As part of the digital transformation strategy, NHS England is using digital technology to empower patients to take charge of their own health and make it easier for clinicians to deliver high quality care via online consultation tools. This form of consultation will enable patients to interact with GPs or other practice based health professional online using a smartphone, tablet or computer. If adopted and embedded correctly, online consultations will have the potential to create a more efficient, streamlined process for patients and GP surgeries.
For patients, it is more convenient and can result in reduced waiting times. For the surgery, online consultations has the capacity to free up GP face to face appointments and, with pre-appointment triaging, improving the probability that patients will be directed to an appropriate health service.
- Symptom checking
- Video consultations
- Messaging services with GPs
- Appointment booking into principle systems (EMIS/TTP)
- Access through mobile device
- Single point of access
- Repeat Prescriptions
There are multiple forms of online consultation available, all of which vary in their maturity.
Pan London Strategy:
As part of the General Practice Forward View a £45 million fund, has been created to subsidise the costs to practices for online consultations systems to help improve access and make the best use of clinician’s time. All STPs across London have been commissioned to deliver a form of online consultation. Evaluation is underway to assess the impact of this rollout.