A patient can request a telephone consultation and will be booked if a telephone consultation would be appropriate.
When booking the telephone consultation you will be asked:
- Telephone number on which to call for consultation
- Date of Birth
- Nature or reason for the call
The Receptionist will advise the caller that:
- The doctor will ring back approximately the time indicated, but this is dependent on other clinical priorities. This would normally be within 30 minutes of the time either way.
- The doctor will attempt to call only once. If unanswered, there will be no further attempt unless the call made was outside the time range.
- No messages will be left on answering machines or with a third party.
The following are suitable for telephone consultations:
- Follow-up discussions or advice relating to previously seen or existing conditions.
- Medication reviews where the existing prescriptions are straightforward.
- Discussion of test results.
- Fit Note Issue / Reissue (Although a subsequent face to face consultation may be required)
- Discussions re the suitability of, or reactions to medication.
- Discussions of an administrative nature such as choice of provider or clinical procedure.
- Instances where the doctor or nurse has suggested a telephone call as being suitable.
The following circumstances would indicate that a telephone consultation may not be appropriate:
- Where the patient is not known personally to the doctor.
- Where the doctor considers that an examination should be made.
- Where the doctor considers that there is a degree of risk involved in a remote consultation.
- Where the patient is abroad. This effectively would be a consultation in another country where the doctor may not be licensed to practise, and where he / she may not be insured. Patients should be advised in these circumstances to seek help locally and through their travel or health insurer.
- Where the doctor’s ability to monitor or provide follow-up care is compromised.
- Where the doctor is aware that the patient may have communication difficulties (e.g. deafness or speech problems) or where there is reason to believe that the patient may have difficulty in understanding.
- Where the use of telephone or other remote means may be insensitive to the emotional or similar needs of the patient.