Exploring the role of video-enhanced primary care consultations using diagnostic equipment
There has been a substantial increase in demand on NHS primary care and GP workload in recent years. Alternatives to traditional GP consultations have been proposed to alleviate staff workload and improve patient access. Video consultations integrate visual components to improve patient experience. A novel method of offering pharmacy-based video consultations with diagnostic equipment is available for patients via a private GP service. There is limited research into patient and GP experiences using private video consultation services⁷, but is crucial for safety and quality of care.
Routinely collected patient data from Dec 19 to Jun 20 analysed. Interviews were conducted with ten GPs to explore their experience in providing video consultations, including barriers and benefits. Interviews will be analysed using inductive thematic analysis.
Preliminary evidence following GP interviews point towards an overall positive experience from the GPs. Patient data shows spike in use before lockdown. Benefits include easy and rapid access as well increased reliability for diagnosis. Some of the barriers identified were issues with technology and limitations in hands on examinations. GPs found the service useful and efficient, and felt they could build good doctor-patient relationships.
If these services are a safe and efficient alternative to traditional methods, then these can be widely adopted to help alleviate the pressure on NHS, offering a safe and better quality access to healthcare.
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