Access has transformed during the pandemic, initially driven by

  • Reduced provision as healthcare capacity was pivoted to respond to the impact and risks of Covid
  • The rise of remote consultation to replace risky face to face contact

Over the past year changes in access have been one of the topics we have heard about from people most often. Experience has been varied – positive, negative, and neutral. It is an issue of both hope and concern across the system, and providers are hungry to unlock the full potential of the opportunity for transformation. However, we know that some opportunities are more to the benefit of providers than service users. It is important that the service user voice is not lost in the development process.

Review of remote consultation experiences

The pandemic triggered a rapid switch to remote consultations and an increased use of online communications in health and social care. While this has worked well for some people and some services, there have also been frustrations, worries and difficulties for some in accessing care.

We reviewed over 200 stories about people’s experiences of remote consultations that were shared with us between June 2020 and March 2021.