GP video consultations given go-ahead in Wales to tackle coronavirus spread

Video consultations with GPs have been given the go-ahead in Wales in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Welsh Government has announced.

The technology was being trialled by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in Gwent, but ministers have given the web service a national roll-out in an attempt to help stop the spread of the disease.

People wanting face-to-face video appointments with healthcare professionals from their homes will need a smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam running the Chrome or Safari web browsers.

The Welsh Government said the consultation will not leave a digital footprint, and appointments are deleted after they are finished.

On Thursday, Wales' health minister Vaughan Gething said the technology would help reduce pressure on GP surgeries and health centres.

He said: "This technology will help people access healthcare advice from their homes, particularly if they are self-isolating because of the virus, while helping the NHS cope with an increase in demand.

"I'm pleased we're at the forefront of using this digital technology throughout Wales."

The technology is funded out of the Welsh Government's #50m Digital Priorities Investment Fund, which supports the delivery of digital services in the Welsh NHS.

The number of confirmed Welsh cases of coronavirus currently stands at 19, while as of last Friday, 634 people had been tested.

Ministers are expected to decide on Thursday if the UK’s coronavirus response should move into the “delay” phase after the global outbreak was declared a pandemic.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know