Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government, in partnership with Technology Enabled Care (TEC) Cymru, have successfully delivered the accelerated national roll-out of the NHS Wales Video Consultation Service (NVCS) using a product called Attend Anywhere, as part of Welsh Government’s response to the Covid pandemic.
Since its inception, the Welsh NHS has now reached a significant milestone in successfully delivering over 250,000 remote video consultations to patients in Wales. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our health and care professionals for their dedication to supporting and improving the NHS for people in Wales.
The benefits and savings achieved by the NVCS show:
- Very high ratings in patient and clinician satisfaction with 92.4% and 71.9% (respectively) rating the ‘quality’ between ‘Excellent, Very Good or Good’;
- In general, the level of uptake is representative of the Welsh general population across patient demographics such as age, gender, household income, and urban/rural location;
- The benefits of using NVCS for patients rated either ‘very beneficial’ or ‘beneficial’ included ‘saved travel and parking’ (92%); ‘saving the environment’ (91.1%); ‘saved time and preparation’ (87.3%); not ‘having to take time off work/school’ (81%); ‘improved convenience’ (87.6%); ‘improved access to care’ (85.5%).
- Clinicians identified benefits such as ‘more efficient use of their clinical time/space’ (74.8%), ‘increased access to care’ (72%), ‘reduced waiting times’ (68.6%) and ‘reduced Did Not Attend rates’ (61.1%), and ‘improved family involvement for the patient’ (59.9%).
*based on data from the Phase 2a evaluation of 22,978 clinician and patient surveys (between September 2020 and February 2021) and 178 clinician and patient interviews.
Findings from the Phase 2a evaluation of the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service undertaken by TEC Cymru, have recently been published:
As we look to the longer term solution around video consultation in our Health Service, we are exploring options for the sustainable use of video appointments, and how we can add value within primary and secondary care settings - and potentially wider uses. We acknowledge that video consultation is not for everyone, but the clear potential of the benefits provided by this service highlights how it can complement other options available to patients, such as telephone and face-to-face appointments - ensuring optimal patient care for people in Wales.
Digital technologies have played a critical and very successful role in our response to Covid-19, allowing many Welsh citizens to continue to access medical advice and assistance in a safe environment, reducing the risk for both patients and our dedicated health and care professionals to increased risk of transmitting the virus. The current all-Wales video consultation service continues to be a key part of delivering health and social care in Wales, and we will look to maintain digital technologies in a complementary and inclusive way as a part of our pandemic recovery, and beyond.