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Have you been happy with accessing NHS care online?

Half of over-55s feel the quality of NHS care has become worse using technology.

With the need to reduce face to face consultations during the pandemic the NHS swiftly rolled out new technologies to enable a more online service. However, according to a YouGov poll, older people have signalled concerns about using technology to access NHS services from home, with half aged 55 and over reporting that the quality of care is worse.

Health Foundation says NHS must ‘evaluate and improve these approaches before locking them in for the future’.

The country was forced to embrace new systems in a bid to reduce face-to-face contact during the pandemic, with greater use of video consultations, online appointment bookings and remote monitoring.

A survey for the Health Foundation charity of more than 4,000 adults suggests that the majority (83%) have had a positive experience from the digital shift.

But when asked to compare these technology-enabled approaches to traditional methods, 42% said it made for worse quality of care, highlighting the need for innovations to be developed and improved before the Government pushes ahead with new tools.

A white paper by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published in February states that the response to Covid-19 “has shown us new ways to deliver care using innovative and creative solutions, exploiting the potential of digital and data, instead of needless bureaucracy” and that “we must not go back to the old ways of working”.

Nearly half of those with a carer (46%) – groups that may have higher need for health services – also thought technology-enabled approaches had a negative impact on the quality of care.

A further 1,413 NHS staff members were surveyed and shared a similar response, with almost nine in 10 (87%) saying increased use of technology had brought about some positive experiences, but 33% believe it has also made for worse quality of care.

NHS workers highlighted that IT systems and equipment must be adequate, safe and work for all types of patients.

“Given the immense pressure the NHS has been under, it is impressive that so many patients and staff reported positive experiences as new technologies were rolled out,” said Tim Horton, assistant director of improvement at the Health Foundation.

“However, the fast pace at which they were introduced means that important steps – such as evaluation and co-design with patients – will necessarily have been shortcut.

“As we emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, the NHS must evaluate and improve these approaches before locking them in for the future.

“The NHS has not yet ‘sealed the deal’ with the public on the future use of technology and further work is needed to address concerns and build trust in new technologies.

“While the speed of innovation has been hugely impressive, rushing to make these changes permanent without understanding more about their impact would risk holding back promising technologies from fulfilling their potential to improve care for every patient.

“Action is needed by the NHS and Government, who have a critical opportunity to secure a positive health care technology legacy from Covid-19.”

Have you had to book an online consultation with your GP? Did you have a positive experience this way or would you have preferred to see a medical professional face to face?

Have you been happy with accessing NHS care online?

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

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viking
16th May 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
Reading between the lines on the latest updates on this it does seem that GP's do not wish to go back to face to face consultations.
They are arguing that this will increase their workload.
So what were their thoughts before covid ? So presumably their workload has been so much easier during covid, using telephone consultations.
Whiteeagle17
2nd May 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
I have had several online appointments with rheumatology and found the service quite easy to manage despite not being all that PC savvy.
Jenny1812
12th Apr 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Sorry about my post got confused first time posting thought it was about careworkers in homes sorry to all
Jenny1812
12th Apr 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Upfront I am not in the UK however I am a nurse. Where I live all health workers are required not by law but by the conditions of employment to have vaccination against hepatitis., Other diseases such as HIV legally can't be requirements, Hepatitis often is deadly whilst being symptom less in carriers, so makes sense for all involved. The Covid vaccine is only being given to health workers at this time and is optional, most aware of the huge percentage of health workers we have lost, unlikely that any health worker doesn't know personally at least one who has died not just had it . Not surprising then most of us are very happy to be offered the vaccine. Important to note we are all part of a vaccine trial, no other vaccines being available except to be part of the J &J trial. I don't think a law is needed, but if you chose to work in a high risk situation you need to comply with the requirements of that choice, to ensure safety for all. So it should be a condition of employment.
viv0147
2nd Apr 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
I have a number of health problems, and although I am 73 I have found the virtual appointments absolutely brilliant! Obviously, they could not replace the examinations, but if it was only to ask you a number of questions it is so much easier, and safer and convenient.
Supersabre
25th Mar 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
Well, you can see the way this is going. Same as bank branches. I don't doubt in many instances, it works fine. Eventually of course, they will say, because of fewer people going into the GP surgery, it will close. All very well if you can use the "app". But there are many like my mum in law (. age 89) who can't even use the mobile phone we bought her. Where do they go?
viking
27th Mar 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes agree Supersabre, we are constantly being told that there is a shortage of GP's either through recruitment problems or distaste for this kind of work. So easily remedied, get everyone hanging on to a phone for a chat or self diagnose on the computer. Job done and solved !!!
weerab
23rd Mar 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
What a useless system our GP is using. 20 minutes or more on hold to talk to a receptionist. This person, with little or no medical training, then attempts to triage you and decides if you are ill enough to have a telephone conversation with a doctor. This is far from being a high tech system. Take me back to the dark old days!!!
viking
23rd Mar 2021
3
Thanks for voting!
I can see that it would work in some instances. However have you ever laid out on the slab and then have the GP feel around the painful area, and then be able to grab a handfull of pain, twist it around and then speak Latin with the diagnosis. So how could this happen on the telephone please ??
Lionel
19th Mar 2021
4
Thanks for voting!
Am I happy with NHS care online? NO!

Several months ago there was a Speaker's Corner article on this very subject and if I remember rightly most voted against such a practice. In my wife's experience those people were quite right.

I fully realise the strictures placed upon GP medics and their staff by Covid - no one in their right mind would want to face a daily barrage of patients exhaling a killer bug. However, shutting down everything except a the;ehone call isn't good practice. Even the call may come days after it was scheduled .

No, not good enough at the moment, could do so much better.
ChrisJ3
19th Mar 2021
3
Thanks for voting!
We have to complete an on-line question and answer session before a doctor will even talk to us. Terrible.
willeyc
19th Mar 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
they give good advice and you dont have to try and get a doctors appointment and Waite ages for one
Smartaj
19th Mar 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
West Suffolk hospital are excellent, on line communication is really effect, rarely use our GP but when we have it has been positive, always order prescription on line, bowel cancer screening has continued, husband had on line Phsyio not so effective as face to face but easily accessed
JulieB688
18th Mar 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Even a telephone consult with a GP in our village is a 50:50 chance - for the last decade, we've been 9,000 people with a part-time surgery, with little chance of getting an appointment. I don't get it. My grandmother had the same problem accessing doctor's opinions, because she couldn't afford it... we're in the last century again.
ValerieB49
18th Mar 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
Hubby had phone consult with GP who asked how hubby was. Hubby relied "not good". GP replied "jolly good" We were speechless. GP could not have been listening. Symptoms described and hubby told it will get better 3 months later still no change. To make matters worse GP's English is terrible you just cannot understand him. What i do not understand is the nurses are seeing patients but not the GP. Just do not know where to go to get hubby sorted. Feeling angry and frustrated
Linathome
18th Mar 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
My husband was diagnosed with cancer in November 2020. He was told his diagnosis over the phone by a consultant he had never even met. Just a faceless person giving out life changing news. Following that he had several more phone calls from different consultants, at least one of which, we found difficult to hear and understand, mainly due to the background noise and interruptions in the consultants office (or wherever he was calling from). He then also had a video call, and this was so much better. It was almost like being in the consultants room with him as you would be for an outpatient appointment. I think, if done properly, for appointments where examinations or tests aren't needed then video calls are great. They save time and travelling for the patient. I don't think bad news should EVER be given to anyone over the phone, not least because the caller has no idea of what support (if any) that patient has.
Rmorrison536aolcouk
18th Mar 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Phone calls are fine for simple queries or renewing medication but for New symptoms or pain etc there needs to be more. Haven’t had a video call which would help in some cases. I have been on cancer treatment where I have a monthly checkup. In the last year I have had a different consultant/ doctor almost every month and their names are totally unfamiliar. I find this quite concerning as they follow a list of questions but are not familiar with my diagnosis/ situation. It would be much better to speak to the same person and build up a relationship even if it’s only on the phone. Also I had a monthly infusion but that has been stopped as I would have to attend the clinic. There are no plans to restart it.
There must be better ways of assessing patients.
HilaryC31
18th Mar 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
I am happy with medication reviews and general wellbeing consultations over the phone, but when I have a new symptom, especially one needing physical assessment, even video call (although I was never offered this) are ineffective. To then be given a physiotherapist appointment, also by phone, proved pointless and now I have to see them face to face..................I could have done this 5 months ago and be on the road to recovery now instead of still being in pain!
JE
17th Mar 2021
0
Thanks for voting!
No initial on line booking at our surgery. We have to telephone and wait for the GP or nurse to phone back for an initial telephone consultation when you could be asked to send a photo on line. On the one occasion I have had to contact the surgery, I was asked to send a photo, which I did but the GP computer system went down so I had to have an appointment to go into the surgery anyway. I was however seen within 2 hours, instead of the week or more we would have had to wait before.
MrsPat
17th Mar 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
Our local doctors have always been excellent and I have nothing but praise for the new internet systems. Brilliant and really easy to use for older folk like us.
Wilf
17th Mar 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
It has been excellent. I have used our local one and the service is outstanding. I have also been using my fathers (who is in his 90s) to help him and have nothing but praise. So much more efficient than before it really is a medical revolution within a year.
Tr1sh
17th Mar 2021
4
Thanks for voting!
The surgery I attend have used online services for several years and it's much better to be able to go online or email rather than phoning and hanging on waiting for someone to answer.

Of course, it's not so helpful for people without computers and it shouldn't replace face-to-face consultations for those who may have a serious condition or concern.
jeffsoo
17th Mar 2021
4
Thanks for voting!
On a TV advert, it says if you have a problem see your GP. Has anyone tried to get a face to face meeting with a GP lately?
Wilf
17th Mar 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
I have had phone and video ones with mine and they have been excellent. No more waiting for ages in a surgery. Much better. You can even send photos from your phone of issues.
Marley444
17th Mar 2021
3
Thanks for voting!
I have been extremely impressed with our new online service. I actually used it yesterday - I posted a message to the surgery around 6pm and a reply and a referral was emailed back to me just after 8am - can't get any faster than that and I am very satisfied with the outcome. My husband has also had very successful telephone consultations

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