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Remote asthma consultations in primary care

02 January 2021
Volume 32 · Issue 1


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the move towards remote clinical consultations. Heather Henry explains how remote asthma consultations can be conducted effectively

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a rapid increase in remote clinical consultations. Telephone, text messaging and video-based consultations reduce the need for face-to-face consultations that might increase the risk of infection. Appropriate triage is key to the safety of remote consultations. The evidence so far is that, with careful triage, remote consultations are as effective as traditional face-to-face consultations and could be more resource and time effective both for nurses and patients. There are pros and cons to each method of remote consultation. This article will look at the technique for conducting a successful video consultation.

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the move towards remote clinical consultations and no more so than for assessing and reviewing those with asthma. Telephone, text messaging and video-based consultations reduce the need for face-to-face consultations that might increase the risk of infection.

In a speech on the future of healthcare delivered in July 2020, Matt Hancock, the secretary of state for health and social care, said that ‘Coronavirus has catalysed deep structural shifts in healthcare that were already underway’, such as telemedicine (Department of Health and Social Care, 2020). He reported that: ‘In the 4 weeks leading up to 12 of April this year, 71% of routine GP consultations were delivered remotely, with about 26% face to face. In the same period a year ago, this was reversed: 71% face to face and 25% remotely.’ He went on to say that the future for GP consultations should default to teleconsultations unless there is a reason not to.

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