Changes to our eConsult access hours

From Monday 14th February 2022, you can submit eConsults from 8am – 6.30pm every weekday.

Our process for patients needing urgent or same-day care remains the same and is not affected. Similar to weekends, should you need medical care after 6.30pm, the 111 service is available to support you. Please phone 999 in an emergency.

Day by day the past few weeks we’ve seen demand for routine GP appointments grow. As a result, we are concerned to see our waiting time for routine appointments starting to increase again.

In December we reported we received around 1,900 eConsults a week from our patients – a figure that is now well above 2,100 a week and is currently rising each week.

Practices in the area and around the country are having similar issues and have chosen various ways to deal with managing their routine appointments wait times. This includes turning off phone lines completely at a certain time or sporadically close eConsult submissions when capacity has been reached, in order to manage the flow of patients with non-urgent medical issues.

eConsult access – new access times
In order for our GPs to have enough time continue to triage every eConsult coming in for routine care, we are going to trial turning off our eConsult service on our practice websites alongside the phone lines at 6.30pm every weekday.

From Monday 14th February 2022, you can submit eConsults from 8am – 6.30pm every weekday.

You cannot submit eConsults overnight, similar to what we’ve done at weekends for quite some time, from a safety perspective. At the times the eConsult service isn’t available to you, our website will direct you to a NHS Portal, which will have self-care advice and list options available to you if you have an urgent medical problem.

Working with our Triage Project Team, referred to in our last patient newsletter, we are trailing this for two weeks to see the impact it has to manage the number of requests coming in. We are hopeful this change is sufficient to continue to manage the routine wait times, before considering other options should demand continue to rise.

Our process for patients needing urgent or same-day care remains the same and is not affected. Similar to weekends, should you need medical care after 6.30pm, the 111 service is available to support you. Please phone 999 in an emergency.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes and really appreciate your support in this matter.  and will keep you updated on our wait times and options to manage these the best we can, as part of our promise to communicate more with our patients.