More remote consultations for Wales, minister tells LMCs

10th March 2022 by NASGP

More remote consultations for Wales, minister tells LMCs

GPs won’t be rushed back to face-to-face consultations in Wales, according to health minister Eluned Morgan, Pulse reports.

Ms Morgan told BMA Wales LMC conference: “When it comes to remote consultations – where appropriate – we will be embracing them for the future and there will be no push from this minister unlike others in England to rush back to face-to-face consultations if it is not necessary.

“We know from our extensive polling that the majority of the population are content with the changes and whilst we must be sensitive to the older generations’ needs and your ability to carry out safeguarding responsibilities, we will not be returning to the old ways of working.”

The message comes as welcome news to NASGP, where over 110 members have been testing a pilot for remote consultations in Devon. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from GPs and practices, both about the support from NASGP members and also about LocumDeck. One member reported last month: “I’ve completed three sessions already and found the experience really positive.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “Remote consultations certainly provide an additional choice for patients, and practices. And for GPs, it can be a great way to provide our services in a very agile way. But we must be careful not to take remote locums for granted, particularly when working for practices we’re unfamiliar with. It can be tough enough working in familiar bricks-and-mortar practices, let alone an unfamiliar one. When the practice, its policies and even its geographical area are completely unknown to the GP, a whole new set of issues can arise.

“Practices and systems must appreciate that GP locums are people, professional GPs, not virtual ‘packages’ that can be cancelled like an Amazon parcel or just ignored when problems arise. We must not just take remote working for granted.

“Having now provided over 1,000 remote sessions for our locums through LocumDeck, we’ve seen the value of locum peer support in real terms, with practices also seeing real value from highly motivated and engaged locums.”

Join our remote pilot.

"I made the transition into GP locum working at the beginning of 2022. Without the support of LocumDeck, I would have struggled to get it all organised. Ali and her team were extremely supportive and patient with me; they explained how to use it, made it flexible for my needs and allayed all fears regarding various invoicing issues.

The ongoing support is also fantastic with educational webinars, NASGP Locum Chambers meetings and a quick response to any queries. I would recommend it to anyone starting out as a GP locum. It takes away the administrative stress and allows you to focus on clinical work."

Dr Himanka Rana, GP, Isle of Wight

See the full list of features within our NASGP membership plans