Helston Medical Centre

Key stats

  • Patient List size: 13,700
  • Launched 9th May 2018
  • Model: Routine clinic

Key messages:

  • eConsult provides our patients with an additional and often more convenient way to contact the surgery – in particular parents on the school run like the flexibility it provides them.
  • As part of wider work thinking about practice processes, we factored eConsult into our thinking so that it was integrated into our everyday.

Biggest single benefit of eConsult: As a GP, eConsult gives me so much more information about the patient than the one line I might get from telephone triage.

Access was a problem for our patients at Helston Medical Centre. There were few ways for our patients to get a hold of us outside of physically coming to the practice or calling the telephone. We wanted eConsult as a way to give patients more choice and another route for getting in touch with the practice. People are increasingly used to digital methods of communication and want to be able to do things at a time that suits them.

“As I work full time it allows me to get the information to the relevant person instead of trying to get through on the phone and then having to repeat things. Plus, I work in an open office so don’t have privacy if calling the surgery.”


Around the time we started with eConsult we were making changes to the way we run the surgery, so we decided to review all of our processes and make sure to embed eConsult into our workday. We had lots of support from Kernow CCG to help implement and roll out eConsult. We also had calls with our Operations Executive and visits from the Transformation team to help us use the service to its full potential. 

For the first month we didn’t advertise the service to patients as we were getting used to a lot of change internally. Once we were happy with our internal processes, we decided to do a big marketing push. Everyone in reception highlighted it to patients and we put a message on our phone system. Now it’s embedded in as part of our business as usual and more patients are aware of eConsult.

“As a doctor, I would love more patients to use eConsult. With telephone triage we might only get a sentence about what the patient needs, if we’re lucky. With eConsult we get a lot of information that helps us decide how best to manage our patients.”


We have a lot of repeat users who love it as it saves them time and is convenient. Parents on the school run really appreciate that they can be flexible about when they use the service, knowing we will respond. Our receptionists and clinicians are seeing the value too – the information we get from patients is much richer than from other channels.

“I got to write everything I had a problem with. As the doctor had read my notes before my appointment it saved us both time. I felt extremely supported and didn’t walk away feeling I was not helped.


The eConsult service was an excellent way to solve a problem, without having to travel or wait around for an appointment. Especially given the current COVID situation, it was a relief to be able to keep everyone safe without having to worry about social distancing protocols. This service saves a great deal of time for all concerned, fantastic!

Patient, Helston Medical Centre, Kernow

It was quick and easy and I got an appropriate response for a routine query.

Patient, Helston Medical Centre, Kernow

I am self-isolating so I was pleased not to have to attend the surgery. Dr Tait was extremely helpful and is referring me to the dermatologist at RCH Truro. I have already been informed of my appointment with them. Thanks

Patient, Helston Medical Centre, Kernow

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If you are a patient and want to contact your own NHS GP, online with eConsult click here to start.

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