Objectives: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, clinicians were instructed to move all but emergency consultations to remote means to reduce the spread of the virus. The aim of this study was to evaluate patients’ and clinicians’ experiences of moving to remote means of consultation with their health care professionals during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Methods: The study design was a qualitative service evaluation. Twenty-six clinicians and forty-eight patients who met the inclusion criteria consented to be interviewed. Clinician participants were from either medical, nursing, or allied health professional backgrounds. Patients were recruited from diabetes, acute care, and haematology and cancer areas. Data analysis was conducted using a thematic analysis framework. Results: Following coding and thematic analysis of the data collected from clinicians, five themes were identified: personal and professional well-being; providing a safe and high-quality experience; adapting to a new way of working; making remote consultations fit for purpose and an awareness of altered dynamics during consultation. Patient data was coded into 3 themes: remote consultation adds value; remote consultation brings challenges and concerns about remote consultation. Conclusions: Clinician and patient experiences reported here are reflected in the literature. The study indicates that remote consultation is not suitable for all patients and in all contexts. Whilst maintaining the benefits to patients, remote means of consultation needs organisational support and preparation. A way forward that maintains the benefits whilst addressing concerns seems urgent.
Snowball, JoannaVagner, RalucaFernandez, NicolaBartram, EmiliaMerriman, Clair
Department of Psychology, Health and Professional DevelopmentDepartment of Nursing
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-08-11