Welsh GPs have been equipped with a system to provide for video appointments with patients as part of the response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Named the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service, it has been developed from a proposal produced by the Welsh Government and TEC Cymru, the country’s digital health agency, and based on a trial at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
Video appointments will be offered if doctors want more information than a telephone call can provide. In these cases, surgeries can provide simple instructions about how people can access the free technology that will work with their smartphone, tablet or PC.
Health board staff working with frontline teams will be trained in the system. 290 GPs across 73 practices have already been trained on the new platform.
More than 430 video consultations have taken place since its launch on 16 March.
Layer of protection
Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething said: “Innovations such as this enables government to help frontline staff keep people safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. It also means another layer of protection for NHS staff.
“We are changing the way the NHS operates. By offering telephone and video appointments, we can reduce pressure on frontline staff and better support people with information and advice without unnecessary contact.
“We are now looking at the next phase of this service, which will include rolling this out into places like hospitals.”
Image from Wales Audit Office