Many people are experiencing delays and difficulties with not being able to get hold of their doctor. A call to the surgery inevitably results in a re-direction to the practice website. There is then a requirement to remember details in order to logon, sit patiently while being electronically interrogated about your most personal details and trying not to answer in a way that immediately re-directs you to A&E. Even if you respond to the entire satisfaction of your e-inquisitor, you are unlikely to get any real relief other than a message to say that someone - possibly the receptionist - will call you - at some point.
Calling doctor for a child or relative
It can get worse and more complex when you are calling on behalf of someone else or in order to get help for your child - or for an elderly relative. It is hard to cope with concentrating on operating a laptop when your child is crying or someone is in evident pain or distress.
You just want to be able to get straight through to either your doctor or the practice manager.
I want an online consultation with a doctor asap
Place and time for digital doctor
However, in some instances e-triage can be a useful method to access appropriate medical services swiftly - provided your surgery has the necessary professional resources (i.e. nurses, GPs and specialist doctors) to respond. In addition, some people actually prefer to be able to check their symptoms using an online system at a time and place entirely convenient for them (such as at work), without any need for (synchronous) verbal communication.
The key thing for patients is to find a method of accessing a choice of the most appropriate clinical services that suits their changing healthcare requirements. Whether you need to speak to a GP, a knee specialist, a menopause doctor, a brain surgeon or be e-triaged prior to a medical consultation - the choice should be entirely the patients'.
TotalDoctor - "It's your health it's your choice"
This new total medical service, one that includes rapid access to the medic of your choice (real or virtual), is now available via TotalDoctor. The fast and effective service is provided by a medical base that includes some of the most advanced GPs and specialists in the UK.
The TotalDoctor system delivers a choice from hundreds of the top medical school consultants as well as NHS and private sector GPs, including The Harley Street practice GP Clinic London. TotalDoctor integrates with the practice management diaries allowing patients to check availability and to book directly. For those patients who prefer to speak to someone, the TotalDoctor Clinic Manager (a real person!) can be contacted by phone - using the number on the website.
For those patients happy to be e-triaged, provided that a real doctor then reviews their case, and calls the patient back if requested, this service too is available via TotalDoctor. The secure and fully accredited TotalDoctor e-triage / patient navigation system also allows for full integration between GPs, referral to specialists, secure records, patient interaction and even a full multi-disciplinary medical team (MDT) meeting if needed.
See also MacMillan for people struggling to get a GP appointment for cancer.
The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods ceaseFull medical glossary