Consett Medical Centre

eConsult Case Study

Key stats

  • Patient List size: 18,850
  • Launched: 8th November 2018
  • Model: Routine Clinic

Case Study Key messages:

  • eConsult is a natural progression from telephone triage – if your practice does telephone triage then the eConsult process will be very familiar for your team to work with
  • Fit notes are a large part of our work – eConsult means that our reception team and GPs now spend less time taking notes as the patient has already provided the information up front
  • Word of mouth has been our biggest driver of patient uptake – we make sure we mention it to patients, and then when they have a good experience they tell their friends and family

Biggest benefit of eConsult: At Consett Medical Centre we’re more efficient now with eConsult – our days are still busy but we get through a lot more work and can get back to our patients quickly.

We wanted eConsult to help with our increasing workload and managing demand for appointments – it also came at a good time as we’d just lost a GP so everyone was picking up extra work to be able to cope. As we’re used to doing telephone triage at Consett Medical Centre, eConsult was quite a natural step forward. We handle them the same way; we book patients straight in with the most appropriate clinician for them to resolve the query, if medical in nature.

“I was suffering from what I thought was a bad cold and cough. I did not want to put others at risk by attending the surgery and spreading germs. I did not want to waste a GP’s time, I just needed clarification that I was self treating correctly. The eConsult form obviously highlighted a more serious problem and the prompt action of the team meant that my chest infection was treated properly.”


eConsult really allows us to manage and stream our work to the most appropriate clinician and frees up a lot of time for our admin and reception too. Around two thirds of our eConsults relate to fit notes. Before eConsult our reception team would have to take key information from patients, give that to the GP and then the GP would call the patient back to confirm the details and issue the sick note. Now, all that information is already included in the eConsult so both admin staff and the GPs aren’t spending their time taking that information.

“I found it excellent. I just needed advice so an appointment would have been a waste of the doctor’s time… With eConsult I wasn’t worried I was wasting anyone’s time and received the help I needed.”


As a practice we’ve really supported each other to make sure that eConsult is a success for us. We started slowly with the banner on the website and in the practice, before mentioning it to patients and then including a message on our phone system. Now, we ask any patients who don’t have an urgent issue to use eConsult because they will probably get advice more quickly than if they booked an appointment.

“The biggest driver of eConsult patient uptake at Consett Medical Centre has been word of mouth. We signpost all our patients to it, and they’re so happy and pleasantly surprised with the quick response times that they tell all their friends and family about it.”

Practice Manager

We’re really feeling the benefits of using eConsult and want to see how we can maximise this further across the services we offer. Our website in future will reflect how we are moving to help patients online without the need for them to travel into surgery. Instead of asking patients to fill in travel forms and drop them off in the surgery they will be directly sent via eConsult for us to process. We will also use eConsult to direct patients to local services for self referral forms, medication queries and in the future Quality and Outcomes Framework reviews for hypertension and other long term conditions.

“I find it difficult to phone and speak to someone. The eConsult service means I can go onto the practice website at any time, fill in the information and someone will call me back. It really works for me.”


We have also decided you use our text messaging service to remind the frequent flyers that they can now go online to access help without the need to see a doctor or clinician face-to-face. We are hoping this can free up more appointments for those that need them.

Very quick response from the surgery (same day). Everything that needed to be done - was. No problems or delays. Excellent service.

Patient, Consett Medical, North Durham

Much easier for my lifestyle. It is usually very difficult to manage to seek advice and support when working long hours

Patient, Consett Medical, North Durham

The Doctor was very professional. I didn't have to attend a face to face appointment. It all saved both myself and the Doctor time.

Patient, Consett Medical, North Durham

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