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Remote consultations have only worked “for some”, Healthwatch concludes

COVID-19 has highlighted the value of face-to-face consultations

April 26th 2021

Tagged: political news England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

COVID-19 has led to difficulties accessing GP care and medication, Healthwatch has said in a new report on GP access during COVID-19.

The watchdog says that remote GP appointments have not met everyone’s needs.

People have also experienced difficulties getting medication and repeat prescriptions from pharmacies.

Healthwatch England Chair Sir Robert Francis QC, said: “For some people the rapid digitalisation of care has worked…making access to care quicker, more efficient and easier to fit around their lives.   On the other side of the coin, it is clear many people are now struggling to access care from their GP, often simply because they do not know how.”

Responding, Dr Gary Howsam, vice chair of the Royal College of GPs, said the following.

“We support the call to expand other services as well as ED capacity, and this includes primary and community care so that the increasing pressures can be dealt with effectively right across the system. It is also essential that government improves information for patients about where best to seek that’s appropriate for them. We urgently need more GPs and other members of the practice team.”