Scilly’s Health Centre Launching Skype GP Consultations

St Mary's Health Centre

St Mary’s Health Centre

The Islands’ Health Centre is to offer consultations using Skype videoconferencing.

Patients registered with the surgery will be able to talk to GP’s over the web rather than visiting a doctor in person.

It’s expected to be especially attractive to off-island residents, although it is open to everyone.

Lead GP John Garman says it’s another innovation to improve access to health services on the islands.

Patients who want to use the new facility simply need to have a web cam, a Skype link, and privacy, says John.

They need to book an appointment in exactly the same way they do currently for a face-to-face or telephone consultation and provide their Skype username.

He added that a Skype appointment isn’t always appropriate, for example if an examination is required, but believes it will be helpful to those who don’t want to make the journey to the Health Centre if they don’t need to.

Dr Garman admits that the success of the pilot scheme will be largely dependent on internet speeds, which he described as ‘reasonable’ at the Health Centre, although he’s aware that it’s not the same all over the islands.

John will be leading the pilot and, if successful, it’ll be rolled out to the other doctors in the future.

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