All GP appointments should be done remotely by default unless a patient needs to be seen in person, Matt Hancock has said, prompting doctors to warn of the risk of abandoning face-to-face consultations.
In a speech setting out lessons for the NHS and care sector from the coronavirus pandemic, the health secretary claimed that while some errors were made, “so many things went right” in the response to Covid-19, and new ways of working should continue. He said it was patronising to claim that older patients were not able to handle technology.
The plan for web-based GP appointments is set to become formal policy, and follows guidance already sent to GPs on having more online consultations. But the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) hit back, saying it would oppose a predominantly online system on the grounds that both doctors and patients benefited from proper contact.
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