Skype consultations should be as common as stethoscopes, says GP leader

Skype consultations should be as integral to general practice as stethoscopes and should become 'the norm' for seeing patients in the future, leading GP Sir Sam Everington has said.

Sir Sam Everington
Sir Sam Everington

GPs should embrace new technologies and readily use internet video software to assess patients, Tower Hamlets CCG chairman Sir Sam has suggested.

The proposal comes as research published in May in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) found there was a ‘general reluctance’ among the profession to move away from face-to-face appointments.

Speaking at a keynote event during the Health+Care conference in London on Thursday, Sir Sam identified greater use of internet video tools such as Skype as essential to the future of general practice.

When posed a question asking how the NHS could move forward, he said: ‘Skype appointments are the stethoscopes of modern medicine and should become the norm.’

GP consultation

He added that the payments by activity used in hospitals ‘should be scrapped now’. GPs have hotly debated whether such a system should be adopted in general practice to properly recognise the work they do – and LMCs have voted in favour of implementing such a system.

GP Professor Chris Salisbury, author of the BJGP study, said GPs need to see more evidence of the advantages before adopting wider use of internet video for consultations.

The study, which encompassed 319 practices across the UK, found that none were making use of internet video programs to conduct consultations, and none had any plans to do so.

Professor Salisbury said: ‘The general reluctance to adopt alternatives to face-to-face consultations means the situation is unlikely to change soon unless general practices can see clear advantages from introducing new ways of consulting.’

See Sir Sam Everington speak at the RCGP Annual Conference in Harrogate this year, running from 6-8 October. View the full programme here.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Most GPs say scrapping revalidation and CQC checks would not affect patient safety

Most GPs say scrapping revalidation and CQC checks would not affect patient safety

Around two thirds of GPs say scrapping revalidation and CQC inspections would make...

PCNs offered funding to accelerate recruitment of social prescribers

PCNs offered funding to accelerate recruitment of social prescribers

Primary care networks (PCNs) have been offered funding in a bid to accelerate the...

GPs should not prescribe opioids, NSAIDs or paracetamol for chronic pain, says NICE

GPs should not prescribe opioids, NSAIDs or paracetamol for chronic pain, says NICE

GPs should not prescribe opioids, benzodiazepines, paracetamol or NSAIDs for chronic...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GPs told to restore patient activity to pre-pandemic levels in new NHS England guidance

GP practices have been instructed to increase activity, 'make rapid progress' on...

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

How to deal with patient requests for face covering exemption letters

MDU medico-legal adviser Dr Ellie Mein provides advice for GPs on dealing with patients...