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Should all GP appointments go online?

There could be a “dramatic” change to how GPs see patients in the future, with around half of consultations moving online.

Only one in every seven GP appointments is being held face to face, highlighting the extent to which coronavirus has affected community healthcare.

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, told the Commons Health and Social Care Committee there had been a large uptake in virtual consultations due to Covid-19, in part because doctors had been given more sophisticated technology and equipment.

He told MPs: “There’s going to be a dramatic change.”

Professor Martin Marshall said: “We can’t do physical examinations over the phone, we can’t give vaccinations or take blood tests.

“It’s a different skill to face-to-face consulting, but it can be effective, especially for patients with simple conditions.”

What are your views?  Are you happy to have online appointments with your GP in the future? Have you already experienced this? Or is your preference to go to the surgery for an appointment?

Should all GP appointments go online?

1358 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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Ariadne
14th Nov 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
We need the "Hands On " from G'P's to poke around and find the pain ,sometimes in areas of the body that are unreachable ,And, if there is more than one pain ,are they connected, to something that we know isn't a knock .It is stressful ,not knowing ,and to have to try to tell a G.P where it is ,and what it feels like .ONLY experienced doctors can find the true source and say those magic words , " I don't think it's anything to worry about " so you don't. Stripping off in front of a machine ,is NOT my idea of Care . We all have a life ,can we keep it .not be locked indoors . No wonder anxiety and depression is growing ,
viking
21st Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Many diagnosis rely on a blood test or a stool sample.
I realise that wonderful things can now be done on a computer but did not realise that science had gone so far, but I suppose it is 2020.
Having an old machine, it does not have a sample entry box fitted.
RodotH
16th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
The internet service is not yet reliable enough to use for medical purposes.
PatriciaM56
5th Sep 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I went to my GP for an entirely different problem when I was told I had large skin cancer patch on my back which would never have been found if I only had internet consultation.
viking
23rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Having escaped certain death by mis diagnosis twice in my life so far, with face to face consultations with a GP. If diagnosis can not be correct in a face to face situation , it would seem that phone diagnosis is very risky.
Retiredyorkie
22nd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have had a telephone consultation but much prefer face to face appointments.
Catton
21st Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely not.
We do not live in the Australian outback where there is no choice.
How many people have died or been misdiagnosed since the start of the pandemic through not having access to their G.P. Many I would suggest.
everynameistaken
17th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
As someone with a problem using the telephone due to hearing loss I cannot see how a video/telephone consultation would work. Just hoping I don't need to see my doctor for a while.
SILVER78
11th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
O I don't understand why it is ok for palliative care nurses, district nurses, and carers to come into our homes to see us BUT doctors only speak to us on the 'phone. When my husband very sadly passed away at the end of May and I telephoned the local on-call service (it was a Saturday morning) I was even asked if I wanted a doctor to certify the death or would it be ok to wait until the district nurse was due and she could do it! I requested a doctor and indeed a very caring doctor did come, but it should not be like this.Hospital doctors are patients face to face so why not GPs? The only doctor who saw my husband face to face at home was from the local Hospice - a lovely lady who spent two hours with us two days before he passed away.
Carnflower
8th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I would hope that GP,'S and practice staff would have the ability to identify on their systems those patients for whom on-line appointments are not suitable.For others if after an initial appt requires a face to face meeting the GP will do that and not send you off to hospital immediately.
As usual change seems to unnerve people but not all change is good or bad,
viking
7th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
It has been commented on previously, but this is a prime example of no joined up thinking existing with either the government or the so called "experts"
So the GP is unable to make a diagnosis because of the poor light or the size of the laptop screen. What does he do next ?? Get rid of this patient to the nearest hospital for them to sort out his/her problem.
Ah !! But we must all protect the NHS and try not to overburden it in case of another covid attack. Excuse me for asking , but have some people just stopped living in the real world ??? ,
oncepasty
7th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I am supposed to have a blood pressure check,I do not intend to buy my own machine but cannot get it done at the surgery how many other things will we not be able to have done. Airflow checks.
Valleyman
5th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have recently been ill and found askmygp to be great. I conversed with practice nurses and got everything sorted. The days of sitting in a waiting room full of coughing patients are well and truly over.
Lionel
5th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I'm saddened to hear you've been unwell. I trust you are recovering well and will soon be up and running again. Look forward to reading your comments, they're always interesting.
Valleyman
7th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Thanks Lionel, I never realised the debilitating effect of a bad ear infection. I suppose none of us really understand someone else's situation till we've experienced it as well. Looking forward to your informed and wise comments in the future.
Lionel
7th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Just take good care of yourself and come back as soon as you can.
RodotH
16th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
