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GP Connect in your GP practice clinical system: coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Configure GP Connect to allow electronic transfer of Covid Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) patients to primary care.

We’ve enabled GP Connect on EMIS and TPP GP clinical systems to meet the operational requirements of the Covid Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS).

GP practices need to configure GP Connect to allow appointment sharing with CCAS so patients suspected of suffering from coronavirus (COVID-19) can be referred to their GP.

We are working with Microtest and Vision to have this functionality available on their GP clinical systems.

To help you in getting appointment sharing working, please see the guidance below.

All practices using EMIS and TPP clinical systems should now configure GP Connect to facilitate this.

Options for appointment management

There are options for setting up appointment management on GP Connect. This often depends on established practices and procedures. We’ve outlined potential approaches below.

1. Create a separate coronavirus (COVID-19) nominal prioritisation list

Create a new and separate NHS 111/CCAS nominal prioritisation list. This list will contain slots for all NHS 111 and CCAS bookings.

This option enables a practice to clearly see the new NHS 111 and CCAS direct bookings. You can use this option if the GP practice can allocate a clinician to oversee this list and ensure that all referrals are picked up and processed.

2. Add additional slots for coronavirus (COVID-19) prioritisation into the routine appointments list

Add dedicated slots which both NHS 111 and CCAS direct bookings into your routine appointment list. These will be for all referrals.

You should make these slots available until the end of each clinical session to ensure that they remain bookable for NHS 111 and CCAS. These appointments should be checked regularly, ideally between each patient, to ensure that new referrals are not missed.

This solution may be preferable for small or single-hander practices, where it is difficult to maintain and access two appointment schedules. You can use flagging or colour coding to make these appointments stand-out.

How to set up appointments

When you’ve decided on the most appropriate way to set up these appointments, use the step-by-step instructions in our guidance videos to set them up.

Guidance video for TPP users

Transcript for TPP video

Slide 1

Hello, my name’s Michelle and I’m going to talk to you about how to configure GP Connect to share both your patient records and your appointments within the TPP system. It’s important to note that you have the option to share as many or as few appointments as you want to and you have the flexibility to change that number at any point.

Slide 2

First we need to enable the functionality for record sharing. As of the end of April 2020, TPP have centrally enabled HTML record sharing nationally in every TPP GP practice in England in order to support the COVID-19 response and in line with the COVID notice.

If you do want to check your configuration you can do so by going to setup>users and policy>organisation preferences and following the instructions on the screen. The bottom half of the slide tells you that you will need to configure your full if you wish to use GP Connect to view patient records across the primary care network for integrated care services.

If you want to be able to use that within your practice you need to review your clinical tree to do so. In the normal way of clinical tree configuration, retrieve a patient and right click on the clinical tree to customise the tree. In the event tree configuration dialogue click the third-party patient record node and double click on it to add then click OK.

It’s worth noting that this step is not compulsory, but if you wish to use GP Connect within the practice you will need to add this option to your clinical tree.

Slide 3

Moving on to appointments. In order to configure your appointments to share with the SECAS and wider NHS111 you need to first of all create a new work list slot. So, to create a new slot go to setup>appointments>slot type and new and give that new slot a name, so for example CCAS COVID. Select bookable and bookable through remote booking alongside type and deselect enable SMS reminders just to make sure that none of your patients are accidentally sent an SMS to remind them of their appointment time.

Click on the telephone appointment, telephone review and telephone screening options, which is your failsafe just in case patients are ever given a timed appointment slot, they will at least expect a telephone appointment rather than a face to face. Patients in the prioritisation list in the prioritisation list from CCAS are not being given a timed appointment slot this is just in case somebody is accidentally told the wrong information.

Slide 4

Then create a new rota template. So, to do this select the new rota template from setup, appointments, rota template and new and alongside the type box select new and in the create rota dialogue box enter the description and the name field. Give your rota a name which is relevant and identifiable, enter the start time, your end time will automatically be entered once your slot durations are added.

Consider changing your background colour to make your rota easily identifiable to your staff and enter in your slot duration. Now in this example the clinic runs from 8 until 6, with a slot duration of 30 minutes, which means that you would have 20 spaces on your prioritisation list.

Remembering that this is a prioritisation list, not a list of appointments, these are spaces on a list and not 30-minute appointment times. Once you click add under the slot duration you will get your slot dialogue, so select the type of COVID-19, the duration of your slots and the quantity that you want to calculate your end time of the clinic, noting that if you’re configured to run rotas in the morning and afternoon, you may have to create two different templates to suit your configuration locally.

