by Dr Mark Harmon

Spreading the word

The eConsult team was happy to have played a small part in the NHS Healthy London media campaign to promote GP online services

Around 1.7 million Londoners already use online services to book GP appointments, but this only represents a sign-up rate of around18% across GP surgeries in London. To help grow this figure, a multi-media promotional campaign was launched on Monday 26 June by the NHS Healthy London Partnership. Aimed at increasing awareness of GP online services, the campaign will run until the end of August, and a communications toolkit is available to all London GPs, surgeries, CCGs and local authorities.

“Around 1.7 million Londoners already use online services to book GP appointments”

Here at The Hurley Group, we have been involved with NHS Healthy London since its inception and, as pioneers in the digital health space, we promote and support GP online services, and understand the benefits these can offer to both patients and clinicians. We have been able to share our experience of the uptake of online services such as booking GP appointments and accessing patient records, and how online consultation systems like eConsult link in with this, taking the patient on a digital journey that results in better health outcomes.

You can see our CEO Murray Ellender in some of the Healthy London Partnership campaign videos, and you can also check out his blog on their website.

“As London’s biggest provider of GP services, and the creators of the eConsult online triage and consultation tool, the Hurley Group was delighted to put its experience and expertise behind this campaign,” explains Murray. “All the messages are right in line with ours: GP online services are a quick and easy way to book GP appointments, get repeat prescriptions and view your medical records. Not enough Londoners are aware that, as long as they are registered with a GP practice, they can sign up for online services that bring managing their healthcare into line with the way they manage other areas of their lives – like food shopping, booking a holiday or banking.

“GP online services are a quick and easy way to book GP appointments, get repeat prescriptions and view your medical records.”

“Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a service that lets them book a GP appointment from the comfort of their own home or wherever they happen to be, on their laptop, tablet, phone or PC, at a time that suits them? In my opinion, there is nothing not to love about GP online services,” continues Murray.

GP online is a generic service provided by the NHS that all practices can choose to adopt. However, some pioneering practices have done more than simply enable patients to book their appointments online, moving them further through the digital journey, and that’s where solutions like eConsult come in.

“While it’s true that there’s no need to wait to book a GP appointment when you can do it online, managing patient demand can still be a challenge for busy practices and there could be a wait of up to two weeks for routine appointments,” explains Murray. “We designed eConsult to alleviate this problem by encouraging patients to consult with their GP online and get a response within 24 hours.

“eConsult was born of our passion for digital innovation in primary care and our belief in its potential to affordably transform everyday healthcare. It builds on the time-saving and empowering benefits of GP online, and we’re delighted to help spread the word that Londoners can manage their health online by signing up for digital services direct from their GP surgery.”