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Face-to-face contact with doctor will not end

12th September 2012

A new Conservative health MP has said plans to get more patients to access the NHS online will not impact on "face-to-face" consultations with doctors.

docconsultation

Anna Soubry responded to a parliamentary question from Karen Lumley, MP for Redditch, and stated that in order to cut costs the NHS should "increasingly" use "high quality and low cost" alternatives to face-to-face care. 

However she added that in-office consultations with medical professionals would continue to be an "essential, core part of our care.

"Over time the use of digital and online technologies will simplify services for most of us, and will enable care professionals to focus more time on face-to-face care when it is really needed, reaching out to those who have the greatest need for support."

Francis Maude, a Cabinet Office minister, said three months ago that those services which could be provided on the internet "should be delivered only online".

Ms Soubry gave the example of the more streamlined service was the need for GPs to make appointments available online by 2015, in addition to patient records access and repeat prescription ordering.

She added that technology would "drive more joined up, safer, better care for everyone".

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