Pilot Scheme - Online Contact via Engage Consult
To make it easier to contact and get help from the practice, we are participating in a pilot scheme for a new digital service which allows you to contact us from your PC, tablet or smartphone.
Instead of using the phone to call us, you can get advice from a clinician, send a message about an admin issue or get self-help advice when it suits you via this new digital service.
Engage Consult is available 24 hours a day and we will respond to your request during our Same Day Service Hours.
Click here or the icon below to access the service
Choose whether to consult with a clinician about a medical problem, send a message about an admin issue or get self-help advice.
Answer a series of simple questions about your symptoms. Your answers are helpful to the GP team - you can add your own comments too! Press send and you're done.
After sending your request:
A report containing your answers is sent securely to the practice. This allows the clinician to choose the best course of action. You will usually hear from the practice on the same day.
Why is this system better than just speaking to the doctor or nurse?
Giving the GP or practice nurse the opportunity to review and think about your problem and list of symptoms before discussing it with you will enable your doctor or nurse to be better prepared and can lead to a more efficient resolution of your problem. There is also evidence that providing the information and being stimulated to think about the medical issue by the questionnaire is a positive experience for patients.
What kind of question can I ask?
You may ask anything that does not require an immediate emergency response. There are generally two categories of question:
An admin or other query, for instance: "have you sent the letter for my referral yet" or "I haven't heard about my appointment with the diabetic nurse yet, can you help?"
A request for help with a non-emergency medical problem. If you select this option you will be asked to enter the reason you are requesting help e.g. sore throat, back pain etc. and then you will be asked a series of relevant medical questions. The answers to these questions will provide very useful information to help the GP or practice nurse decide what to do next in order to help you best.
How do I know how long the questionnaire will take?
It is difficult to predict how long individual questionnaires will take to complete as each question you are asked depends upon the answer you gave to previous questions. Most questionnaires are completed within 5 to 10 minutes, however, if your problem is particularly complex you may find that it takes longer than this; please bear with the process though as the information will be very useful, both to you and the GP or practice nurse who will be treating you.
How do you know the identity of the person sending a message?
Practice staff will identify patients and their carers when they speak to them in the same way that they currently do. This is no different to current practice and is taken very seriously, if at any time the practice staff are unsure of the identity of the person being spoken to, they will be asked to attend the Practice in person.
Why can't I have a response by email?
The NHS does not encourage the use of email between medical professionals and patients as normal email is not necessarily secure, this means that your information may not remain private. We take your privacy very seriously. In the future the system will develop so that you can have a secure and private electronic discussion with your general practice and this will be released as soon as possible. It is true that some patients have private arrangements with their doctors which means that they use email, this is entirely between you and your doctor.
If you have created an account with us, you can ask to have a secure 2 way conversion with us through this service. Depending on what your problem is, we might use this instead of calling you back in the usual fashion.