The research follows on the back of the Government’s announcement late last year to provide £50 million for GPs to help increase access to out of hours GP services by the use of secure video consultations.
The poll amongst 500 GPs, and 1,000 patients across the UK showed that over 75% of GPs and 61% of patients would be comfortable having a consultation using secure video technology.
When asked how video calls could help the NHS out of hours services, 62% of GPs and 60% of nurses said it would improve access significantly and 54% believed that video consultations delivered into the home or care home would provide greater access to care for patients and help reduce A&E visits and hospital admissions.
Mick Roach, from Immedicare commenting on the survey said; “This clearly demonstrates the use of video consultations and digital technologies could have a significant improvement on patient’s access to care services. It is clear that patients and health care professionals are comfortable with this method of providing consultations and reinforces the government’s plans for improving access for patients. We have been working closely with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust on a series of telemedicine projects and the survey echo’s the response we are getting from GPs, nurses, patients and carers alike. We are in the process of providing services to approximately 10,000 residents in over 200 care homes across the UK, providing real cost savings, across the health economy. We believe the simple use of technology, which almost every patient surveyed has access to or uses on a daily basis, shows that this type of service could prove pivotal in providing flexibility and extra reassurance both to patients, carers and care professionals.
Rebecca Malin from Airedale Trust added; “We have proven that by supporting GPs to help deliver care to the frail and elderly in care homes has shown a reduction of 69% in A&E attendances and 45% in Hospital admissions. This clearly shows that video consultation services can potentially help to save the NHS money and as more new services that we are developing come online, we are confident that remote consultations will become more common place in the near future. This will help enable patients to remain where they are most comfortable; in their own home or care home.