Matt Hancock’s call for virtual GP consultations to replace face-to-face meetings sparks patient backlash
Matt Hancock is facing a backlash from patient and medical groups after declaring that all consultations should be conducted virtually unless there was a “compelling clinical reason not to”.
During a speech in London on Thursday, the Health Secretary hailed a new era of “Zoom medicine” in which face-to-face meetings with doctors will be replaced by video link or phone.
Pointing to the operational changes introduced during the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Hancock said there was a need for “bureaucracy-busting” in the NHS, with virtual consultations freeing up doctors’ time for those most in need.
He added that while there would always be a system for people who could not “log on”, it would be wrong to “patronise older people by saying they don’t do tech.”
However, Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association, claimed that moving consultations online “by default appears to be based on no