Scottish National Users’ Group (SNUG) Podcast

The digital front door to general practice

July 4, 2021

The way we deliver health care has been radically changed by the Covid 19 pandemic. In an almost Darwinian way, general practices have evolved their systems to try and meet the various challenges, much of it driven by technology and the ability to communicate and provide services by telephone or online. Many practices now have what’s been called a digital front door. The question is, how widely to we want to open up that front door? Practices across the UK have had to make new use of online services and are wondering rather uncertainly what the future implications of this will be. Is there a limit to the demands for health care?

At the May SNUG Members’ day, many of the new digital developments were discussed. Matt Hoghton (@mhoghton) is a GP and Clinical Advisor to Digital Primary Care NHSX in England. He described how services have developed in England in the last 18 months and described experiences with greater use of Digital Asynchronous Consulting Systems, apps and practice websites  to allow patients to access and use services in a new way, the need for remote working, e-Prescribing and how the organisation of health care has had to shift to meet the changed circumstances. There are many parallels with our experiences in Scotland, and also several lessons we can learn.

Andrew Cowie(@DrAndrewCowie) is a GP in Dundee and the deputy chair of the Scottish GP’s Committee of the BMA (SGPC). He led a discussion session looking at the SGPC’s approach to provision of digital services by GP practices in Scotland.

The full videos for these sessions and many more are available for members at the SNUG Website. Are you enthusiastic or apprehensive about the move towards opening the digital front door to your practice? Do let us know.

SGPC information:

Rammya Mathew BMJ:

Future NHS Collaboration platform:

NHS Inform tools and apps: