Important Information For Patients
As a practice and in common with others we are taking the opportunity offered by the Covid-19 pandemic to implement a change in the way that we respond to patient contact by shifting to an on-line “total triage” system. We are being actively encouraged to do this by NHS England and our local CCG. The method that we have chosen to adopt makes use of an updated website alongside “eConsult”, which is an on-line triage system that has built-in care navigation which will suggest alternative sources of advice and support for our patients.
You may be directed towards services to which they can self-refer e.g. physiotherapy, podiatry, mental health (Let’s Talk service). Where this has been implemented there has been a significant reduction in the length of wait to see a clinician, as many patients are enabled to access information to support themselves. eConsult is an on-line triage algorithm that takes a structured history from the patient which can then be triaged and directed appropriately. Enquiries might be responded to via email, text message, telephone, video consultation, or face-to-face consultation – whichever is felt to be most appropriate.
One thing we have learnt from Covid is that many contacts with our patients don’t need to be made face to face. There will be exceptions e.g. patients with no access to the internet, the visually impaired, patients with learning difficulties, certain vulnerable patients – these patients will be given the option to contact the surgery by telephone and they can then be seen in the most appropriate manner. The system will be fully integrated with the NHS App and patients can access the system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.