GPs develop advice on video consultations for COVID-19

Clinical guidelines for digital or telephone consultations with patients confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 infection have been developed by NHS GPs working for a major digital health provider.

Digital consultation advice (Photo: skaman306/Getty Images)
Digital consultation advice (Photo: skaman306/Getty Images)

The advice, drawn from guidance published by the UK government, NICE, the BMJ and the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) has been compiled to help doctors switching to primarily online or phone consultations for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

GPonline has reported in recent weeks that doctors in some areas are now delivering as many as 95% of consultations with patients online or via phone calls - a complete reversal from pre-pandemic times when less than 15% of consultations were delivered in this way across England.

The guidance, drawn up by NHS GPs who work for digital healthcare provider LIVI, comes as NHS England published updated advice for general practice on switching to a 'total triage' model during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 advice

The guidance sets out advice on symptoms, key questions doctors should use to investigate and assess the severity of respiratory complications in a digital consultation - along with information on management of COVID-19 infection, red flags and risk factors. 

LIVI UK medical director Harriet Bradley said: 'The clinical leadership team at LIVI have developed these guidelines for video, digital and telephone consultations relating to COVID-19, to ensure that those undertaking video and phone consultations for the first time and NHS GPs have clear and up to date directions relating to digital consultations.

'Having clear and consistent guidelines for video, online and telephone consultations which are derived from UK government, NICE, BMJ and CEBM guidance during a time of unprecedented pressure will be invaluable to many colleagues.

'LIVI has significant expertise and understanding of treating COVID-19 patients, not just here in the UK, but across Europe, as we are the largest digital healthcare provider across the continent. With many doctors moving to regularly using video and phone consultations for the first time, we at LIVI want to make sure we share our specialist knowledge to support them and the country during these unprecedented times.'

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