Hall Grove Group Practice, Welwyn Garden City becomes the latest UK GP practice to introduce the online consultation service to streamline patient care.
The practice received a plaque to commemorate this landmark achievement.
Hall Grove Group Practice in Welwyn Garden City has become the 1,000th GP practice in the UK to introduce the eConsult system.
The online consultation system helps patients access self-help and pharmacy advice as well as providing a digital front door to their own doctor’s surgery. eConsult is successfully helping practices across the UK to improve patient access, reduce waiting times, increase doctor/ patient time and improve overall patient care.
Approximately 70 per cent of patient requests submitted through eConsult can be safely resolved without requiring a face-to-face GP appointment.
Patients registered at the surgery, based across the Parkway Surgery and Hall Grove Surgery sites, which is part of the CCG commission for East and North Hertfordshire, will no longer have to wait on the phone in the mornings to get the advice they need from their GP.
Patients can now submit information about their symptoms through the eConsult system, an easy to use interface on the surgery’s website homepage at any time of the day or night through their computer or smartphone. eConsult allows GPs to prioritise patients and deal with patients’ queries more effectively. In many cases, patients may be saved an unnecessary trip to the practice.
Where an appointment is necessary, the GP or nurse will have detailed information about their patient before the appointment, giving the patient increased quality time with the most appropriate healthcare professional.
The new method also helps patients better manage long-term conditions. When it comes to prescriptions, the doctor can respond to the patient’s query without the need to book a face-to-face appointment. The system gives patients more choice, including the option to self-manage conditions or symptoms at home with support from NHS Choices information.
In pilot studies, eConsult received a 95% satisfaction rate from patients who used the service.
Dr Murray Ellender, CEO of eConsult said, “Successfully launching eConsult in our 1,000th practice is a huge achievement. The introduction of this new service will allow the people of Welwyn Garden City to quicken their route to the right consultation for their condition, whilst also alleviating pressure on clinicians at the practice.”