Issues with Online Patient Consultations

Issues with Online Patient Consultations

By Steven Orpwood, Business Analyst and DPO


Mental healthcare consultations in the NHS generally take place in person; however, with the current lockdown and social distancing, this option is not available for all but a few patients. However, social distancing can mean greater social isolation and as with physical conditions, patients still need interventions.


As a result, many NHS mental health clinicians are using conference and video calls to provide services. Whilst this is a good second best, there is an issue with some platforms, in that it is not possible to obscure the users contact details. Is this a problem? Well yes.


In a 1-2-1 situation, the patient can see the clinicians contact details, which does not provide them with any privacy; in addition, patients in group sessions might be able to see each other’s contact details. In both scenarios there is the potential for an aggrieved patient to make their grievance personal.


So, despite many of our NHS services being well prepared, and deploying workable contingency plans, there are still data protection issues to overcome.


Read more about online patient consultations here.


Find out about AiM’s data protection and GDPR services here and see how we can help.