Following a successful first phase evaluation of the NHS Wales Video Consulting (VC) Service, the TEC Cymru team have launched the findings from the Phase 2a evaluation of the service, building up over 50,000 responses from patients and staff across the studies.
Sara Khalil, the Programme Lead for TEC Cymru chats to Business News Wales about the national rollout of the VC service –
Sara describes how TEC Cymru
“provides a platform and resources to support the sustainable use, scale-up and spread of technology enabled care across Wales.”
As part of the Welsh Government’s response to COVID-19, TEC Cymru and partners established the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service that provides safe access to healthcare online.
The service is utilised across all health settings in Wales, including hospitals, community care and general practices. Over 6.5k Clinicians have been trained to use Video Consultation across more than 2k Virtual Clinics.
Across the country almost a quarter of a million consultations have been held, with the highest number of users in speech and language services, physiotherapy and mental health.
The findings reinforce the Welsh Government’s Help Us, Help You campaign, which encourages people to get to know the breadth of NHS services and options available to them through the NHS 111 Wales website.
Sara describes how “Technology Enabled Care offers us a way to do more with less.” She mentions how it can provide benefits to both patients and the work-force. It also allows care to be delivered “closer to home” due to the remote nature of it.
Gemma Johns, TEC Cymru Research and Evaluation Lead said:
“TEC Cymru follows a robust phased approach to its research and evaluation. We learn more as we move through each phase and utilise each dataset to support local Health Boards to make better informed decisions for their staff and patients.”
“In the new Phase 2a evaluation VC report, we have been able to deep dive into patient and clinician experiences and identify how the benefits clearly outweigh the challenges. We have been able to demonstrate how well VC is working for our Welsh patients and clinicians, and also the opportunity to challenge many assumptions on digital exclusion in Wales.”
“The findings in this report seek to support Health Boards and the Welsh Government on future decisions and ways of working in NHS Wales, and the sustainable use of VC moving forward.”
Eluned Morgan, Welsh Government Minister for Health & Social Services added:
“This useful evaluation shows promising results on the use of video consultation in healthcare settings.
“It’s encouraging to see that this service has been highly rated by both patients and clinicians and I hope that it will continue to be used and developed beyond the pandemic to allow wider access to healthcare services.”
Other key feedback revealed the service is well accepted across a wide range of care settings and specialities and is clinically suitable for a wide range of patient demographic groups, regardless of health status, age, gender, ethnicity, household income, and place (urban/rural).
TEC Cymru also discovered there is a long-term need for VC, which tends to be associated with the significant benefits of using it, which clearly outweigh the challenges.
Visit www.digitalhealth.wales/tec-cymru for more information.