North Staffordshire GP Appointments to Remain Online
Stroke-on-Trent and Staffordshire consider making online GP appointments permanent even after Covid-19 pandemic.
14:43 10 November 2020
North Staffordshire considers making virtual doctors' appointments permanent after the pandemic to 'lock in' the benefits that the system has to offer. Clinical commissioning groups for NHS in Stroke-on-Trent and Staffordshire said that the technology, which allows clinicians to see patients remotely, has worked very well for the past eight months.
Marcus Warnes, accountable officer for the Staffordshire CCGs, said:" It's fair to say that in the first free months – March, April, May – we made more transformational changes to the way care is delivered than we've made in the previous three years.
"All of this has been temporary, and some of which we will need to formally consult on at some point in the near future.
"We've accelerated innovations that were set out in the long-term plan, around the use of digital. Over the last six or seven months, we've really revolutionised the way digital solutions are used to deliver care.
"There is a long-standing joke that there's one factory making fax machines in China, and its sole customer is the NHS. Up until fairly recently, the NHS worked on Windows XP.
"The NHS is fairly slow in adopting new technology and one of the things we've done through the pandemic is really up the pace of adopting digital solutions, such as Microsoft Teams for instance, which has really transformed the way care is delivered, and how we deliver our back office systems.
"We've also rapidly deployed services to take pressure off our hospitals, which have been hugely beneficial – things like health navigator and the community rapid intervention service."