People registered with a GP surgery in Cornwall will now be able to receive NHS-funded one-to-one therapy via webcam from the comfort of their own homes.
The secure, live sessions are being offered by counselling and therapy provider, Outlook South West. The service, which receives over 10,000 referrals a year in Cornwall, is offering the option to its patients in addition to normal face-to-face and telephone appointments. The service is funded by the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG).
Kevin Simpson, clinical psychologist and partner at Outlook South West said: “This is another valuable way in which we can offer help to people with common difficulties like stress, depression and anxiety. All that our patients’ really need is a reasonable broadband connection and a web-cam connected to their computer.
“Of course there will still be the majority who will always prefer the human presence of seeing someone ‘face to face’, but there is growing research that suggests more people are becoming just as comfortable using web-based therapy. In fact, evidence also points to the fact that it can be just as effective.”
Outlook South West uses a custom-built solution called iCam. The system sends patients an email with a link to a secure online ‘therapy room’ where they can then enter a private one-to-one session using their web-cam.
Outlook South West are predicting that this additional option for therapy might be useful to people who find it difficult to travel to appointments, as well as those who simply prefer the ease and flexibility that it can provide. For more information call (01208) 871905.