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