We have all had to learn to live and work differently during the COVID 19 Pandemic. We thank all our patients for their understanding and support during this time. We have had to learn and do the majority of our work over the telephone, using email and video consultations to help deliver primary medical care to our patients. This has resulted in lengthy waits to get through to us on the telephone and likewise for us to get back to patients.
We have learned that... not all our patients need to wait to be seen in the surgery. Many needs can be met safely and quickly without seeing a GP, with the satisfaction of patients. We have continued to see patients whom we need to both in the surgery and at home.
We now have eConsult. eConsult is now active and available to our patients. It will be our preferred method of contact. This will allow patients to seek medical help at their convenience and allows patients to take their time when putting their needs and concerns across. Following a request via eConsult we will get back to patients by the end of the next working day. We will reply using the contact details provided by either email, text or telephone.
We will continue to see patients both at the surgery and visit the housebound as needed.
We understand not all our patients will have internet access. You can still phone through but you will be required to give more information than you may have in the past. This allows us to prioritise patient care according to need. No contact method gives any patient priority over others.
The following patient groups do not need to or will not be allowed to use eConsult:
- Emergency or COVID related problems
- All requests concerning children under 6 months
- Children under 18 years unless the request is sent by a parent
- Patients we see as vulnerable and at risk and patients who will have difficulty understanding or accessing the system
You may be stopped during the eConsult process and asked to phone the surgery directly if your problem is deemed to be urgent. You will still have to give some information for why you are contacting us so that we can prioritise a response to you by the end of the same day.
There are 4 main options when you start to use eConsult:
- “I want help for my condition”, this starts with self-help options and leads to an eConsult if it does not meet your needs
- “I want general advice” this leads to an eConsult for yourself
- “I want help for my child”, this starts with self-help options and leads to an eConsult if it does not meet your child’s needs
- “I want administrative help” this leads to help with test results, sick notes, referrals, forms etc.
You can choose which best suits your needs. The form may seem repetitive or tedious but it is designed to be safe. If you feel that the eConsult is not progressing as you expected, you have the option to go back and change your answers.
We will continue to re-assess our service and make changes for the better. We welcome feedback but please provide this via post or email.