1. ITV Report

Virtual doctor appointments rolled out across Wales

Credit: Welsh Government

Virtual GP appointments are being rolled out across Wales in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

All GP practices in Wales can now access a new system, which allows people to have online appointments with their doctor and other healthcare professionals.

The NHS Wales Video Consulting Service was due to launch later this year but has been brought forward because of Covid-19.

As well as helping people keep to the stay-at-home rules, the new system will allow doctors and nurses who are self-isolating, but willing and able to work, to continue to serve their communities.

Innovations such as this enables government to help frontline staff keep people safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

It also means another layer of protection for NHS staff. We are changing the way the NHS operates.

By offering telephone and video appointments, we can reduce pressure on frontline staff and better support people with information and advice without unnecessary contact.

We are now looking at the next phase of this service, which will include rolling this out into places like hospitals.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Health Minster
Credit: PA Images

Video appointments will be offered if doctors want more information than a telephone call can provide.

In these cases, surgeries can provide simple instructions about how people can access the free and easy-to-use technology that will work with their smartphone, tablet or PC.

A pilot programme in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area saw 290 GPs across 73 practices receive video conference training.

Video consultations since March 16th in pilot programme at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

This programme is a demonstration of how we are rolling out tools to support clinicians who have demanded an alternative way to deliver care to their patients.

It's already been deeply rewarding to get such positive feedback from clinicians and patients.

– Mike Ogonovsky, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board