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Leadership / Digital Transformation

NHS’s £100m digital framework suggests telehealth is here to stay

Before lockdown was introduced, Royal College of GPs’ data shows that approximately a quarter of GP appointments were carried out remotely and around 70% carried out face-to-face. However, since the introduction of lockdown these figures have reversed with approximately 70% of GP appointments being carried out via video or telephone,” Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs tells Tech Monitor.

Pointing the doctor to a rash on a part of your anatomy via Zoom is a trend that’s showing no sign of easing and, as the medical sector – like almost all other industries – adapts to a remote world, there are increasing signs that the changes will grow roots. The latest indication that telehealth is here to stay comes with the announcement of a new £100m NHS England “framework” for online and video consultation services – which suggests the shift will lead to dramatic changes in how the NHS procures medical services; for example by letting NHS commissioners rapidly add “additional clinical capacity through an online consultation solution” that brings in digital-first locums.

Teased via a public information notice in late September, the NHS says a full-fat contract notice should land on 16 November 2020. But with the move proving…

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