Help reduce spread of Coronavirus by consulting with your GP online
As you’ll know, there’s been an outbreak of a new illness called a coronavirus, or COVID-19.
Coronavirus, which can affect your lungs and airways, began in China but is spreading internationally.
As a GP practice, hundreds of people come through our doors every day – many already of whom are already more vulnerable to disease and illness.
This means we are particularly at risk of increasing the spread of the virus.
So, where possible, we’d like to limit the number of people that visit our GP surgery – if there are other ways to give you the care and advice you need.
One way you can help us is to consult with your GP online and we would ask everyone who has internet access or smart phone to use this as the default method to contact the practice. This will allow the phone lines to be kept free for patients who can only use the phone such as the elderly and infirm.
As well as helping prevent the spread of coronavirus, online and phone consultations provide a quick, easy and convenient way to access your GP practice.
What Is ?
We have now introduced an online service called eConsult. It can help you with self diagnosis using its symptom checker and self-help information. It can help you determine the most appropriate place to go with your condition – which may be your local pharmacy or the national 111 help line, and it provides a mechanism to submit a secure eConsult direct to the GP of your choice.
Requests can be logged ANYTIME! 24hrs a day, 7 days a week
This means you do not have to wait for the morning rush to request help for your medical problem or query. Clinicians will have sight of the requests and act upon them during normal practice opening hours between 0800-1800hrs Mon-Friday.
This service is designed to help those who have difficulty attending during opening hours or for those who just need assistance.
What are online consultations?
Online consultations are a quick and convenient alternative to visiting your GP surgery in-person.
They allow you to access GP services using your smartphone, tablet or computer.
For instance, you can:
- Consult with a doctor, nurse or healthcare professional
- Get quick access to information and advice
How do online consultations work?
You fill in a short online form that’s available on the website. Click the link at the top of the page.
You can use the form to:
- Ask about an existing condition or medication
- Ask about new symptoms
- Get information about your condition and how to treat yourself
- Discuss a test result and request sick notes.
You’ll then get a response –normally the same day within a few hours, and at latest by the end of the next working day. This might be advice on what to do next through an electronic message, telephone call or video call.
While many medical enquiries can be resolved this way, you may need a face-to-face appointment with your GP. If that’s the case, your practice will get in touch to arrange one.
What if I don’t have a device or internet access?
If you don’t have access to the internet, you can still contact the practice via phone and speak to a member of staff who can complete the form on your behalf or will ask you some questions so they can pass this information onto the clinical team. Contact us for more information.
What are the benefits of consulting online?
By reducing the numbers of patients who attend their GP practice face-to-face, we can help reduce the risk of people being exposed to and/or spreading coronavirus.
Online consultations are also a quick, easy and convenient way for you to access the GP practice. You can complete the form wherever you are, 24-hours a day, and take as long as you want describing your symptoms. By avoiding unnecessary trips to the surgery, you’ll also save time and won’t have to disrupt your day.
This can help if you:
- Find it difficult talking things over face-to-face
- Can’t get time off work or study
- Care for others and can’t leave them alone
- Are housebound
- Are on holiday or working away from home
- Don’t like crowds or leaving the house.
An online consultation also means that you’re in control and don’t have to tell anyone else where you’re going.
Plus, it cuts out the hassle of waiting on the phone to book an appointment.
What happens after I submit an online consultation?
After you have submitted a consultation this is received securely by the practice.
Administrative queries are dealt with by the secretarial and reception team.
Medication queries are dealt with by the practice pharmacy team.
Clinical queries are dealt with by the clinical team who will respond to you as soon as possible. Often after a few hours, or by the end of the working day. At times of high demand the latest will be 24hrs after receiving the contact.
You will then either receive an email back to your nominated address with treatment advice or a phone call (from a withheld phone no – so please remember to answer!) to discuss your case further, or to organise a face to face or video consultation appointment.
Requests can be logged anytime of day. So you do not need to wait until the practice is open. This is particularly useful over the weekend or public holiday periods, as it will save you phoning on the day next day of opening.
Are practices only offering online consultations because of coronavirus?
No. around 2,900 practices in the UK already offer patients the opportunity to consult with eConsult and more than a million people have submitted online consultation forms.
Should I consult online if my condition is life-threatening or serious?
No. If your condition is life-threatening, you should dial 999. This would include a heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties, heavy bleeding or severe injuries.
If you need medical help or advice fast (for example, if your symptoms are serious but not life-threatening) dial 111 or go online to https://www.nhsinform.scot/
What should I do if I think I might have coronavirus?
Do not come to the surgery. The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss taste or smell
If you think you have coronavirus or think you’ve been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, dial 111 or use the coronavirus online service that can be accessed at:
1) To attach photos to eConsults
Select “I want help for my condition” then either:
- Any of the dermatology type conditions (e.g. acne, rash, hives, eczema, warts etc)
- Breast problems for both men and women,
- Eye-based templates
(**This is particularly important if you have rash so we can more easily reach a diagnosis)
Select “I want general advice” and then select “rash”. You will be able to upload photos near the end of the form.
However it is always better to choose a specific condition where available.
2) Make sure to pick the correct option
- Pick “I want help for my condition” for any medical condition/illness. Then pick a condition from the list. This allows the system to ask you relevant questions and assists us in making a diagnosis
- I want general advice” for medical problems that do not fit into any particular category
- I want administrative help” for results/sick notes/to discuss letters you have received and any other queries you may have.
3) Try to choose “I Want General Advice” only when your condition is unknown
or it does not fit into any of the condition categories.
How to take a picture of the back of your throat: