Please read about these changes below. If you need help from us, please click one of our eConsult banners or submit a request here.
eConsult is not an emergency service. In fact General Practice itself is not an emergency service either. If you have an acute medical emergency, like a suspected heart attack or stroke, or heavy bleeding, you must contact 999 or attend A&E immediately. Please do not submit an eConsult. If you are unsure what to do, ring 111, use the 111 online triage service or visit our symptom checker or help page.
If you submit an eConsult before 2pm, you will receive a response same day. After this time, you will get a response before the end of the next working day.
Example responses from us might include a text or email with advice or a prescription, an offer of a telephone call to assess further, a face-to-face appointment at the surgery or a request to contact another more appropriate service.
These responses and decisions are made on the basis of clinical need and appropriateness.
eConsult is available from Monday 6.00am through to Friday 6.30pm. Outside of these times, if your need is urgent, please call 111.
eConsult can be used for many things, however, some conditions/requests are not appropriate for eConsult. Please consult the table below for some examples:
|PLEASE USE ECONSULT||DON'T USE ECONSULT|
|Medical advice||Palliative care please call us|
|Admin, paperwork, forms||End-of-life care please call us|
|Fit note requests||Bedbound patients needing attention please call us|
|Follow-up with a doctor||Nursing home residents please call us|
|Medication requests and queries||Repeat prescriptions hand in slip, use online service or NHS App|
|Results queries||Babies less than 6 months old please call us|
There has been a huge increase in numbers of patients whose mental health and wellbeing have been affected due to the current situation.
We urge anyone affected during these hugely difficult times to please visit the dedicated section we have set up on mental health resources and support.
You can now use the new NHS App, a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone or tablet.
You can use the NHS App to check your symptoms and get instant advice, book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, view your GP medical record and more.
If you already use Patient Access you can
continue to use it. You can use the NHS App as well.
On October 7, 2020, we will be changing our appointment system. We will not be offering future appointments with a GP, rather, we will be promoting eConsult and our website as the first point of contact for patients [from September 23, 2020, the eConsult system will be live and we encourage all patients to start using it].
eConsult is a consultation/triage service where you can securely submit details of your condition or symptom to us online via our website.
Based on your submission, the GP will decide on the best course of action for you, and get a response back to you, either same day, or by the end of the next working day. This response might be, for example, clinical advice, signposting to another service or a prescription, or an offer of further contact, either by telephone, or face-to-face, either on a later date, or same day where this is clinically needed.
The system will automatically flag up any responses of concern which may indicate that we need to see you urgently or same day.
There will be real benefits for patients and staff to using such a system:
Use of an online consultation service is a contractual requirement for all GP surgeries mandated by NHS England. eConsult is already being used in over 3,000 practices nationally.
It has been shown that at least 70% of requests to the practice do not need an appointment. Using an online consultation service will help GPs to look after everyone.
In this practice, eConsult will be part of a system of care which will also encompass the principles that we have always promoted here at Ivy Grove:
We realise not everyone will be able to (or wish to) use this service. As all requests for GP appointments will be triaged by the eConsult service, we will assist those in this situation to complete an eConsult, thus enabling them to submit eConsults themselves in the future.
In order to get the best use out of the NHS, we strongly recommend all patients check the resources below for more information, and check frequently asked questions (FAQs) below.
Click the images below, or visit the eConsult site
Click the image below, or visit the eConsult site
We are currently compiling an extensive FAQs document, in the meantime, please visit the eConsult demo site for some answers to your initial questions.
We realise this is a huge change for everyone, therefore Janette, our admin lead on eConsult, writes more about the service, whilst Dr Shial, our lead on eConsult answers your FAQs:
To enable us to manage the care of our patients safely, we need your help. From September 23, 2020, we will be using online consultations (known as eConsult) as the main way of accessing our services. We experience a high volume of phone calls on a daily basis and we appreciate that this can make it difficult for many of you to get through. eConsult will help to improve accessibility to the practice as well as bringing many other benefits.
This service is available 24 hours a day Monday and Friday so you can submit your request at a day or time that suits you rather than waiting for our phone lines to open. eConsult improves our efficiency by asking you questions that we would ask about your condition so that we have as much information as possible in advance.
It has safety mechanisms built in so that if your answers suggest a more serious or life-threatening problem you will be advised on how to seek urgent help. It may also direct you to services outside the practice like a pharmacy, physiotherapy or talking therapies and also make self-help suggestions. You will even have the option to add up to four photos on most online requests. ivy.gs/selfcare ivy.gs/covid-selfcare ivy.gs/help
At the practice, the eConsult will be reviewed by a GP and we will then provide you with advice, arrange a telephone or video consultation or arrange a face-to-face appointment, as we feel clinically necessary. We will respond to you the same day for eConsults submitted by 2pm, and as soon as we can, but by the end of the next working day at the very latest for those submitted after 2pm. eConsult can also be used for follow-ups of a pre-existing problem. All administrative queries, like requests for a sick note or letter, should be submitted via eConsult too.
We recognise that some people will not be able to use this system and we will provide assistance to these patients; for these instances our reception staff will go through the online consultation with that person instead over the telephone. This will take more time than in the past, but ensures a consistent and fair approach for all our patients. These telephone contacts will be dealt with in exactly the same way as eConsults and will not be given priority. It is important that everyone who is able to use eConsult does so.
eConsult is NOT to be used for ordering routine prescriptions, as we have other online ways of ordering a prescription that will continue. Please visit our website for further information on online prescriptions or try the NHS app. ivy.gs/online
Thank you for your help with this new initiative.
The Deputy Practice Manager
We encourage all patients to familiarise themselves with our website and to try out the eConsult service.
© Dr Michael Wong 2019