What is eConsult?
eConsult is a platform that allows you to seek self-help information from the NHS, through your GP Practice or surgery website. Services include self-help information, advice or help from local services which may be appropriate for your condition, such as self-referral services or help from your local pharmacy. eConsult also allows you to seek advice online from your own GP for your condition or if you need general or administrative advice.
How does eConsult work?
eConsult asks you questions about your symptoms or existing condition, and only takes a few minutes to complete. After filling in some details about you, to verify who you are, your eConsult is sent to your GP Practice, so that they can help you. In having this information upfront, your Practice can then decide on the best course of action for helping you manage your symptoms and condition, and this may mean you don’t have to come into the surgery unnecessarily.
If your symptoms sound very serious, the system has been built with the clinical knowledge to know that you may need help more quickly than your Practice can provide – in these cases, it will stop you from completing your eConsult and suggest that you seek urgent medical advice.
Why use eConsult?
One of the key benefits of eConsult is that it is available at any time and from any device. You can complete eConsult from the comfort of your own home, on a break at work, or on the train home. eConsults can be clinical or administrative in nature, and in most cases, your GP may not need to see you face-to-face for an appointment. If you decide you want to manage your condition without contacting your Practice, eConsult can guide you towards trusted medical advice as well as relevant local services, such as pharmacy support, which may be more appropriate than visiting your GP Practice. The eConsult service can be trusted – it was built for NHS GPs by NHS GPs, and is the leading online consultation provider across the UK.
Who can use eConsult?
eConsult is available for anyone from the age of 18 years and over. eConsult is NOT available to children or young people below the age of 18 years (please telephone the Practice to book an appointment in the normal way).
What can I use eConsult for?
eConsult is one of a range of services your GP Practice offers to make accessing the right help from General Practice easy. eConsults can be either administrative or medical (clinical) in need. eConsult can help you to manage your condition or symptoms by providing you with the best self-help information available, access to local services, or a convenient way to get help and advice from your GP Practice. eConsult allows you to tell your Practice what you need help or treatment for, so that they can advise you on the best next steps, all at your convenience.
eCONSULT SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR EMERGENCIES.
Should you report symptoms that our clinical governance team have deemed to require more urgent help than your GP Practice may be able to provide, your eConsult will be stopped. You will be advised that your eConsult will not be sent to your Practice, and that you should seek advice from the relevant urgent care service (e.g. A&E, Urgent Care Centre or NHS 111 helpline).
eCONSULT IS NOT A REPEAT PRESCRIPTION REQUESTING SERVICE.
Your eConsult will be rejected if it is for requesting a repeat prescription – please use the online repeat prescription service instead
How do I access eConsult?
eConsult is available on our Practice website from any device and at any time of day. Depending on the type of advice or help you then select, you will be presented with different options that may include an online form used to seek help or advice from your GP.
Can I submit an eConsult for someone else?
No, only the patient themself can submit an eConsult.
What happens once I submit my eConsult?
Once you have submitted your eConsult online, you will receive a copy of the eConsult report via email. This email will also contain the unique reference number for your eConsult, should you need to speak to the Practice about any of the information it contains. The eConsult is sent to the Practice as a pdf document. This inbox is monitored and processed by our trained administration staff, who will then direct the eConsult to the most appropriate member of the Practice team. Therefore, if it is a clinical matter it will be passed to the duty GP and if it is an administration matter it will be passed to the most appropriate member of the administrative team.
The Practice will aim to respond to your eConsult within two working days as a maximum. If you submit an eConsult on Friday, the response time will be by the following Tuesday 6pm at the latest. If you submit an eConsult over the weekend, please note it will not be processed until the surgery re-opens on Monday with a response time within two working days from then at the latest (Wednesday 6pm).
The Practice may respond in a variety of ways, based on the advised next steps or the medical need of the information you have provided:
● You may be offered an appointment, either on the day or for a later date. This may not be with your GP, but may be with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner or other health professional at the Practice, depending on your query.
● You may receive a phone call for you to speak to a health professional at the Practice, this is because you may not need a face-to-face appointment to resolve your query. This will save you from having to come into the Practice.
● You may be directed to another health professional outside of the Practice, as they may be best placed to offer you the advice or support you need. These may include local pharmacy support, a minor injuries unit or other services such as physiotherapy.
● You may be directed towards the appropriate self-help advice by a member of the Practice.
We may call you back or leave a voicemail if we are unable to reach you. You may receive a brief text message or email with further information, however the message you receive in this instance may not be sufficient to answer your eConsult …. this is to protect your privacy and safety, as we cannot discuss personal matters unless we are certain we are speaking to you/the patient.
How will I benefit from eConsult?
● eConsult allows you to seek advice from your GP or help yourself to manage your condition or symptoms at all hours of the day, from wherever you are. This may be the same GP at the same Practice that you have been to for years, meaning they are familiar with your medical history and can continue to treat you.
● The service will make interacting with your GP more convenient – you may not have to come into the Practice to get help, meaning you don’t have to take unnecessary days off from work or can stay at home if you feel poorly.
● If your problem might be treated without a face-to-face appointment, saving you a trip to your Practice. Instead your GP may call you to discuss the best next steps, send you for tests before a face-to-face appointment, or send your prescription to the local pharmacy to be collected.
Can I still book an appointment with my GP for a future date?
eConsult is not an appointment booking system.
IF YOU ARE USING eCONSULT TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT IT WILL BE REJECTED.