There has been much talk among GPs about ‘never going back’ to how general practice was before the arrival of COVID-19, particularly in relation to the rapid switch from face-to-face consultations to working remotely.
But what exactly has changed in general practice over the past six months, and how likely are those changes to persist once practices return to more normal ways of working?
'Only half of consultations should be face to face'
In late May this year, in association with our specialist practice management website Medeconomics, we surveyed more than 500 GPs to find out if we really are seeing the future of general practice revealed under the shadow of COVID-19.
One of the key findings was that the majority of GPs wanted at least half of all future patient consultations to be handled remotely, either by video, telephone or online. As one GP respondent said: ‘I feel the pandemic will genuinely change the face of general practice’.
In the survey, we asked GPs the following questions:
Which have you introduced in your practice: telephone triage, online consultations, video consultations or video meetings with colleagues?
How helpful have you found each of these new methods?
Which if any do you intend to continue using after the pandemic?
What proportion of consultations do you think general practice should aim to provide face to face after the pandemic?
Do you expect more GPs to work from home routinely in future, carrying out patient consultations remotely?
General Practice Insights: The Doctor Will See You Now
To read the survey results in full alongside our expert analysis, you can download the report here.
To understand more about the future of general practice under the new GP contract in the wake of COVID-19, join us at our virtual conference Medeconomics Live in October 2020. Full programme here.