Online GP consultations on the up | News

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Online GP consultations on the up

The number of local* GP surgeries offering patients online consultations has doubled in 18 months.

Nearly 400,000 patients from 33 practices in the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area can now use ‘eConsult’ to check their symptoms, get advice or send questions and pictures to their GP.

And in April 2018, 5,500 patients used eConsult with 81% of them saying they were likely or extremely likely to recommend it to family and friends.

West Hampshire CCG first introduced the online service in December 2016 as a pilot project across 16 practices.

Medical Director, Dr Adrian Higgins from the CCG said: “eConsult offers people new and flexible ways to ‘see’ their GP without the need for an actual appointment in the surgery.

“It is a safe and effective way for patients to get information or advice and if anyone has critical or serious medical symptoms eConsult will automatically flag this so they can quickly seek urgent care and attention.”

On average, 70% of online consultations are resolved by email or telephone, which frees up GP appointments.

How eConsult works:

  • Patients are directed to the eConsult website from their practice website and submit a request for GP advice following completion of a series of questions,
  • Patients receive a response by the end of the next working day – and usually much faster,
  • Patients could be offered an appointment, speak to a healthcare professional over the phone or be given a prescription.

eConsult provides faster access for patients at a time convenient to them and, many patients seeking information on a range of health issues find out what they want immediately – giving them 24/7 healthcare.