Corona Virus – Changing your GP Surgery forever

Currently , GPs are operating  a surgery appointment  system which is largely remote via a telephone or video consultation.

Getting an appointment with a doctor for a face to face consultation is like trying to get an audience with the Pope  on  Easter Sunday , difficult.

Today , throughout the country 6-7 % of telephone contacts , triaged by a GP , end with a F2F (face to face) appointment , previously – pre Corona – it was 80% !

Amazingly  most GPs are using technology like video consultation as opposed to only 0.6% a few months ago.

And , more   surprisingly , patients actually like it. Especially the younger ones. Swapping the immediacy of technology for the previous miserable long wait in a dingy medical waiting room being coughed on by all is a no brainer. Mana from heaven.

Yes , there are clear limitations but we are improving them and adapting daily.

Believe me , after the crisis , the NHS will not lose these ground breaking efficiencies.

F2F will become a luxury for the very young  and the complex elderly with multi-morbidities . Many hospital out-patient clinics will become telephone/video based. The system will become more streamlined and overall delivery will be the winner

Corona virus  –  Every cloud has a silver lining.

Dr.  John  Doddy


  1. The use of various technologies to aid initial diagnosis is a good thing but what if you don’t frequently use new technology? I do not have a smart phone only a simple pay-as-you-go, which suits my needs up till now. Yes I have a computer and use e-mail but I have never done any video msging or conferencing. There has never been a need.
    But, it looks like I am being left behind by the sudden rush to change due to the impact of Covid-19. Will this lead to me receiving a second class service, if I need medical attention in the future after Covid??


    1. Thank you Douglas .
      Hopefully everyones care can continue to be First Class , just delivered differently. I have found video consultation to be great for rashes like shingles , chicken pox and molloscum to mention but a few . It is also good to monitor wound healing and increasingly to do medication reviews . If you are on , say , an anti-depressant and need to be reviewed in a month a video consultation can be as good as a F2F and you can do it from anywhere in the world ! , and if you are not furlonged , even work .
      During corona virus times technology is being used to minimise risk of exposure to infected patients but it is proving to be a safe , effective and highly responsive care-tool for routine health needs.

      Rest assured , Douglas , despite digital banking and on-line shopping some of us still prefer cash.


  2. Whilst I do not recognise Dr Doddy’s pen picture of “the previous miserable long wait in a dingy medical waiting room being coughed on by all”, I am pleased that a considerable cloud would bring about a tiny silver lining in the form of more time efficient access to GP services.

    Such services may well prove to be “a stitch in time” by providing early intervention and “save nine” when matters were left until they merited taking time off work to visit a surgery. As the comment above reminds us, not everyone is able to make use of remote GP services via a telephone or video consultation so they will benefit from easier access to the surgery too.

    Perhaps in this way we will all benefit from better health, defined by the WHO as “physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”

    In the meantime, most of us need to stay at home so that we have an NHS able to give us “medical attention in the future after Covid”. At least Bramcote is rich in green spaces for us to enjoy our daily exercise.


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