Patient and Involvement Group Meeting Minutes

Wednesday 20 March 2024, 12pm (Online)

Present from the practices: 

  • S O’Donnell 
  • T Pascoe (Brocklebank Practice Manager
  • C Taylor (St Pauls Practice Manager)
  • S Britton Operations Manager for three surgeries
  • S Whyte-Butler St Pauls Cottage Administrator
  • P Laszczyk (Clinical Pharmacist covering three sites

Patient Attendees:

Patients names on file



Welcome to patients from all three practices . The meeting is to focus on eConsult in light of it being used at all three practice with total triage (all requests for appointments are triages via the system) Power point presentation avaiable

A run through of the systems how the practices initially started with Doctorlink. Why we were unable to carry on with loading appointments onto Patient Access in light of many appointments being requested for issues which did not require a GP and there not being appointments available for patients who had a clinical need to be seen.

The practices have a number of different types of staff who are able to help patients without them needin to see a GP eg Clinical Pharmacist for medication issues, First Contact Physio for Musculoskeletal issues, Medical Secretaries to query progress of Referrals, Social Prescriber for referral to non medical local services 

Explanation of eConsult for patients who want to submit their own questionnaire. For those unable to access eConsult, they are still able to speak to the receptionist on the phone or at front desk and the reception staff will record the information into eConsult on their behalf. All the requests are triaged by a GP wh makes decisions about how soon the patient needs to be seen and by whom.

A review of eConsult data for January 2024 showed that we are dealing with between 262 and 352 requests every day

Telephone data over the same period at Brocklebank shows that the number of phone calls has reduced by 25%. So far this may not have reduced waiting times to be answered as some of the calls are now longer as staff are recording details for eConsults. 

atients who are unable to hear are exceptions to the eConsult system as the need for a BSL interpreter makes it impossible to arrange a timely appointment.


Questions submitted by patients

What are the main learnings so far from using eConsult?

We need more staff to help with communication with patients once their issue has been triaged. We need to account for phone, text and email depending on the patient and this is very labour intensive.

We want to get changes to the system for groups such as Immunocompromised patients as these patients generally are very knowledgeable about their own condition but currently they are advised to speak to reception instead of submitting their own information.

We do not know who has been unable to submit an eConsult (they may have been advised to go to A&E ) or other providers and we would like to know who they are.

How do I arrange regular blood test appointments?

Nothing has changed here. eConsult is not used for these or for nurse appointments which should be made by contacting the practice as before

Under what circumstances do the practice do a home visit and can a doctor be requested?

For housebound patients who are unable to attend in person. Requests are best before 10am so that visits can be allocated. Generally they are done on the day they are received but some patients do see a particular GP and prefer to wait until that GP is available.

Normally visits are allocated to whichever GPs are working that day but they are coordinated by the on-call GP at each site

What is the Practices position regarding using Physicans Associates?

We considered these several years ago but decided that we would prefer to work with Clinical Pharmacists as so many of our issues involved medication. We do not intend to use Physicians Associates

What about patients with chronic conditions, do they have to fill in all the information every time

The information requested at the outset is to ensure that the patient has not an issue insuitable for eConsult eg something requiring A&E or it . If the issue is short, consider ringing reception and they will submit an eLite on your behalf or use he form to specify freehand what you want to ay to the GP. In discussion with eConsult on this issue and possibly having a follow-up questionnaire for issues already underway

Will the new building provide more space than currently and how much of the building is for Brocklebank

We will have 25 consulting rooms (compared to 15 currently, we will have 2 phlebotomy suites, we will occupy all three floors of the new building (a small area will be occupied by an outpost of Kings Hospital but other than that it is entirely the GP practice

Meeting ended at 1pm

Many thanks for attending