Telephone consultations can be a good means of communication with a patient to supplement the traditional surgery consultation. They are often a much quicker method of dealing with basic issues and for the GP they represent the means by which a consultation may be quick and concise. Not all conditions or queries are suitable for telephone advice and these may be limited to the instances set out below.
The following are suitable for telephone consultations:
- Follow-up discussions or advice relating to previously seen or existing conditions.
- Medication reviews where the existing prescriptions are straightforward.
- Discussion of test results.
- Discussions re the suitability of, or reactions to medication.
- Discussions of an administrative nature such as Choice of provider or clinical procedure.
- Instances where the doctor or nurse has suggested a telephone call as being suitable.
The following circumstances would indicate that a telephone consultation may not be appropriate:
- Where the patient is not known personally to the doctor.
- Where the doctor considers that an examination should be made.
- Where the doctor considers that there is a degree of risk involved in a remote consultation.
- Where the patient is abroad. This effectively would be a consultation in another country where the doctor may not be licensed to practise, and where he / she may not be insured. Patients should be advised in these circumstances to seek help locally and through their travel or health insurer.
- Where the doctor’s ability to monitor or provide follow-up care is compromised.
- Where the doctor is aware that the patient may have communication difficulties (e.g. deafness or speech problems) or where there is reason to believe that the patient may have difficulty in understanding.
- Where the use of telephone or other remote means may be insensitive to the emotional or similar needs of the patient.
To request a telephone consultation please call our appointments line and the receptionist will take down your details and a doctor will call you back as soon as possible dependent on their other clinical priorities.
We offer patients a telephone consultation from a doctor once all routine appointments have been taken for the day. After you have spoken to the doctor on the telephone he/she will be able to categorise your query as follows:
- Telephone advice required by doctor/nurse
- Same day appointment with doctor or nurse
- Future appointment with doctor or nurse