Coronavirus: General Practitioners

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Opposition Whip (Commons), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)

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.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 23 March 2020

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.

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