The findings from this evaluation show overall that there is a high level of acceptability for remote consultations by both staff and patients, even when COVID doesn’t necessitate them. The vast majority of respondents have felt that there is a place for them in the future and in some settings these do improve the care that is given, and even the interaction with patients.
It is interesting that the concerns felt by clinicians weren’t mirrored by patients – and that the period of lockdown demonstrated a willingness and an ability of many to take control of more aspects of their health and self manage more of the conditions that they had. It would suggest from both sides that this is an opportunity for ‘handing some control’ back to patients and allowing a more personalised approach to interventions and care.
Remote consultations are obviously not suitable for everything, and have their limitations. But they are preferred by many patients and so the opportunity to increase choice for patients about types of consultations has presented itself.