At this time of unprecedented demand for NHS services, GP practices of all sizes across the nation have swiftly embraced online and telephone consultations over the last seven days. Many were there or partially there already. But many were not. Until now. Most organisations would take weeks to adapt to such an enormous shift in how it operates. But dedicated practice staff have made it happen almost overnight, adapting to triage and new pathways of care without having the patient in the room.
Dr Anne Connolly, a GP and NHS Bradford CCG Board member commented, “I think the we way we deliver healthcare following this pandemic will be transformed. It has forced many to overcome their concerns around confidence in the care they can provide through remote consultations. Doctors will feel more able to deliver healthcare remotely and patients will be satisfied with faster access without having to take time to visit a surgery.”
Before Covid 19, the sharing of our own health data and availability of health information meant we had considerable responsibility in managing our own health and staying well. But with Covid 19, this responsibility is taken to another level. With ubiquitous access to clear health information from social media through to corona virus tracking apps, we are literally responsible for controlling the spread of the disease as well as the recognition and management of early and moderate symptoms.
This means the public are experiencing greater than ever responsibility for digesting health information as well as managing our individual and collective health and wellbeing. And at the same time more GP practices will be now be able to offer more satisfying “Uberesque” remote care experience. And all this at a time of renewed love and appreciation of the phenomenal work of the staff in our world class National Health Service. I sincerely hope these health system and attitudinal shifts from patients, doctors and society will go some way to assuage what now seem like petty frustrations in the day to day patient-doctor relationship.