Insight into remote healthcare appointments during the COVID 19 pandemicDownload (PDF 17.13MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Salford undertook research into the experience of people of remote appointments with their GP. They spoke to 23 people, including people over the age of 65, people with a disability, people whose first language isn’t English, autistic people and healthcare staff.
None of the people spoken to had had a video call but some raised concerns about the cost of mobile data and broadband if this facility were to be available in future.
People should be able to feel comfortable discussing personal matters from a private setting in their own home. Healthcare staff should be aware that the lack of privacy could reflect in the detail of information being discussed.
Most people were able to access remote appointments but were not given a choice of phone or face to face. Some would have preferred a face to face appointment.
Some people find remote appointments difficult to absorb. They can’t remember key points, resulting in them questioning their understanding after the appointment has ended.
People whose first language isn’t English said that it was important for them to see the person they are talking to. Visual clues, body language and lipreading all play an important part to communicating. When interpreters are used, they need to be punctual and reliable. Access to BSL users also needs to be improved with prompt answering of text services where provided.
Some patients weren’t aware of support that is available to help them learn or improve their digital skills.The report contains seven recommendations about improving remote appointments. The report contains responses from providers