GP patients in Devon have embraced online consultations in huge numbers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Before the outbreak, around 80% of GP appointments were carried out face-to-face. This figure has been turned on its head, with approximately 90% now conducted remotely.

Not only has this prevented unnecessary contact and reduced risk of infection, it has ensured NHS workers can prioritise the care of people who need it most. We’re very grateful to those who have helped ease the burden on the practice during these difficult times.

But, as we start to emerge from the ‘lockdown’, the message is that online consultations remain a safe and convenient way to access GP care.

If you aren’t familiar with online consultations, they are a quick and convenient alternative to visiting your GP surgery in person.

You can use your smartphone, tablet or computer to:

  • Ask about a condition or new symptoms
  • Get information about your condition and how to treat yourself
  • Discuss a test result and request sick notes.

You’ll then get a response by the end of the next working day. This might be advice on what to do next through an electronic message, telephone call or video call.

This video provides clear advice and guidance on how it works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fGEpzrgAJc&t=16s

If you need to, you can continue to telephone the practice.  But if it’s not urgent and you have access to the internet, we recommend you continue to consult online to help free up the practice phone line.  We now have the technology in place to carry out video consultations too, and if a clinician determines you need to be seen face-to-face in the practice, you will continue to be offered this.

As well as helping reduce the spread of coronavirus, consulting online also makes life easier. You can complete the form wherever you are, 24-hours a day, and take as long as you want describing your symptoms. And, by avoiding unnecessary trips to the surgery, you’ll also save time and won’t have to disrupt your day.

Published: Jun 23, 2020

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