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In person or online? Why a remote appointment can sometimes be best.

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In person or online? Why a remote appointment can sometimes be best.

There will always be patients who prefer to see their GP or other primary care professional in person. And, of course, there are times when that is necessary.

But increasingly, patients have the option to “see” their doctor remotely via the phone, or via a video appointment.

Cynical observers may call it cost-cutting, but there are several clear benefits to ‘virtual’ appointments – for the patient, the practice and society in general.

Seeing the advantages:

It’s simply more convenient. With no need to travel to the practice, take time off, or arrange childcare. Just stay in the comfort and privacy of your home, or a quiet spot at work. This is especially useful in rural areas.

It’s more hygienic. You won’t spread any bugs you might be carrying ­– or pick any new ones up in the waiting area. Covid19 was a good example of the wisdom of this.

Bring a friend or family. You can have someone with you to help with remembering symptoms and noting the doctor’s advice. Sometimes, they can even join the call remotely.

Eagle eyes. It can even happen that a health profession will spot a clue in the patient’s home environment that might explain a symptom or be affecting the condition.

Reducing costs. Patients save on travel, so traffic and carbon is reduced too. Practices save on maintaining physical facilities.

Fewer no-shows. When patients can stay in comfort, they’re less likely to miss an appointment.

Access to a wider range of specialisms. Just as traditional GP surgeries are evolving to become primary care practices with a wider set of roles and skills, remote appointments can offer patients the chance to access these more specialist clinical roles.

At Vela, our specialism is helping practices to recruit and retain reliable, skilled locums to fill that wide range of Allied Health Professional and Nursing Staff roles.

If we can help, just call or email and one of our expert recruitment consultants will be in touch.