Setting up telephone appointments
- Telephone appointments can continue to be made via apps and websites if the practice wants this to happen
- The type of appointment can be set to ‘telephone’ by amending the system configuration according to the system supplier’s manual
- All existing appointments, unless there is no other option, should be changed from face-to-face to telephone or online consultations and the patient notified accordingly.
Essential face-to-face appointments
Some nurse appointments can only take place face-to-face, for example a dressing change, childhood immunisations, etc. For such appointments, patients should be advised to phone the practice first so that arrival arrangements can be explained.
Keeping patients posted
To minimise anxiety to patients, practices should ensure information about how to book appointments and how to get advice from members of the practice team is made easy to access and easy to understand.
Patients should be reminded that initial appointments are not face-to-face. This could be done via text messaging or email, via the practice website, as well as by phone.
Benefits of online booking of telephone appointments during the COVID-19 outbreak
Continuing to make online appointments for telephone consultations:
- protects staff and patients from infection
- reduces pressure on phone lines into the practice
- relieves pressure on the practice phone system
- enables the practice to improve workflow
Clinical system configuration
Each practice’s system configuration is likely to be different, so please bear this in mind when using the suppliers’ guides to online appointments.