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The ability to triage patients using an online consultation system is critical during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
eConsult is the first online consultation service to be integrated with the NHS App. It makes form-based remote consultations available at around a quarter of practices in England. Patients can use this forms-based service to request GP advice without the need to book an appointment or contact your practice face-to-face or by telephone.
How it works
If your practice already uses eConsult you do not need to take any action to make it available in the NHS App.
- Patients click on ‘check your symptoms’ and then ‘Ask Your GP for Advice’.
- They fill in the online form or ‘eConsult’ with information about their symptoms, conditions or treatment. They can also use it to request help with sick notes or GP letters.
- They then submit the online form to their GP practice, where it can be viewed by their GP or another professional as appropriate.
- The practice reviews the form and decides on the right care for the patient, whether it’s an email with advice or information, setting up a telephone or video consultation or a face-to-face appointment with a professional from the practice.
- If a patient hits a ‘red-flag’ they will be directed to seek the acute care they need.
Some eConsult features such as uploading photos or review templates as part of managing a long-term condition are not currently available via the NHS App.
Submitting online forms on behalf of a minor you care for (paediatric consultation) is also not currently available in the app, but we’re working to include it by summer 2020. See our roadmap for future developments.