Pharmacists, dentists and optometrists across Wales have been piloting the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service (VCS), following its initial success with GPs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Feedback on the service has been very positive, with benefits such as ‘a decrease in patient travel time’, ‘less cleaning and sanitising of rooms required’ and ‘a better triage process to save face to face appointments’, highlighted by users.
The NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) provided the training for the service and received a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ rating from 96% of respondents. The training included live group remote sessions hosted via Microsoft Teams.
One pharmacist said that the VCS had, “excellent quality of call for the consultation with the patient. It is beneficial to have the capacity to type the information for the patient to view, and see if the patient cannot understand something.”
Further feedback indicated that video consultations could be used for a number of services offered within community pharmacy, such as the Common Aliments Services, Emergency Medicines Supply and Discharge Medicines Review. .
Both dentistry and optometry found uses for post-treatment reviews, follow ups, and treatment plan discussions.
The service is being offered via expression of interest, and the professions are actively encouraged to email the relevant contacts (provided below) to enquire for use of the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service:
Pharmacy – CPICT@wales.nhs.uk
Dentistry – GDP@wales.nhs.uk
There are also Video Consulting Toolkits available containing resources for each profession.