Local people asked for their views on virtual appointments

Published on: Monday, 17th August 2020

Patient health and social watchdog care Healthwatch Derbyshire is asking local people the reasons behind why they have not accessed virtual appointments with a doctor, nurse or carer during lockdown as part of a new research project.

The aim is to understand the knock-on effects of COVID-19 on Derbyshire residents who have either been unable to access virtual appointments by telephone or video or who have chosen not to. 

The project is looking to capture the views of a diverse range of people, in particular those aged under 25 and over 70; people from BaME communities as well as those with long term health conditions, a learning disability, autism and hearing loss.

According to an insight report in the U.K. entitled 'The Dr Will Zoom You Now: getting the most out of the health and care experience',  produced by Healthwatch England, the health and care charities collective National Voices and public servicers consultancy Traverse, 85% of medical consultations are now being carried out remotely, and a survey of General Practitioners undertaken by the British Medical Association, revealed that 88% of those surveyed wished to see an increased use of remote consultations moving forwards.

Healthwatch Derbyshire chief executive Helen Henderson-Spoors explained: “During the Covid pandemic there has been a significant rise in the use of digital services in place of face-to-face services, such as telephone appointments, video consultations, text messaging and others. 

“Recent research highlighted the positives of this new way of working for all concerned but we are very mindful that virtual consultations are not appropriate for everyone.

“This project therefore aims to highlight where virtual appointments may not have met the needs of patients and help to provide understanding for the reasons why people had not engaged with services in a virtual format.

“We are keen to engage with as many people as possible across a broad cross section of our local communities and this information will be fed through to decision-makers to help shape how health services are delivered in the future.”

To be part of this project by sharing your views please contact Healthwatch Derbyshire: Telephone: 01773 880786 or by post: Healthwatch Derbyshire, Suite 14, Riverside Business Centre, Foundry Lane, Milford, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 0RN.

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