The engagement exercise comprised significant awareness raising using social, local and national media. In addition, individual stakeholder engagement took place with both public and health professional groups: over 300 organisations were contacted. Although the vast majority of feedback was received via online surveys, the range of activities to engage other views by telephone and hard copy was a key approach (Table 1). Responses from the public and clinicians were received across all health board areas.
Healthcare professional responses were received from across professional groups and care settings. There was an even split across care settings: primary care (28%), secondary care (25%), community services (23%) and mental health services (19%). For professional groups, the split was: doctors (23%), nurses (20%), physiotherapists (13%), speech and language therapists (10%), psychologists (9%), occupational therapists (4%), dietitians (4%) and "other" including podiatrists, dentists, midwives, pharmacists, optometrists and health visitors making up the remainder.
|Group||Type of feedback||Number of responses|
|General public||Online survey||4,025|
|Individuals||Survey by phone/ writing||47|
|Marie Curie service users||8 focus groups||37|
|People with learning disabilities||Focus groups||25|
|People with disabilities||Various||12|
|People whose first language is not English||Phone||30|
|Healthcare professionals||Online survey||1,147|
An important part of this engagement exercise was the co-production of an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA). This was to assess the potential impacts of protected characteristics, socio-economic factors, and remote and rural factors on the use of Near Me video consulting. Both the engagement activities and EQIA examined how video consulting could be made more accessible, both for specific protected characteristic groups and for the general public as a whole. It has not been possible to find an EQIA for other consultations types (eg, phone, face to face) which makes it difficult to compare the impacts on those with protected characteristics across the different consultation types.