The NHS has produced helpful guidance about contacting you GP using online services
This video will help you understand how an online consultation can be sent to your surgery and how you may be contacted with the response.
It also explains how consultations using video can help whilst you are not able to visit the surgery with hints and tips how to get the best from a video consultation.
Video transcript: Contacting your GP remotely
Hi I’m Nam, I’m a GP and a clinical lead at the NHS website.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, how you contact your GP, nurse and other GP surgery staff will be different at the moment.
This is to avoid face-to-face contact whenever possible and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
You should try to contact your surgery online through your GP surgery’s website or by using the NHS App or GP online services, or by ringing your GP surgery.
To get advice, help or support, go to your GP surgery website and fill in the secure online form, to give your GP the information they might need to help you.
This is known as an online consultation, or an online assessment, and helps the practice decide how they need to help you. Where possible your online consultation will be passed to your regular GP or member of the team.
After you complete an online consultation, you will get a response from your surgery. This could be an online message, such as an email or a text message, or a phone or video call.
Video or telephone consultation
If a GP, surgery nurse or other member of staff need to speak to you about your online consultation, they will contact you.
You might be asked to have a telephone conversation with your GP or most appropriate person in the practice team. Or they may ask you to use a link, which they will send to you, to join a video consultation at a specific time.
During your video consultation you can speak to your doctor or nurse, in a private setting, as if you were both in the same room.
You will need:
an internet connection
a well-lit, quiet and private space – you can also have a family member with you, if you would like to
a computer, tablet or smartphone
You will need to allow microphone and camera access for the video consultation to work, making sure the built-in camera, microphone and volume are switched on.
Some video consultation systems let you test it is working before you start the call.
If you need to show the doctor or nurse your problem, you can use the video camera. If it’s a place that is hard to reach, such as an injury to the back of your head, you may find it easier to take a good-quality photo or recording of the problem beforehand, so it can be shared.
You can ask the same questions you would if this was a face-to-face appointment at the GP surgery, and it is a good idea to write down any advice or next steps they give you.
While the video consultation will not be recorded, the doctor or nurse will make notes in your GP record in the usual way.
You might receive a follow-up online message or text containing further information or links to advice.
If something goes wrong during your video consultation, such as the connection being interrupted, your healthcare professional will call you back.
If the doctor or nurse feels you need to be seen in person, they will arrange a face-to-face appointment for you or a home visit.
Online consultations should not be used if you need very urgent or emergency care.
Call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you are unable to get help online.