Page last updated: 24 September, 2020, 9:03am
As part of total remote triage NHS E & I require every Practice to sign up for both an approved online consultation solution and an approved video consultation solution – these are complimentary and not duplicate systems:
- online consultation provides a platform for patients to complete a symptom assessment and be digitally triaged online to the appropriate next step, including appointments with appropriate clinicians;
- video consultation provides clinicians with a mechanism with which they can hold a remote face to face consultation with the patient;
After a competitive procurement exercise, M&SE HCP awarded a contract to the successful bidder, Doctorlink, at the end of March 2020 to provide an online consultation solution for GP Practices. Doctorlink has been fully integrated into the Directory of Service, so patients who use the online consultation system will be triaged to commissioned local services where applicable.
Doctorlink release – 24th July
Doctorlink have released improvements in the following functionality:
- Safeguarding alerts – these now contain information about the reason that the alert was triggered;
- Fit / Sick note functionality – in addition to time-off, patients can also request a phased return to work, altered hours, amended duties or workplace adaptations.
Release note available here
If you have any questions about the release note or you would like functionality such as fit note switched on for your practice, please contact Doctorlink using the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doctorlink release – July 8th
To continually improve and develop our product, Doctorlink have both updated the algorithms that underpin both Symptom assessment and Routine appointments, as well as making changes to the dispositions that you receive.
These changes were made available for patients and practices from the 8th of July, and details were sent to Practices but are summarised as follows:
The details are set out in Doctorlink Release Note 2020.001 and of these the most significant changes to the algorithms are:
Free text boxes – As a result of your feedback, Doctorlink have provided free text boxes for patients to give more information so practices can triage them. Therefore, for ANA outcome or a routine appointment request for an unknown reason, patients will be required to provide more details. As a result, practices will no longer get requests for appointments without enough information to get that patient to the right care.
Conclusions where cancer is a possible conclusion – Customer feedback indicated that some patients found the listing of cancer as a potential cause of their symptoms distressing. References to cancer have been removed from the lay statement shown to patients but are still present in the dispositions sent to practices. Doctorlink have also removed technical references to cancer investigations and NICE guidance.
Urgent dispositions (less than 4 hours) – Appointments which have generated a time frame of less than 4 hours are being redirected to other places to seek care. Depending on the disposition the care advised may be 111, urgent treatment centres or maternity units. More detail is set out in Doctorlink Release Note 2020.001.v2
Symptom Assessment Report Changes
Disposition design – The redesigned disposition aims to reduce the amount of white space and reduce the number of pages (see example).
For information only dispositions – When patients reach conclusions that require urgent care, such as A&E or walk-in centers, or contact their practice within 30 minutes or 1 hour, they have the option to send their results into the GP practice. These dispositions sent in by patients are occasionally causing confusion for practices. This is because practices are sometimes unsure about whether they are required to contact the patient and see them urgently. “For information only” is now included on those dispositions that do not require practices to call the patient or book that patient in for an appointment.
What the patient was told – To add extra clarity the “what the patient was told” area of the disposition has been changed. It will now show exactly what the patient was told in quotation marks and with all of the same emphasis. This is so that practices can see exactly the information given to patients including where and when to seek care.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found here
If you have queries and issues with the system, please see the two posters below which give you the relevant contact details:
Q&A sessions with Doctorlink
We hold regular Q&A sessions for practices with Doctorlink via MS Teams, fortnightly on Wednesdays from 10am. The next meetings are:
- 11th August
- 25th August
- 8th September
- 22nd September
You can join these meetings here
One to one sessions with Doctorlink and your practice
Doctorlink are here to support you in both implementing and using the platform and the functionality available and are happy to have direct one-to-one sessions via TEAMs with your practice.
If you wish to arrange these sessions, please contact :
NHS Project and Operations Manager for Doctorlink
tel: 07791 739799
In response to COVID-19 all Practices are required to have implemented an approve and centrally funded video consultation solution from approved suppliers on the following Frameworks:
- Digital Care Services Framework (GPIT Futures)
- NHS England Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)
Currently, the majority of Practices have opted for AccuRx, with a small group selecting Doctorlink Rapid VC, and one or two other solutions in a couple of Practices.
For all Practices using AccuRx you need to advise us via email@example.com if you are or start using the SMS functionality in AccuRX, as this is information being centrally recorded as part of the current COVID-19 funding and procurement of this approved system.
iPLATO messaging service and related functions are funded by the HCP until end of February 2021 is available for any Practice who wish to sign up for it – if you are interested please contact Scott Pashby.
iPLATO advice for flu has been compiled into one help page https://bit.ly/2ELbuWo
Practices will find user guides and easy videos on sending flu invite messages to their patients. They can also sign up to the daily training webinars.
iPLATO also provide myGP Triage facility, which can direct patients to online triage services (or any other resource, such as the practice’s website) when there are no appointments available to book online.
Practices can see more about this useful feature here: https://www.iplato.com/help/connect/mygp-triage/how-to-activate/
The myGP Buddy, the stripped-down version of iPLATO, connects directly to the clinical system and is designed for fast and easy text messaging to whichever patient is currently displayed in the clinical system.
This is available to anyone using SystmOne or EMIS Web, and can be downloaded here: https://www.mygp.com/get-buddy/