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Benefits outweigh the challenges of Video Consultation NHS Wales study finds

20th July 2021 about a 3 minute read
“It’s encouraging to see that this service has been highly rated by both patients and clinicians and I hope that it (VC) will continue to be used and developed beyond the pandemic to allow wider access to healthcare services" Wales Health Minister Eluned Morgan AM

Following a successful first phase evaluation of the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service, the Tec Cymru team have launched the findings from the Phase2a evaluation of the service.

Based on data from 22,978 clinician and patient surveys and 178 clinician and patient semi-structured interviews, Phase 2a continued to explore the use and value of VC with the addition of measuring the benefits, challenges and sustainability of the service. The data collection went live on 1st September 2020 and closed on 28th February 2021.

The evaluation consisted of a mixed methodology approach and included end of VC surveys and semi-structured interviews. The sampling approach used was opportunity sampling (due to access of the intervention, ability to attach a survey, and access to clinicians contact information to invite for an interview).

Snowballing sampling was also explored, such as the use of social media platforms (@teccymru Twitter) and through personal or professional networks to recruit for additional retrospective surveys, and recruitment for interviews.

Key Findings:

  • the Phase 2a data is consistent in terms of ‘use and value’ with the previously published Phase 1 data, in that VC is still rated very highly among patients and clinicians (slightly higher with patients)
  • the service is well accepted across a wide range of care sectors 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)
  • there is a long-term preference for VC, which tends to be associated with the significant benefits of using VC which clearly outweigh the challenges.

Gemma Johns, TEC Cymru Research & Evaluation Lead said: “TEC Cymru follow 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.

“We have been able to demonstrate how well VC is working for our Welsh patients and clinicians, and also had the opportunity to challenge many assumptions on digital exclusion in Wales.”

The findings in the 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.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said the study results were “promising.” She added:

“It’s encouraging to see that this service has been highly rated by both patients and clinicians and I hope that it (VC) will continue to be used and developed beyond the pandemic to allow wider access to healthcare services.”

Read the full Phase 2a evaluation reports here: