PATIENTS in Inverclyde will be seeing much more of doctors on remote video calls - as health bosses confirm the pandemic stopgap is here to stay.

LibDem candidate Jacci Stoyle joined her colleague Ciano Rebecchi to meet NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde chief operating officer Jonathan Best and seek assurances on the future of local services.

It follows years of unrest over the future of Inverclyde Royal Hospital as services move out of the area.

Dr Stoyle said: "The chief operating officer said they were hoping to move to more online consultations, which saves people having to travel, especially with mobility difficulties.

"Whilst we agreed this was to be welcomed in some cases, I pointed out that it may be difficult for people to hear properly, to manage the technology and to disclose feelings and any personal issues, thereby outweighing the other advantages.

"I suggested patients should still be given the option of a face-to-face consultation, so they can decide which is more appropriate, depending on what it is they want to discuss."

Dr Stoyle is concerned the board's Near Me and Attend Anywhere systems could become the norm over face to face consultations.

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde said: "The service has proven crucial for healthcare staff to continue treating many patients who would otherwise have had appointments cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic.

"It is hoped the platform will continue to complement face-to-face visits and telephone consultations, playing a key function in the provision of healthcare as we move into a new model of healthcare following Covid-19."