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Workington surgery looks into appointments via technology

L-R: Dr Stephen Katebe, GP, Jade Blackburn, Health Care Assistant, Sue Hayman, MP and Dr Omobolaji Iji, GP (on screen from Newcastle)

A GP surgery in Workington recently took part in a project to use telehealth technology for some of its clinics to develop and improve services for patients.

Orchard House Surgery in Workington used the technology in March and the beginning of April after receiving grant funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Workington Integrated Care Community.

The equipment allows a patient to be seen by a GP based in another location via a video screen. It also includes other telemedicine attachment tools which assist with examining patients remotely.

Local MP Sue Hayman recently visited the surgery to see the technology in action, having her ears and throat checked by a GP based in another area using the equipment in Workington. She said: “I was very interested when I heard about this project a few months ago so it was fantastic to see it up and running and hear the positive feedback from patients. I think it will make a huge difference to the care of patients and help to create more appointments in practices where we are facing shortages in number of GPs”

Overall feedback from the project was very positive with patients describing it as “a really good experience”; “a good alternative to help solve appointment problems”; and “very modern”. Data from the project has been collected and will be used to assess the viability and potential impact for other surgeries across north Cumbria in the future. Other projects utilising modern technology for remote consultations are also being trialled across north Cumbria with support from community-led co-production groups.

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