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Hancock: GPs should continue current levels of remote consulting post-pandemic


return to negotiations, Hancock tells BMA


The proportion of remote consultations should remain at around 45% after the Covid-19 pandemic, health secretary Matt Hancock has signalled.

Mr Hancock was addressing MPs on the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee when he made the comments, which follow his previous suggestion that ‘all’ consultations should be remote unless there’s a ‘compelling’ reason not to.

Asked by GP MP Dr Luke Evans about pandemic measures that should be ‘staying in the future’, Mr Hancock said: ‘On telemedicine, I absolutely think that we should keep the benefits that we’ve gained.

‘The proportion of telemedicine dropped back by a couple of percentage points, which kind of tells me that we’ve settled at about the right level, in terms of around 45% of primary care appointments now, for instance, are by telemedicine.

‘Before, everybody knew it should be higher. Now, the question is: “what is the right level?”, and that feels about right to me.’

Last month, primary care minister Jo Churchill revealed that NHS England was conducting a review of the ‘impact’ of GP remote consultations.

READERS' COMMENTS [9]

Andrew Jackson 25 November, 2020 4:57 pm

Everyone I work with derives poor satisfaction from remote consulting.
If people need examining then another appointment is often used up.
It will further decimate capacity and lead to another exodus of clinicians from primary care.
It is terrible for teaching and training.
Can’t wait to leave it all behind.

john mccormack 25 November, 2020 5:29 pm

The arrogance of the man. He has no expertise in General Practice to be lecturing experienced clinicians on relative percentages of types of consulting.

Dave Kew 25 November, 2020 8:51 pm

I cannot see anorexia or sxleroderma over the phone. I can’t smell ketones nor the 5 humors over the phone. I cannot 6th sense with decades of experience over the phone. Please

Imran Khan 25 November, 2020 9:32 pm

Agree completely with Andrew Jackson. Not once has there been any consideration for whether anyone will actually want a do this.
The profession is finished.

Slobbering Spaniel 26 November, 2020 8:40 am

If we had the capacity, the combination of F2F and remote consulting can work well, and there are many who prefer it.
If we had the capacity.

Simon Gilbert 26 November, 2020 10:16 am

Aaarrgh what if I’m at 47% or 42% not 45% – I must be an awful doctor!

David Church 26 November, 2020 10:53 am

Do I detect a certain amount of conflict here between the Health Secretary, who wants GPs forever to do extremely few F2F consults, and the DoH and CMO who want us to do a lot more???
Is this Government ‘s right hand not know ing what the left hand is saying?
Will there meet a consensus of opinion somewhere in between, eventually?

Simon Gilbert 26 November, 2020 11:07 am

“Will there meet a consensus of opinion somewhere in between, eventually”

Likely will be “Do LOTS of phone consults AND LOTS of face to face consults”!

Dave Kew 28 November, 2020 3:44 pm

Medicare by phone.
Very cheap to run