Are online consultations the way forward?

elderly hands

Wales offer elderly digital appointments

Elderly patients could be offered online consultations with hospital doctors to prevent them having to travel long distances for appointments.

The pilot scheme in rural north Wales will see patients be able to go to their local GP surgery and have an internet video link appointment with their hospital consultant. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in north Wales is one of four UK areas trialing the plans, and if successful, the initiative will be rolled out across the UK.

Less travel

The scheme is designed to save elderly patients travelling long distances to hospital and free-up ambulances used to transport them.

Dr Olwen Williams, a member of the health board, told BBC News “As part of the project we will be developing the service with patients and their carers to ensure that there is familiarity with the use of technology.”

Dr Mark Temple, from the Royal College of Physicians, said “The evaluation of new ways of delivering healthcare at these sites is important for patients, carers and healthcare staff, as the results will be shared widely to help enhance patient care in the NHS.”