General practice COVID-19 recovery: the future role of remote consultations & patient ‘triage’

The future role of remote consultations & patient ‘triage’ is the first in a series of RCGP reports, setting out how general practice should function in a post-COVID environment. Remote consultations have played a significant role in GP's being able to continue to provide care throughout the pandemic, whilst ensuring effective infection control in practices.

As the vaccination programme is rolled out and social distance restrictions ease however, we expect to see a rebalancing of remote and face-to-face consultations. This poses a challenge for the Government and health systems, to build upon the benefits that have emerged from new ways of working during the pandemic, whilst ensuring that relational care and health inequalities do not suffer in the longer-term.

Our new report therefore calls on the government to:

  • invest £1 billion in digital infrastructure for general practice to build on some of the capabilities which enable remote care
  • review and improve digital patient triage platforms and processes, and produce guidance for patients and staff to support effective implementation
  • ensure GPs and wider teams have access to the tools, training, guidance and support in routinely using digital tools in their practice
  • implement targeted strategies to support equal patient access to care
  • commission research into models of triage and remote consultations to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of existing methods

Read the report (PDF file, 327 KB)

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