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Technologically-supported alternatives to face-to-face consultations (e.g. Skype, email) are often viewed as a solution to the complex challenges of delivering healthcare to an ageing and increasingly diverse population. Concerns have been expressed that alternative consultations may be clinically unsafe and less acceptable to patients and that they bring significant technical, logistical and regulatory challenges. The current evidence base, however, remains weak.

This seminar will examine the potential of alternatives to face-to-face consultations through a series of short talks on four separate research studies in primary and secondary care. Individual talks will be followed by panel discussion and Q&A with the audience.


  • The potential of alternatives to face to face consultation in general practice, and the impact on different patient groups
    Sue Ziebland, Health Experiences Research Group (HERG), Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
  • A content analysis of email consultations between general practitioners and patients in two general practices
    Anne-Marie Boylan, Health Experiences Research Group (HERG), Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
  • Virtual online consultations in general practice
    Sara Shaw, Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (IRIHS), Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
  • VOCAL: online remote consultations in diabetes and cancer
    Joe Wherton, Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (IRIHS), Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

This seminar follows from an event on ‘Digital Health in Primary Care’ organised by Digital Health Oxford (DHOx) in 2016.

For more information on the previous event, visit the event page. Presentations were recorded:

Helen Atherton from Warwick Medical School.
Steve Lillywhite from WebGP.
Matteo Berlucchi from your.MD.

Getting to the venue:


There is no visitor parking in the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (Radcliffe Primary Care Building, Gibson Building) and very limited parking at Old Road Campus. Please contact the relevant reception number to check parking availability.

Central Oxford: The nearest pay and display car park for buildings located on the Observatory Quarter is situated in Worcester Street and Gloucester Green. There is also long-term parking opposite the Train Station.

Park and Ride:

See the Park and Ride website for full details.

Nearest park and ride:
Observatory Quarter buildings: Pear Tree
Old Road Campus: Thornhill

By train:

Radcliffe Observatory Quarter buildings: 15 minute walk
Old Road Campus: 20 minutes by bus/taxi (depending on traffic)

By bus/coach:

The X90 and the Oxford Tube from London, and all coaches from the airports stop at Gloucester Green Coach Station in central Oxford for Radcliffe Observatory Quarter buildings and Headington Shops for Old Road Campus.

Additional travel information

Forthcoming events

The Research Cycle PPI Workshops 2019

Public Event

Monday, 07 January 2019 to Tuesday, 31 December 2019, 12am - 1am

The NIHR CLAHRC Oxford, Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre will be running a series of eight workshops in 2019 for patients and members of the public.

IV Workshop on Migration, Health and Well-Being

Sunday, 05 May 2019 to Monday, 06 May 2019

Department Open Meeting

Open Meeting

Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 11am to 12pm

Department Open Meeting with Q&A

Open Meeting

Tuesday, 18 June 2019, 11am to 12pm

American-European Health Economics Study Group - IV Edition

Wednesday, 03 July 2019 to Thursday, 04 July 2019

This study group provides a forum for bringing together graduates and researchers who wish to discuss their work-in-progress in any area of health economics.

Department Open Meeting

Open Meeting

Tuesday, 22 October 2019, 11am to 12pm