Aylesbury MP Rob Butler has received confirmation from the Health Secretary in Parliament that, as Covid restrictions ease, patients should be able to access face-to-face GP appointments again. Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday (17th May),
“Today's measures are very welcome in Aylesbury, with local pubs, restaurants, the museum and cinema all eager to welcome back customers.
“Can my Right Honourable Friend reassure local residents that as business and culture return to normality, so too will our health services and, over time, it will become easier once again to have face-to-face appointments with GPs?”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP replied:
“Yes, and he'll have seen, no doubt, the letter sent out from Dr Nikki Kanani, who's the Medical Director for Primary Care in NHS England, reiterating the point that it is important to offer a face-to-face consultation for a patient who really wants a face-toface consultation, whilst also using technology where that is the most clinically appropriate thing to do, and these decisions should be taken between doctor and patient together.
“There is no greater supporter than me of the use of technology in healthcare and I think it improves access no end. People do need to be able to go to the surgery if they so choose and see the right person, the clinically appropriate person, and that's the approach that we're taking whilst making sure that we can use a system that allows people to access the right services in the right settings as much as is possible.”
Speaking afterwards, Rob added:
“Our local doctors have worked incredibly hard throughout the coronavirus crisis to provide the best possible services to their patients. That has often meant using phones or the internet, rather than the face-to-face appointments we are all used to. But many local residents have been in touch with me to say how important it is to have the inperson relationship with their doctors restored now restrictions have eased, so I was very pleased that the Health Secretary confirmed that people should be able to have necessary face-to-face appointments once more.”