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Virtual consultations: navigating the future landscape of delivering gastroenterology outpatient care to young people
  1. Nkem Onyeador1,2,
  2. Kumaran Thiruppathy2,3
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  3. 3 Department of Colorectal Surgery, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, Reading, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nkem Onyeador, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; nkem.onyeador{at}

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The landscape of healthcare is undergoing a paradigm shift, with technological innovation and changing patient preferences reshaping the way health care is delivered. As a result, Virtual consultations (VC)—the use of remote video or telephone consultations instead of face-to-face consultations—are having a central role.1 This aligns with the National Health Service (NHS) Long Term Plan, which aims to redesign services to make digitally enabled outpatient care mainstream across the UK.2

In the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about an acceleration in the use of VC as the primary solution to ensure continuity of care while minimising the risk of infections during the height of the pandemic. This traction gained during the pandemic has been maintained for the most part with a growing body of evidence of the virtues (and pitfalls) of the VC experience in adult patient populations including those with gastroenterology and hepatology conditions.3

In Frontline Gastroenterology, Hubbard et al explore the VC experience from the unique perspective of the young person.4 The study used a multicentre questionnaire survey during the COVID-19 pandemic to explore the young person’s and their carer’s experience of VC. From their 100 respondents (aged 13–25 with chronic gastrointestinal disease), they concluded that young people (and carers) were generally satisfied with their experience of VC. …

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  • Contributors This is an invited commentary. NO prepared, wrote first draft, subsequent revisions and submitted. KT reviewed and revised manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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