Patients should email GP rather than visit them

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Patients should email GP rather than visit them

Post by falkor » Wed May 22, 2013 8:35 pm

By Tim Ross, Laura Donnelly and Nick Collins 7:01AM BST 22 May 2013
Patients should email their GP instead of going to see them to free up health services, a leading official said yesterday.
Mike Farrar, the head of the NHS Confederation, said that contacting doctors online instead of in person would allow GPs to assess health complaints quickly and refer them onwards only if necessary.

Previously Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS, had encouraged surgeries to use new technology such as Skype to communicate with patients. But pilots in 2011 proved unsuccessful.

Mr Farrar was speaking at the health affairs select committee on Tuesday. But MPs voiced concerns about the idea.
Labour’s Valerie Vaz said: “The average patient wouldn’t know what to say or what to ask. This idea that you just ring up a doctor and tell them about your symptoms – I thought medicine was based on observation.”
Meanwhile Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, warned that emergency units were so overstretched that they could not cope with bank holiday pressures.