Triage system to manage patient calls and requests

From Monday 03.10.2022, the way you contact your practice is changing and improving

We plan to move to a process of online triage, where a clinician will triage all clinical requests that come into the practice to help determine their urgency and allocate appointments accordingly.

We appreciate that the phone system, put in place across Oldham By GMSS, has led to significant waiting times to contact reception. By introducing a triage model, we can deal with requests in timely manner for patients.

We hope that most requests will be submitted online but will continue to provide the facility for patients to contact reception where they may find online services difficult to access.

On our website, there will be lots of health information, and by filling in a simple online form you can obtain advice and treatment. Conveniently, you can send your request in between 7:00 am and 11:30 am . This time has been limited for now, while we understand our ability to manage demand. This may change to allow wider hours of access in time in the future. Your enquiry will then be dealt with by the most appropriate member of staff who will contact you via phone or text.

If you are unable to use or access the online form, then please contact the Surgery in the usual way, and a member of our team will help complete the request for you

Your request will be assessed by Triage clinician throughout the day. Once triaged:

  • If it is felt your problem is of an urgent nature, the practice will contact you the same day
  • If it is felt your problem is of a routine nature, the practice will respond within 2 working days

Please provide as much information as you can as this will help the clinician to assess your request and provide you with the most appropriate care for your needs.

We would recommend any patients able to use the online form themselves please do so that receptionist can help assist patients with less online capability or availability. Please also be reassured that when you discuss any concerns with our receptionists, it is always in the strictest of confidence.

What happens after an online consultation?

After a patient submits an online consultation, a triage clinican will review this, and decide on the most appropriate care based on the information provided. This might be:

  • an email or text reply with information on how you can manage your own symptoms, 
  • a prescription, available to collect from your nominated pharmacy,
  • a sick note, 
  • a follow-up phone call, or video-call with a healthcare professional to ask further questions, 
  • or a face-to-face appointment with the appropriate healthcare professional. These can come from the wide range of services available within the NHS.


How online consultations help to improve patient choice

An online consultation may feel less embarrassing or daunting than talking to a receptionist by phone or in person. It also allows you to provide more information than you would normally provide to a receptionist.

Some patients may find it easier to fill out an online consultation rather than wait in a queue to speak to a receptionist and may help the disappointment of being asked to call back the next day when appointments have all been booked.

These requests can help to maintain continuity with their regular GP. Where patients are not in need of an urgent appointment, a routine appointment with their regular or requested GP can be arranged instead.

Patients, please be aware that if you choose to ring Reception, we will still have to complete a form for you, helped by the receptionist.