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Online consultation is now available within the NHS App for practices who use eConsult and Engage Health.
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 online consultation in the NHS App works
If your practice already uses an online consultation system that is integrated with the NHS App, you do not need to take any action to make it available in the app.
Patients click on ‘check your symptoms’ and then ‘Ask Your GP for Advice’.
They fill in the online form with information about their symptoms, conditions or treatment, or those of someone they care for. 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 features such as uploading photos or review templates as part of managing a long-term condition are not currently available via the NHS App.