Dr Adam Shepperd has been a GP for 4 years. He works for Teladoc Health three days a week and then at his local NHS GP practice two days a week.
Dr Shepperd talks to us about what he thinks of the virtual GP consultation service, what patients can expect, and some tips for achieving a healthier lifestyle.
This can be a telephone, video call, or both in the same appointment. In many ways, this is like a regular consultation, with a part for history taking, gathering ideas and expectations, and an examination (looking at photos/ assessing via video/ the patient being directed to examine themselves) and then discussing management.
If the patient is new to the service, there is an opportunity to start from scratch with patients, take a complete history, and there is time to hear from their perspective.
Can you share an example of how you have helped a patient coming into the service?
I spoke to a female aged 27 with a recent diagnosis of IBS. The consultation felt very beneficial for the patient because she had more time to ask questions than a conventional GP appointment. I was able to give advice on how to manage her condition. I then referred her directly to one of our virtual nutritionists within our service to assess dietary triggers and management. The patient was delighted that her experience was so thorough.
Although there are obvious limitations to a remote/digital GP service, some symptoms need to be assessed in a face-to-face setting; there are many conditions that we can assess/ diagnose and advise about remotely. You can expect to speak with a GP quickly (usually within 2 hours or less) who will listen carefully to you and give you adequate time. If you then need to be referred to any of our other services, we can do that easily and efficiently for patients. Patients can be referred to the following; mental health support (including help with stress, bereavement, burn out, sleep and more), nutrition
I can provide a good quality of service, and this feels very fulfilling. It is a friendly team; we support each other as colleagues, and the workload is very manageable.
It is very varied, and we see/ speak with patients with various problems. The most common are skin problems, ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) problems, mental health, and paediatrics.
Adapting to the covid 19 pandemic and the new styles of working necessary to provide high quality healthcare remotely to patients.
I like to cycle, run, and spend time playing with my son.
Coffee! Usually, fruit/ nuts
Muesli with banana