All I can say is that you must live in an area where your gp actually cares about their patients. My senior gp always gives the impression of having no empathy at all.
Valleyman
16th Oct 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I'm sorry to hear that RodotH. I must admit I rarely see a doctor, but the nurses seem to have stepped into the doctor's shoes. I know options for changing doctor are very slim.
Dextes99
5th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Have had two online consultations about existing conditions - , felt helpful and appropriate, although this obviously wouldn’t be suitable where direct physical examination was needed.
Dextes99
5th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I have a hearing difficulty and benefitted from GP and practice nurses not having to wear face mask when speaking to me online.
MargaretK14
5th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Although I have said no. I do appreciate that some symptoms could very easily be conducted by video link. I am in my mid 70s, and fortunate to be able to use this link. But many can’t. I’m concerned that a lot of people in my age group onwards, won’t be comfortable sitting in the front of a screen with a face they don’t recognise, having gone to the same surgery for years. Then they won’t do either! We’ll just have to wait and see. We’ve been facing so many changes over the last few months, which we have handled, so I expect we’ll manage another one in time!!
JE
4th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
There should be the option of online, telephone or personal appointments depending on the health issue and the Individuals personal circumstances and preference.
everynameistaken
4th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Not a good idea for anyone with a hearing problem
sparrer
4th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
There is a place for both online and f2f consultations. Each should be triaged and directed to the appropriate method. Personally I've not had any difficulty with either and appreciate the system.
Supersabre
4th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
This is all about cost cutting. Why have a surgery with 5 doctors, when you can have one with a laptop? No receptionist, no building. Remember when you could ring for a home visit? But, its not just this going is it? Post offices, banks, ATM, s, whole AandE, police stations. All in the name of " efficiency". And the cost goes up and up!
Joan747
4th Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Not all problems can be solved by the tick box attitude.
I fully agree and endorse the idea of some medical appointments being on line... if your able and have the ability to do that. It also reduces your risk of picking up random infections (of any type) while sitting in a crowded surgery. General medicine is by its very nature (general) its not always easy to explain your problem but at least online might reduce the number of people sat in the surgery sharing each other virus etc.
BrendaD64
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Some minor problems can be dealt with over the phone and possibly on-line but the opportunity to see a Dr face-to-face should NEVER be taken away.
Also, as people age, their ability to use technology may be limited by such things as sight loss, hand dexterity, forgetfulness, etc. So, despite having used technology in the past, it may become impossible later, so, again, face-to-face appointments should NEVER be withdrawn.
SueC62
3rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
My surgery already has triage which I've found to be effective. I'm sure video consultations, in some cases, could be as effective as a surgey visit.
GillianT8
3rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I am registered at a local surgery which has bee managed by locum's from another surgery for the last 20 years. Before lock down I rang for an appointment at my surgery at 8:30.
Ring after 8:30 you don't get an appt. I was told either ring tomorrow or there was one a avaiable at the other side of town. People are not numbers & need to be treated as people.
Whilst I understand in some cases there has been mis-use of our A&E departments & surgeries. Common sense needs to be applied on both sides.
Bit of common sense on the public side & a bit more on the surgery giving patients time reading their notes & not asking the patient what their expectations are.
Too much responsibility is being shouldered in other places such as receptionists & nursing staff.
If more GP doctors are needed then something needs to be done.
Somehow before are surgeries became managed under these groups. The patient was what was important. Doctors were able to do house calls to those patients who couldnt get to surgery.
Which may have alleviated pressurea on A&E & ambulance crews.
Since the introduction of surgeries being managed under groups.
The lefthand doesnt seem to know what the right hand is doing & this has been common practice for too long.
It is the patients who are suffering.
Instead of introducing something completely new because of some consultancy firms advice.
Then paying them again to improve it or make it better.
Don't break whats in place & working.
Read the reports to see if it can be improved on or not.
But first & foremost before making or introducing any changes listen to the patients & to the staff who work in it everyday. For it is their opinions, their ideas that should matter.
I have now been asked to register electronically.
I feel my freedom of choice of how I contact my surgery & attending it is being diminshed as it is everywhere else and we are being manipulated into accepting these changes.
LindaS13
3rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
My great grand daughter was mis diagnosed as having Tonsillitis she had an abscess in her gum had she had right antibiotics she might have been spared surgery to drain said abscess she is 4.
LindaS13
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I have not seen a DR for years , a clinical technician is the person I have seen despite asking for a DR on a second appointment for same problem .I am waiting an appointment with a Consultant for Osteoarthritis in my knee had a phone call and was told I need a steroid injection despite having one in February that did nothing , my condition has become so bad I rarely move all day , so becoming more and more fed up , older people are being devalued day on day .
Jane Scowen
3rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Definitely not. I have recently had a few health problems and had telephone conversations. I don't know if this is universal but doctor said I can only discuss one thing we have limited time. Which is fair enough but what if your different problems are related to what's wrong with you? Last week I was sent straight to A and E because the doctor said it wouldn't be worth my while going to the surgery. I sat there for nearly five hours as they were so busy only to be told to go back to my GP! I can see this happening a lot if video calls take over because your GP needs to check blood pressure, breathing and bloods, which is what the hospital did. A waste of an A&E space!
MerilynF
3rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely not, things will be missed,if you can have blood and blood pressure taken why can't you sit and talk to a dr,
Ole doll
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Meanwhile hundreds of people with cancer are going undiagnosed. I think it’s time the doctors surgeries reopened. We don’t even see a receptionist in our medical centre. The desk is unmanned. It’s like a ghost ship. Utterly ridiculous. How many over 80’s can use FaceTime or zoom????. Some can’t even remember their PIN number for their pension account. My mum was one of them.
Trish725
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
All too easy to mis-diagnose, even for a simple problem, unless actually in the same room as a doctor.
RonE8
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
NO. Silly idea. How on earth can a computer screen replace the doctor actually seeing the problem. About time they grew a pair and got back to work, other people have to wear masks or whatever.
Vivienkj
3rd Aug 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
There should be GP/Nurse Practitioner triage. At my surgery 70% of patients did not need to be seen. Those that did were given a time to come down. There are also video consultations available at many surgeries
Scots
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Appointments should be screened by a nurse practitioner. Many people make appointments for minor problems that do not require a doctor. Some just require a visit to the pharmacy.
People who do not keep appointments should be charged for that missed appointment ( unless there is a good reason for missing it.) and refused another appointment until the charge has been paid.
Wilf
3rd Aug 2020
-4
Thanks for voting!
Yes we need to move with the Times. Not all appointments need to be online but it would save a lot of time for doctors and with the virus and technology as it is I think its a great way forward.
LindaW79
3rd Aug 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Patients on regular medication need monitoring ie BP and blood checks our surgery cut 6 monthly down to yearly not been checked for 18 months just dishing out repeat prescription s is not OK
Vivienkj
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
That is not acceptable and these types of monitoring can be carried out at pharmacies
PamelaW78
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Better communication all round would be a good idea. My surgery, several miles away, had no problem sending me a text telling me not to just turn up at the surgery, but cannot text me details of flu clinics etc, nor reply to emails.
PamelaW78
3rd Aug 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
It should not be a blanket policy. Sometimes a video call would be quite sufficient and appropriate, but this would not work in every case. How do you examine/diagnose a suspicious lump by video?
EileenW115
3rd Aug 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Not everyone has a PC or connection to the internet how would they manage?
LindaW79
3rd Aug 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Us oldies are not comfortable using technology scary stuff
fisherhollybank
3rd Aug 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I think in some instances on line consultations are ok but I know of at least two instances where friends ended up either in hospital or A&E through being misdiagnosed over the phone. One was an eye problem! Totally wrong!
MrsPat
2nd Aug 2020
-4
Thanks for voting!
It would be so much easier if it can all be online especially with the virus. It must be the way forward.
RonE8
3rd Aug 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I can tell you are a lady, so could I just ask, how would the doctor check my Prostate??
ExitStageLeft
2nd Aug 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I think that you should be given the option at appointment booking time. A lot of the time I can sort out my health query with my doctor with a quick video call. A smaller portion of appointments require a face to face visit because something can only be done hands on.
So a balanced mix of both depending on the patients needs I believe is the way forward. I’m between 60 & 70 and very comfortable using technology. A lot of people my age and older aren’t as confident which would be a big concern. Also, some doctors are technophobes
Maggiefaulkner
3rd Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
A very sensible response - I agree
dug up
1st Aug 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
last week i had a phone consultation as i had chest pains and stomach cramps the diagnosis the doctor ddnt thinkit was heart probleems but wanted me to call into surgery not for a check up but to take paper work up to the hospital for xrays and ecg bearing in mind this is all available at my surgery,not sure it wasnt heartt problems they didnt wont me to drive so i had to collect the paper work by taxi and keep hm waiting then onto the hospital with it all 7 hours of sitting round to be given a bottle of gaviscon ,all this cost me over £20.00 when with a surgery consultation it could have been ssorted out in half an hour and low cost,
BarbAnne
1st Aug 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
I am hard of hearing and therefore find telephone conversation difficult. A video link would give me the facial contact I need and I would be happy to try that. But I must add given my medical conditions I have never seen my GP without there being some physical contact ie Blood pressure check, heart examination. These on-line appointments would need to be based on the individual patients needs and a choice given.
jeanmark
1st Aug 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Approximately 2 years ago my Health Practice introduced a system by which you could not book a GP appointment over the phone (you are instructed to phone 999 for an emergency). Instead, a GP phones you back within 2 hours for a telephone consultation, if the GP feels you need to be seen, he/she then books an appointment and you are always guaranteed a face to face consult the dame day. This has cut face to face consults by 80% giving more time for those who do need to be seen.

