The Welsh Government has announced a further extension of the country’s video consultation service to cover dental practices, opticians and community pharmacies.
It is part of a £2.8 million investment that provided for the technology to be made available to community and secondary healthcare providers, following the initial roll out to GPs in April. This was triggered by the need to maintain social distancing through the Covid-19 pandemic.
A pilot for the new sectors is planned for this month. It will enable pharmacies to provide advice for common ailments and emergency contraception, and to carry out discharge medicine reviews; dentists to conduct pre-visit consultations; and opticians to run pre-visit check-ups on a patient’s medical history and triage on eyelids.
Minister for Health Vaughan Gething said: “The coronavirus pandemic has meant that we have had to rapidly expand and adapt services. Video consultation has allowed us to overcome the challenges that social distancing brings.
“The delivery of video consultation has been fast tracked and is testament to the work of NHS Wales in delivering this service ahead of time to support patients.
“Thousands of people have already received care via video consultation.”
The Welsh Government said an evaluation of the service so far has show it saved 36,000 miles of travel, 1,200 hours of travel time and reduced CO2 emissions by nine tons.
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