This site is intended for health professionals only

Practices should embrace ‘virtual surgeries’

24 July 2013

Share this article

General practice should look towards “virtual surgeries” as a new way of consulting with patients, GP leaders have suggested. 

Virtual surgeries, using social media channels and Skype could be used for consultations in the future, according to British Medical Association (BMA) Welsh GP committee deputy chair Charlotte Jones. 

Although, Dr Jones has admitted that widespread use is “some way off” she said family doctors must remain “open to new ideas”. 

She said: “Online consultations through virtual surgeries and Skype could be used, when appropriate, and it could help people manage their long-term conditions better.” 

While new technology could see more consultations go online, Dr Jones said caution was needed when using scarce resources wisely as a lot of new technology was expensive to set up.

Earlier this year health and social services minister Mark Drakeford (pictured above) announced a system of booking GP appointments online would be rolled out across Wales.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has challenged the NHS to become paperless by 2018, with the aim of becoming the “most modern digital health service in the world”.