Practice Nurse and Health Care Assistant appointments are made in the usual way.
Alawoo
31st Jul 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
There are things you can't do online. Temperature, pulse, blood pressure etc. I can see Telephone appointments staying but twice when on a telephone appointment I've been asked to come to the surgery and after tests the doctor has referred me straight to hospital for immediate tests and diagnosis. On both occasions my GP made the correct decision and I was admitted for further, more detailed analysis.
fhsgb
31st Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
initial appointment yes,if need personal visit to GP.Not everyone knows how tu use Zoom,
Not2grey
31st Jul 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
some consultations could quite easily be made online as long as you are au fait with the system . I have used it twice I described my symptoms online . ADr very quickly phoned me and talked to me , result to hospital for tests .Thankfully everything was fine . More recently another problem arose with my hip again I put my symptoms into the computer and again a Dr phoned and diagnosed Bursitus and prescribed me some painkillers and exercise . So for me and at my surgery the system seems good.
I accept that sometimes things will be missed but I think on the whole we have to accept progress there are just too many demandson the Drs time.
viking
31st Jul 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Impossible !! for certain stomach pains. Every medic that I have come into contact with will want to press certain areas of the stomach and move the pressure point round until the cry " Oh God yes just there "that is very painful.
Well , just how do you do that via a laptop screen ???
ecarg
31st Jul 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
There's not a clear cut yes or no answer to this question.
Many people may be happy to have their problems treated this way and the Dr can call them in for a face to face consultation if they require it, ,Others who are not able to use the internet require to attend surgery.
An online booking system would free up phone lines for non internet users.
My concern is the issues that may not be picked up on line but are noticed in a face to face meeting such as depression.
People are already using internet information to diagnose themselves and often coming to the wrong conclusions,so as much as the internet can help our health care it can also harm and care should be taken to achieve the best balance and outcomes for everybody

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