To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to extend patient access to GP surgeries via (a) dial-in telephone lines, (b) skype and (c) other teleconferencing facilities to facilitate the remote working of GPs during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.
NHSX and NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting the rapid acceleration of the Digital First programme to ensure general practitioner (GP) practices in England have the ability to deliver total triage using online consultation and video consultations. At the same time we are ensuring every GP practice has an uncapped ability to send and receive text messages for a range of purposes e.g. reminders, invitations to video consultations, and ensuring that GP practices have sufficient telephone capacity to take and make telephone calls with patients.
In terms of general practice staff we are making sure that every GP practice has the capability to support remote working for staff including equipment, secure communications, smartcard access, software and access to support.