Doctor Care Anywhere (DCA) is offering the NHS a free programme of GP training to help them conduct video and phone consultations, in order to ease the covid-19 pressure on NHS services.

As the UK moves from contain to delay, DCA’s own GPs have said they recognise the important role video and telephone consultations can play in preventing covid-19 transmission within surgeries, providing care to patients in self-isolation, enabling staff to work remotely, as well as delaying the rate of infection in local communities. 

However, some GPs report they don’t feel confident using the technology as they haven’t received the proper training. In response, DCA’s clinical team has developed a bank of training materials and resources and is making this available to NHS GPs, in order to provide them with the skills and confidence to perform consultations remotely by video or phone.

The training programme will start with a series of webinars starting this week, ahead of sending out e-learning packages with supporting information and hosting virtual drop-in clinics to answer individual questions.

Bayju Thakar, founder of Doctor Care Anywhere, said: “As Matt Hancock and Public Health England have astutely identified, technology has a vital role to play in supporting the NHS during this public health emergency. Video and phone consultations are an additional resource that the public can use to access the clinical expertise, advice and reassurance they need from the safety of their own homes, eliminating the risk of virus transmission between patients in GP and hospital waiting rooms.”

He added: “This is not a one-size-fits-all strategy, but more than half of all GP surgeries around the country are in a position to move to a digital-first triage model, and we are committed to ensuring those GPs feel confident they can maintain their excellent standards of care, advice and support, when conducting consultations remotely”.

Kate Bunyan, chief medical officer of Doctor Care Anywhere, said: “For the last five years, Doctor Care Anywhere has managed risk and optimised how to ensure the best possible experience and outcomes for patients through video and phone consultations, and our satisfaction ratings prove that patients really value the service.”

She added: “We have conducted well over 40,000 video GP consultations in that time, and want to share our expertise with our NHS colleagues, in order to grow their knowledge base and confidence in the services that are offered through digital pathways, and to help them better support the nation’s patients.”

Date published: March 16, 2020

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