Slide 5

Next, we need to set up the template so go to setup, appointments, rota planner. Apply a rota template and enter the dates in the apply from a to boxes and click OK.

Slide 6

Now we need to add in GP Connect and add in the organisations we want to share our appointments with. So, go to setup on the top menu bar, users and policy and all preferences.

Select appointments and GP Connect provider and select specify bookable slot types, search for the slot you’ve just created. Select New under the rota booking rules and select the rota that you’ve just created and select the button along the side ‘only allow organisations with a specific rule to book into this rota type. Select New under the organisation and organisation type specific rules, select the rota you’ve just created and select new under the organisations. You will then see the view on screen. Search for RYEA3 and select the Trust HQ with the H icon as shown on screen.

This is the ODS code for the national clinical COVID assessment service and at the very least your prioritisation list should be shared with this organisation. You may be moving towards the SOP guidance where we recommend that you run one single prioritisation list and so you may also add in all of the other NHS 111 providers into this list and this rota booking rule.

Detail of all of the NHS111 providers and how to find them within the system can be found on the GP Connect website. Once you’re happy that you’ve added all of the organisations into this rota booking rule, then click on OK

Slide 7

Select OK for the rota booking rule and select new under the slot type.

Slide 8

Select the slot type that you’ve just created from the drop-down list and select the button next to ‘only allow organisations with a specific rule to book into this slot type’. Click on OK.

Select new under the organisation and organisation type and select the slot type that you’ve just created and move it into the right-hand box using the arose in the middle. Select new under the organisations and search for the Trust HQ and select OK. You may also at this point want to add in all of the NHS111 providers and this is the place to do that, so add those organisations as well as the national CCAS. Click on OK when you’ve added all of the organisations.

Slide 9

Then the final thing to do is amend your staff details, so any staff member who is going to host one of these appointment rotas needs to have a GP connect role set within their amend staff details and local settings tabs.

If you’re using a dummy clinician to run this rota then they should also be given a GP Connect role. Any of the roles from the drop-down list are perfectly acceptable for a dummy clinician and for your actual clinicians they should be matched closely to their clinical role.

Guidance video for EMIS users

Transcript for EMIS video

Slide 1

Hello, my name’s Michelle and today I’m going to talk to you about how to configure your GP Connect to share your appointments and your patient records within your EMIS clinical system.

It’s important to note before we start that you start that you have the option to share as many or as few appointments as you want to and you have the flexibility to change that number at any point.

Slide 2

First you need to enable the functionality. Now at the end of April 2020 EMIS centrally enabled the GP Connect functionality for all GP practices in England, in line with the COVID notice and the COVID-19 response.

If you do want to check this configuration you can do so as described on screen from the organisation configuration and then GP Connect configuration options. If you are applying any changes you will need to click ok and restart EMIS on the screen that you can see.

Slide 3

To be able to configure our appointments we first need to add a new organisation group so from the EMIS form select organisation configuration, select the organisation groups from the navigation pane towards the bottom of the screen on the left-hand side.

Click add on the ribbon and you will be then be presented with the add organisation group screen. In here you will need to add an organisation group name, which needs to be unique within the EMIS system.

We’re recommending that you go with your GP practice ODS code underscore COVID-19 to ensure that unique name is created. Click on the magnifying glass, type your own GP practice ODS code in, and press search and double click on your own practice to add it to the organisation group. You’ll then need to repeat this step to add all other organisations to the group. The first one on screen is displayed as RYEA3 and that’s the ODS code for the COVID Clinical Assessment Service.

Depending on how you’re intending to configure your prioritisation list, you may have one organisation group for yourselves in the CCAS and a separate one for yourselves and all 111 providers, or you may have everybody in the same list. 

So, if you want to add all of the 111 providers and the CCAS to the same list the details of all of their ODS codes and names within the EMIS system can be found on the GP Connect website and you would simply repeat the magnifying glass step until all of NHS 111 providers have been added to the same list. This will ensure that all the appointments within your prioritisation list can be shared with both CCAS and NHS111.

Slide 4

Once you’ve added everybody you will see this screen with your organisation group name, a description if you’ve added one and a list of organisations that you’ve included within that group. Once you’re happy click on OK.

Slide 5

Then we need to move on to creating a new session. So from the appointment book on the ribbon click create session, first of all give your session a session holder. This can be a dummy clinician and you can configure your clinicians within EMIS to hold a session where they’re not in possession of a smartcard and you do that through the job role section which is the second option down on the left hand side of the staff details pane.

