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Virtual revolution?
  1. James A Cave, Editor-in-chief1,
  2. David Phizackerley, Deputy Editor2
  1. 1 The Downland Practice, Berkshire, UK
  2. 2 DTB, BMJ Journals, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr James A Cave, The Downland Practice, Berkshire, UK; jcave{at}

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During March and April, a quiet revolution took place in every general practice in the UK. Within just a few days, virtual consultations via telephone, video, email, web-based messaging and text messaging were adopted in order to maintain a service for patients. Prior to this, there had been considerable scepticism from many general practitioners (GPs) about introducing new ways of working that seemed primarily to address problems relating to patient access without tackling issues of chronic underinvestment and workload. There have also been concerns that the process was somehow inferior and unsafe regarding confidentiality and offered a service that was not comprehensive.1 2 Nevertheless, as a flexible interim solution to the challenge of COVID-19, it has been encouraged to reduce risks to patients and clinical staff and has provided an insight into different ways of delivering primary …

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  • Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.