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Patients “to consult their GP by email”


26 January 2011

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Plans to free up GPs’ surgeries could see patients told to email their doctor and describe their symptoms, it has been reported.

Patients would be asked to electronically submit a description of their condition, which would be answered by doctors later in the day, under the system reportedly being considered by ministers.

Doctors would then advise their patients to attend an appointment or arrange a home visit only if they believed the symptoms were serious enough.

Plans to free up GPs’ surgeries could see patients told to email their doctor and describe their symptoms, it has been reported.

Patients would be asked to electronically submit a description of their condition, which would be answered by doctors later in the day, under the system reportedly being considered by ministers.

Doctors would then advise their patients to attend an appointment or arrange a home visit only if they believed the symptoms were serious enough.

The proposals would require patients with long-term conditions such as heart failure or diabetes to monitor their own temperature, blood pressure or glucose levels before emailing the information to their GP.

The Telegraph reports that a pilot of the system has already been carried out in Dundee.

It saw some patients staying at home while describing potentially serious symptoms such as “frequent” chest palpitations and the inability to sleep due to “acute sickness” and shaking.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Department of Health

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