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What needs to happen to support vulnerable patients to use online and remote consultation?

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Executive Summary  (Full report available on request)

In Devon, 99% of GP practices are using online consultation, which allows patients to access GP services remotely. As online and remote consultation becomes more prevalent, it is important to consider the needs of vulnerable patients who are at risk of digital exclusion. 

Qualitative insight was conducted with vulnerable patients registered at a GP practice in Exeter, Torbay and Plymouth. Specifically, this focused on those patients living in social housing, support accommodation or who were homeless and who were likely to have additional support needs in relation to mental health, substance misuse, learning difficulties and criminal justice involvement.  

In addition, a wide set of community stakeholders and primary care professionals participated in this study.  

The study explored the barriers and enablers to accessing health services remotely, as well as capturing high level design appetite and opportunities to support this patient group to access services remotely in future.  

What are the barriers and enablers to accessing health services remotely?  

In the study, barriers and enablers include:

  • Limited or no online access
  • Knowledge of options and choices
  • Misunderstandings and perceptions
  • Self-confidence
  • Literacy
  • Learning difficulties
  • Mental Health Issues

Several insight-led recommendations have been made to help overcome key barriers and leverage opportunities to support and enable vulnerable patients to access GP services remotely and grouped into the following categories:  

  • Accessibility 
  • Choice
  • Trust
  • Digital inclusion 

 To request the full report please click below:

What needs to happen to support vulnerable patients to use online and remote consultation?

Full Document Request

If you'd like to speak to the team that led the study, please email nina.gavin@icecreates.com or call us on 0845 5193423

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