North London Partners in health and care

Over ninety per cent of NCL GP surgeries now offering online consultations


eConsult, the online triage and consultation tool that offers patients a way to contact their GP for advice and help with enquiries like repeat prescriptions, is live in over ninety per cent of GP Surgeries across North Central London. In response to Covid-19, NCL has rapidly implemented eConsult across Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington.

Thousands of local residents are now using eConsult as a way to access GP services. For example last week, Monday 11 May to Friday 17 May, 13,334 individual patients accessed eConsult online. As a result of the patients being appropriately triaged to local pharmacies, administrative staff and to GPs for callback, an estimated 3,724 GP appointments were saved across the five boroughs while patients still received the help they need.

eConsult as a solution is trusted by GPs because it has been designed by a GP and it has worked well in other parts of the country. It is also very user friendly and has received good patient and GP feedback.  

Patient feedback, which is regularly sought has been positive. One patient commented: “I was asked more questions in the online form than there would have been time for in a 10 min appointment, so I felt the problem was looked at in more depth.”  Another patient said: “It saved time having to travel to the surgery, wait for my appointment etc. Especially when working, it didn't have to disrupt my working day.”

eConsults can be used to triage both adult patients, aged over 18 years  or paediatric patients aged over 6 months old. Paediatric eConsults can be submitted by a parent or guardian, or by the patient themselves, if they are aged between 16 and 18 years.

The NCL Digital Team that has been working closely with GPs on implementing eConsult is now planning a formal evaluation of patients' experience of using eConsult and will also evaluate staff experience across GP Practices that are using the system.

For more information contact the project team emily.mitchell9@nhs.net or caroline.old@nhs.net