Patients appreciate a ‘mixed-method’ approach to GP consultations’ says College Chair

College Chair, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, featured in The Independent responding to a study on patient preferences for accessing care in general practice. 

“This study shows that patients appreciate a mixed-method approach to accessing GP care and services - and it has been the College's position some time that how patients access our care should be a shared decision between the clinician and patient.

"It is encouraging to see this research address some of the common misconceptions around the use of remote consultations in general practice. Whilst around 70% of care in general practice is carried out in person, safe, timely and appropriate care is being delivered remotely everyday by GPs and our teams - and whilst it isn't suitable for everyone, it is the preferred choice for many patients. 

“There is no one size fits all approach to accessing care. Many patients prefer to see their GP face to face, which is still how most consultations are delivered, but others appreciate the convenience that an online consultation offers - and it's particularly interesting that this study found older patients find them helpful. 

“Whichever way care is delivered, GPs and our teams are striving to deliver the care our patients need in the face of intense workload and workforce pressures. Our recent manifesto outlines seven solutions that will help us increase the number of our GPs and ensure sufficient time and space within our practices to provide timely, safe and appropriate care to our patients and safeguard the future of general practice and the wider NHS.”

Further information

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Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.