More than 70,000 patients across North Lincolnshire can now access 24/7 online consultations with their GP practice.
Online consultations are an alternative way for patients to access support from their GP or other practice-based health professionals via the internet, rather than waiting for the next available appointment to attend in person.
Using a smartphone, tablet or computer, patients can contact a practice through their website about a new problem or an ongoing issue. The practice then reviews the information and contacts the patient to direct them to the most appropriate point of care. This might mean a telephone call, or face-to-face appointment with a GP or practice nurse.
NHS North Lincolnshire CCG has introduced the technology in six GP practices across the region to bring choice to patients who want to consult online, in many cases avoiding the need to make a visit to the practice altogether.
The launch follows a successful trial with three North Lincolnshire practices which have been using the technology for the past six months, including Riverside Surgery in Brigg.
Michelle Slimm, Business Manager at Riverside Surgery, said: “We’re now living longer, with more long-term conditions, so there’s an increasing demand on resources. Online consultation is another option for patients to be able to access clinical advice.
“If a patient needs to be seen, it gives the clinician more information ahead of the appointment to assess that need and speed up the triage process.”
“From the patients’ point of view, they’ve got 24-hour access to the surgery. For example, if they come home from work late at night and they don’t feel well, they can just contact us online and we’ll pick it up in the morning. It manages time more efficiently.
“We are living and working in a digital age and we need to embrace that technology.”
Geoff Day, Director of Primary Care at North Lincolnshire CCG, said: “This is great news for patients across North Lincolnshire, who can now access GP support at a time that suits them.
“We hope to extend the programme to at least three more practices by the end of the year.”
For further information, please contact North Lincolnshire CCG Communications Manager Amy Byard on 01652 251 047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practices offering online consultations in North Lincolnshire as of October 1 2018:
- Bridge Street Surgery
- Dr Rai and Partners (Riverside)
- Dr S Ahmed (Barnetby)
- Ancora Medical Practice
- South Axholme Medical Practice
- Cambridge Avenue Medical Centre