Remote Consultations in Mental Health – Learning from Evaluation

Covid-19 led to a rapid shift from face-to-face to remote telephone and video consultations in mental health. So what has this meant for service users and staff?


Covid-19 has meant significant changes in how mental health services in south London have been delivered, with a particular shift from face-to-face appointments to video and phone consultations. Our project seeks to build understanding of the impact of these changes.

Project focus areas:

  • What has been the effect on staff and service users of changing how services are delivered? What are the positives and negatives of changes that have taken place?
  • What is the evidence on the effectiveness of remote consultations? Where are the gaps where more evidence is required?
  • How do we either embed, or adapt, new and emerging models going forward, to ensure we bring the greatest benefits for service users, carers and staff?

A partnership between south London NHS mental health providers, the Health Innovation Network and system partners in south London is trying to answer these questions and form a ‘Learning Healthcare System’. We will be sharing outputs and findings from the project as they become available.

Our project will:

  • Minimise duplication and effort. There is a significant amount of work taking place at pace in this area. Sharing evidence and learnings as soon as possible will help to reduce wasted effort across the system.
  • Inform the wider system. As well as the learnings that are directly applicable to mental health services in south London, we hope our findings will support decision making in other clinical areas and geographies.
  • Listen and adapt. By reacting to other ongoing work across the country, we can start to fill gaps in the evidence base.

Project partners

The evaluation is also taking place in collaboration with a group of Experts by Experience representing the interests of service users. Hear from our Experts by Experience group about their experiences in the HIN 2020/21 Annual Report.

All project reports and webinar recordings can be found on our resources page.

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Page last updated: January 9 2023.