My routine MS appointments were transferred to telecare and I had much more contact with my GP than previously as many of the MS team to whom I would normally turn had been redeployed elsewhere within the NHS. Having known my GP for several years, telecare was a positive experience for me as my doctor was aware of my medical history. I was able to speak openly with him and at no time did I feel rushed. In fact, at the end of the consultation he asked about my studies and recommended several books he thought could be useful, an unexpected bonus.
In addition, as a working person with MS it was an ideal way to factor in an appointment which would normally necessitate at least half a day off work. Before the pandemic, I often requested a call-back rather than take up a valuable appointment as I knew the issue could be easily resolved over the phone within minutes.
Blood tests were swiftly organised and the results relayed back to me quicker than normal, prescriptions were sent remotely to the local pharmacist and delivered to my house, rather than finding time (and energy) to pick them up from the surgery and then handing in at the pharmacy. This speed was no doubt due to a reduced number of patients visiting the surgery and possibly more patients were also presenting at pharmacies and dealing with minor issues in a way GPs have been advocating for years.
A yearly consultation with my neurologist has been rescheduled as a telecare appointment in October and for now, that should work. I am sure that if he felt there was a need for a further physical examination or tests, this would be arranged.
MS charities released incredibly detailed and always up-to-date information, responding to a rapidly evolving situation. They covered not only the virus itself and our risks with possibly compromised immune systems, but also employment rights, benefits, mental health and how to stay connected during such an uncertain time. Not only that, one had an MS nurse on call, available to answer pressing medical queries.