PEOPLE in Wales can now use the internet to speak to NHS staff by video rather than having to visit a GP or health centre.

Health minister Vaughan Gething has approved the national roll-out of video health consultations, as part of Welsh Government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It means people who are self-isolating due to coronavirus can have face-to-face care and advice from their GP from their own home.

Yesterday it was confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in Powys had been identified. There have been 19 cases confirmed in Wales. Across the UK there are 460 confirmed cases with 27,476 people tested including 634 in Wales.

Mr Gething said: “We had already invested in a pilot in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area (in Gwent) and now we can roll out this technology across Wales to help us as we respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

“This technology will help people access healthcare advice from their homes, particularly if they are self-isolating because of the virus, while helping the NHS cope with an increase in demand. I’m pleased we’re at the forefront of using this digital technology throughout Wales.”

People will need a smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam running Chrome or Safari browsers to use the service. The consultation leaves no digital footprint and all appointments are deleted immediately following the consultation.

The technology is being rolled out as part of the Welsh Government’s £50m Digital Priorities Investment Fund, which supports the delivery of digital services in the Welsh NHS. A successful pilot has been running in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area since 2018, managed by the Technology Enabled Care programme (TEC Cymru).