This article covers:
Please see the information below if you have received an eConsult from an unregistered patient.
Safeguards to minimise the chance of unregistered patients submitting eConsults
We have in place two safeguards to minimise the chances of patients submitting eConsults to a practice they are not registered with. These are:
Direct access via their practice's website
Patients primarily access eConsult via their practice’s website. This assumes that they are familiar with their practice's name and location, and are registered with that practice.
We know that some practices have similar names so we also make sure that we display as many details as possible about the practice to minimise human error. Our website also has a practice finder for patients where they can search for the practice by name but can see full practice details (e.g. name, address, postcode).
Confirmation of practice name and address
At the start of the online consultation, patients have to confirm that they are registered at the practice that they are submitting their details to. They are shown the following screen, with the name and practice details for the practice they are submitting to:
If the patient answers 'No' they are shown this screen and advised on how to proceed:
Your responsibility is the same as for any other unregistered patient, for example, those walking into your practice or phoning you.
You can redirect them to their usual practice, or other local primary care / urgent care services.
However, if the eConsult report indicates a medical emergency, your clinical staff will have a professional duty to respond to this, just as they would be expected to respond to any other medical emergency in the community, for example in the street. This response might include calling 999 or advising patients to go to A&E.
Under UK GDPR regulations we are a data processor and therefore we do not keep any personally identifying information (PID - for example name, date of birth, sex, address, contact details) from the eConsults submitted by patients. We are therefore not able to retrieve and redirect eConsults.
What you need to do
Please contact the patient and ask that they contact their registered GP or a local Urgent Care Centre for further care. You do not need to notify eConsult.
If you have any questions or you feel that this article could be improved, please feel free to give us some feedback by emailing us, pressing the emojis below or using the chat button on the bottom right-hand side of this page to speak to one of the eConsult team.