Once you’ve added a session holder, you’ll then need to give your session a name, the type is timed appointments, the start date with a from and to time and then a slot duration, remembering that these are spaces on a prioritisation list rather than slot types where patients will be expected to attend an appointment. So your slot duration may be longer or shorter than your usual appointment times.

Change your session category to default non list bookable and make sure that your all GP Connect bookable slots is set so you can see two screens, one of them is for the 9.5 version of EMIS and the other is for 9.6. So either set all bookable GP Connect slots or change the option for all slots GP Connect bookable to yes and then once you’ve done that click on apply filter.

Slide 6

Then you’ll get your Apply Filter dialogue, change the filter type to Organisation Group, find the organisation group that you’ve just set up and click on the number of slots you wish to allocate to that group and then change the kind to Reserve, which will mean that only people within that organisation group can see that these appoints exist and therefore book into them. Then click on OK once you’re happy.

Slide 7

On the left-hand side the session preview will show the globe icon. The globe icon is confirmation that you have made those slots GP Connect bookable, so that’s your safety check.

One red-herring that we have found is that if you go into the slot type details and change them to remotely bookable you will get a red arrow instead of the globe. This is a necessary step but won’t affect the bookings, so if you tick both GP Connect bookable and remotely bookable in the slots then they will still be able to be visible by GP Connect, but the globe icon will change to a red arrow. You don’t need to be concerned if that happens.

Then just the final thing to check is in your slot type details, so select the entire session, right click and go to slot type details, just make sure that your status type is Telephone for all those slots. A telephone slot is just a backup in case a patient is ever given a time slot they won’t present in practice, they’ll expect a telephone call, but the prioritisation list as you already know is being treated as that list and the patients will not be given a timed appointment by NHS111 or CCAS.

This table provides the ODS codes you need to complete the set-up.

Most providers on this list are live. Some codes have been listed in readiness for their imminent go-live to save repeating set up at a later date. So please don’t turn off any proprietary booking systems used unless explicitly informed to do so.

Site ODS code

Site Name

Text shown in EMIS

Text shown in TPP

NTP

CARE UK

CARE UK

CARE UK

NNJ Derbyshire Health United (DHU) Derbyshire Health United DHU Health Care Cic
NQW01

DEVON DOCTORS LTD

Devon Doctors Ltd

DEVON DOCTORS LTD

GAR01

Dorset Health

DORSET 111 CALL CENTRE (SENTINEL HOUSE)

DORSET 111 CALL CENTRE (SENTINEL HOUSE)

Y00415 Herts Urgent Care (HUC) HERTS URGENT CARE W/H OOH Herts Urgent Care with OoH
NVE03 INTEGRATED CARE 24  INTEGRATED CARE 24 GREAT YARMOUTH & WAVENEY Integrated Care 24  Great Yarmouth & Waveney
NVE01 INTEGRATED CARE 24  INTEGRATED CARE 24 KENT OOH South Essex 111 Call Centre
NVE61 INTEGRATED CARE 24  REED HOUSE Reed House
R1F Isle of Wight Isle of Wight NHS Trust Isle of Wight NHS Trust

RRU

London Ambulance Service (LAS)

LONDON AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST

London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (plus lots of other names e.g. Rru Cosford)

NKB

London Central & West (LCW)

LCW Integrated Urgent Care

London Central and West Unscheduled Care Collaborative

RX6

North East Ambulance Service (NEAS)

NORTH EAST AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

RX7

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS)

NORTH WEST AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

RYE

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS)

SOUTH CENTRAL AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust

RYD

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB)

SOUTH EAST COAST AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

NLO21

Vocare St Marys Urgent Care Centre St Marys Urgent Care Centre

RYA06

West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS)

WEST MIDLANDS AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust

RX8

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS)

YORKSHIRE AMBULANCE SERVICE NHS TRUST

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Get help

You can get help from your GP Connect implementation manager.

Contact us at gpconnect@nhs.net if you have any questions about GP Connect configuration at your practice.

Background

The Covid Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) has been set up to support NHS111 in their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. NHS England sent a letter to GP practices on 27 March 2020 instructing them to set up GP Connect to facilitate this and allow patients to be transferred electronically.

NHS Digital are supporting the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by using GP Connect to facilitate information sharing across the NHS system, in collaboration with NHS England and NHSX. 

Patient record and cross organisation appointment booking are available across England.

Last edited: 13 October 2020 2:35 pm