Is Sajid Javid about to backtrack on GP appointments? Health Secretary says he has ‘no problem’ with online check-ups if people want them

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  • Health Secretary Sajid Javid says remote GP appointments are here to stay
  • As per latest figures only 58 per cent GP appointments are face-to-face
  • Javid said he is committed to making sure everyone can choose to see their GP

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Sajid Javid admitted last night that remote GP appointments are here to stay after the pandemic.

The health secretary told a fringe event at the Tory conference that if phone or online appointments were what people wanted, they had no problem with it.

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And he said there is a ‘role’ to remote counseling because many people like them.

Last night a source close to Mr Javid insisted he still has the right to choose GP appointments face-to-face in favor of the people.

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Only last month, when the Granthshala began its campaign for GPs to roll back on ‘individual’ consultation, the health secretary said: ‘I am committed to ensuring that everyone, no matter who they are or They can choose where they live, see their GP face-to-face.

Last night a source close to Mr Javid insisted he still has the right to choose GP appointments face-to-face in favor of the people.

Before the Covid crisis, around 80 per cent GP appointments were face-to-face.  It declined during the pandemic and even now it has reached only 58 percent.

Before the Covid crisis, around 80 per cent GP appointments were face-to-face. It declined during the pandemic and even now it has reached only 58 percent.

But last night the director of campaign group Silver Voices, Dennis Reid, said he hoped Mr Javid “doesn’t back down”.

Before the Covid crisis, around 80 per cent GP appointments were face-to-face. It declined during the pandemic and even now it has reached only 58 percent.

The Mail is campaigning for a return to the level of in-person appointments as before the pandemic.

At the Fringe event, Mr Javid was questioned by a representative, who said that ‘the most obvious way to increase productivity in the healthcare system is to go from personal meetings with your GP to phone or online consultations.

He asked: ‘Do you intend to get more of this in the future?’

The Health Secretary replied: ‘When it comes to healthcare, there is a role for remote consultation.

‘I’m not talking about it just in primary care, with the GP. There was much more during the pandemic, more remote consultations in the NHS, and I suspect – in fact I know that from talking to physicians – much of this will continue.

‘It continues because – I don’t think it’s surprising at all – that you find a lot of people who really like it.’

Mr Javid said he was told by mental health trust doctors that the remote counseling he was forced to give during the pandemic had proved popular with patients.

The health secretary (pictured) told a fringe event at the Tory conference that if phone or online appointments were what people wanted, they had no problem with it.

The health secretary (pictured) told a fringe event at the Tory conference that if phone or online appointments were what people wanted, they had no problem with it.

He said: ‘I was in a hospital just a few days ago when it was explained to me that, during the pandemic, as needed, they went into remote consultations for most of the patients for that. [mental health] faith, and he found that it actually worked much better than he might have imagined.

‘He had not tried it before; The patients liked it; The response is good – it worked for everyone.’

Mr Javid said: ‘I think when we look ahead, after the pandemic, there will be remote consultations.

‘And I think as long as it’s something that’s a clinically correct result and it works for people, and that’s what they want, I don’t have a problem with it.’

At no point did he refer to his previous comments that people should be able to demand GP appointments face-to-face.

Mr Reid said: ‘It feels a lot more similar than before, when he has clearly stated that if people want face-to-face GP appointments they should get them.

‘I hope he will not go back on what he said earlier. I expected the Tory conference to be

.

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