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Proxy access features

This feature is optional and can be switched off if your practice does not want it by emailing practice.support@econsult.health.

The feature allows someone else to submit an eConsult on behalf of a patient. The submitter must provide their own contact details and their relationship to the patient, alongside the patient's details.

The eConsult report will show who the request was submitted by as well as the post-consultation contact preference, i.e. whether the response should preferably go to the patient or the submitter. This is the same if you get your reports via email or via the clinical system.

Post-consult messaging options will be updated to allow for an email or SMS response to either the submitter or patient directly through the eConsult toolbar (the practice is ultimately the decision-maker and can choose who to contact based on your own local guidelines).


The patient / submitter journey

The beginning of each template journey will now include an option to consult on behalf of someone else.

If the 'Someone else' option is chosen, then patients will be informed about how to best answer questions, as well as being asked about their relationship to the patient. The submitter's name and contact details (telephone and mobile number) will also be taken.

The submitter will be asked to indicate who the practice should contact about the request. In situations where the patient may not have an email address or access to one (e.g. patients in care, or with dementia) this will not stop someone else from submitting on their behalf.

Note that the practice is the ultimate decision-maker on who to contact, based on your own local guidelines.

We include a statement for the submitter that states that the practice may contact the patient first if the person submitting is not listed as a registered carer on the patient's health record.

See more guidance about proxy access for your practice on the NHS England website.


The practice journey

Practice confirmation email

The email that is sent to your practice along with the PDF report will state that someone else has submitted an eConsult on behalf of a patient.

Proxy details on the eConsult report

The report received by the practice will clearly state:

  • Who the request was submitted by

  • The relationship of the person submitting to the patient

  • The telephone number and email address of the person submitting

  • The preferred contact (submitter or patient) - as indicated by the person submitting

Responding to proxy eConsults

When responding to an eConsult that has been submitted by someone else, on behalf of a patient, you will be asked who you want to contact about the consultation - the patient or the submitter. If the patient does not have their own email address then this will not be an option, and it will be greyed out.

You will be able to save the response to the patient's record as normal.


FAQs

This feature is optional and can be switched off if your practice does not want it by emailing practice.support@econsult.health.

Why is this feature going to be rolling out to every NHS GP practice?

Apart from it being a requirement for online consultation and triage providers as part of the Digital First Online Consultation and Video Consultation (DFOCVC) framework, we know that users are already getting around our system by submitting consultations on behalf of others (using the free-text boxes etc).

We are addressing this by releasing a formal proxy route, which increases the visibility to GPs and safety for patients. With the feature enabled, GPs will have control over who to contact, as both patient and submitter details are collected and presented on the consultation report. Practices can opt out of this feature if they do not want it.

I'm worried about the GDPR implications of this feature.

The practice makes the decision about who they respond to, you do not need to contact the submitter if you do not want to. You can also remove or turn on this feature whenever you want by contacting us.

We don't have paediatric eConsults enabled - what does this mean?

If your practice does not have the paediatric eConsults enabled then patients will still not have the ability to consult for a child. Instead, any of the adult content will ask if the person submitting wants to submit for themselves or another adult.

Can we use Proxy access to complete an eConsult in the practice on behalf of patients?

We strongly recommend that you use eConsult Lite in this scenario. Proxy access allows parents, family members and carers to access health services on behalf of other people, for example, children, dependants you care for, and relatives.


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.

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