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Haverhill GP practice shows other surgeries how online appointment system can be beneficial to patients

A GP surgery in Haverhill has used its own experiences of introducing an online appointment system for its patients to help other surgeries meet the challenges created by the coronavirus crisis.

Last December, Christmas Maltings and Clements Surgery successfully launched the eConsult system.

It requires patients looking for an appointment to complete an online questionnaire.

Dr David Brandon, clinical lead GP at Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice. Contributed picture
Dr David Brandon, clinical lead GP at Christmas Maltings and Clements Practice. Contributed picture

This is then assessed by staff at the surgery to see what the most appropriate course of action for the patient will be.

Earlier this month, as a panellist on a web seminar, Dr David Brandon, who is the clinical lead at the Haverhill practice, shared his experiences with other surgeries and commissioners across the nation.

The purpose of the seminar was for GPs and patients across the UK to discuss their experience of using similar online platforms, and see what benefits they can give patients.

eConsult logo
eConsult logo

Dr Brandon said: “The successful and effective implementation of eConsult has improved access to services for all our patients.

“In order to free up the telephone for our more vulnerable patients, those that are able to use this excellent new platform are strongly encouraged to do so.

“By prioritising GP appointments for those with the greatest need, the eConsult system has enabled us to support all patients.

“I’m glad that the benefit of our learning and experience can be shared with other practices across the UK; particularly now that many are working hard to implement eConsult on an accelerated basis to address the new pressures we face from coronavirus.”

By using eConsult during the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas Maltings and Clements has been able to reduce the risks to both patients and staff.

By asking patients to contact the surgery in this way, it allows clinicians to determine whether the patient’s needs can be best met using email, telephone call or video consultation rather than a face to face appointment.

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