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News - Online GP consultations don’t save time or money, FDA Chairman comments

Date: 31/08/2017

Online consultation systems are not likely to have any notable impact on patient waiting times and could even add to practice workload, according to new research. 

Family Doctor Association chair Dr Peter Swinyard said: ‘I am gently cynical about it. It’s hard to do consultations on a computer. Judging from this study, most GPs (70%) ended up having to do two consultations (face-to-face or telephone) as a result.’

Dr Swinyard said that electronic consultations have their place, for repeat prescriptions for example, but ‘if someone says they have a pain in their tummy then I would rather see them’.

Dr Swinyard added: ‘GPs use all their senses, they can "smell illness", the way someone walks in, the way they act on the telephone, these are all non-verbal clues.

‘This is the sort of trendy thing that a Government bereft of ideas would come up with – instant access to a doctor.’

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