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GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn 

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  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:10 PM
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GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

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Plans to replace face-to-face doctor's surgery appointments with treatment over the phone or via computer weblink will put lives at risk, ministers and campaigners have warned.
The new system of 'virtual clinics' favoured by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt could spell the end of traditional doctor's surgeries with appointments conducted on iPads and Skype, and test results delivered by text message.
The Sunday Express reported that NHS bosses are importing the idea from India and believe the changes would cut £2.9bn almost immediately, a good chunk of the £20bn the NHS must save to fill its funding gap.
However, critics say the plans would create a two-tier health service, where those who are less technologically able - particularly the elderly - would be left behind, and the trust between doctor and patient eroded.
The ideas were outlined by health minister Dan Poulter last week and are contained in a Department of Health report called 'Digital First.'
It proposes supplying community nurses with iPads in rural areas and making more use of Skype video calling between GPs and patients. Health assessments would be completed online and 'augmented' with video calls.
Mobile phone 'apps' would be used by doctors to access lab reports and health records, while negative test results would be sent to patients by text message rather than delivered in person.
Health chiefs believe the new system would reduce 'needless' appointments that take up too much staff time.
The report says that every one per cent reduction in face-to-face appointments will save the health service £200m.
'It also gives the medical professional the chance to recognise health issues that may not be obvious from a distance.'
Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: 'The telehealth agenda must be driven by a desire to improve clinical outcomes and patient care, not the government's plans to save £20bn.'
Speaking in a Westminster debate last week, Dr Poulter argued that treating patients with modern technology in their own homes would help to free up in-patient beds and reduce waiting times.
'We have to harness and better utilise more modern types of technology such as telehealth and mobile technology to support people better in their own homes and to drive down the cost of care,' he said.
Age UK charity director Michelle Mitchell said: 'Many people of all ages still prefer human contact.
Dr Poulter told the Mail Online: 'We want to make life easier for patients. By allowing people to access the NHS online, we will help put an end to things like the 8am rush to phone your GP to try and book a medical appointment, and we are using the internet and medical technology to better support people with long term health conditions like diabetes, dementia and heart disease to be better looked after and supported in their own homes and communities.
'However, it is important to stress that patients who are unwell and need to see their GP will still always have quality face-to-face time with them.
'The Government also recognises that not everyone, particularly frail older people, will have easy access to the internet, which is why the momentum for these improvements in care will be locally-led and will involve working closely with charities like Age UK in order to support people and their carers in better accessing medical technology and the internet.'

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Old 11-25-2012, 01:45 PM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

I just read that Kel. Can I re-post it?

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Old 11-25-2012, 01:57 PM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

Repost where? Not here...as erm it's already here lol

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Old 11-25-2012, 03:06 PM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

Yeah here! I thought you liked merging threads.

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Old 11-25-2012, 06:49 PM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn


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Old 11-26-2012, 01:10 AM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

one more step towards private healthcare where the poorest will be hardest hit
there is no substitute for a face to face consultation

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:40 PM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

NHS is going downhill fast anyway, i say this from personal experience. Past 4 years or so. Nothing like it used to be.

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Old 11-26-2012, 03:02 PM
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Re: GP Visits to Be Replaced by Skype Consultations in Bid to Save NHS £3bn

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Originally Posted by Kelly View Post
NHS is going downhill fast anyway, i say this from personal experience. Past 4 years or so. Nothing like it used to be.
I second that!!!

GP consultations by Skype - how can that possibly work and not everybody has bloody computers and the net

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