Phoning the patient’s general practitionerBMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7048 (Published 13 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7048
All rapid responses
My staff were once so in awe of hospital doctors that they would interrupt whatever I was doing and put them straight through.. without enquiring about any whys or wherefores.
After the interruption of too many crucial consultations, emergencies, or private ablutions, just to ask about a patient's medication, or the timing of the Annual dinner, I put a stop to it.
My staff are instructed to establish who is calling and why, and to give me the option to respond now or later.
NHS email is only a solution for those GPs who have discovered it ! I dread to think how many urgent email messages await my colleagues - whom remain oblivious to their nhs mail addresses !!
A really good solution is the FAX machine.
Consultants or their minions could fax requests for medical histories, or allergies, with minimum effort and time-wasting. We would fax back type-written legible and reliably lasting information, that could be added to the patient record. Our path lab for example would instantly fax serious abnormal blood results, and INRs, to our practice. They could be assured we had received them without delay, and could ask for immediate acknowledgement.
But this year the All-Wales Central Committee diktat broke our working solutions, and despatched us to the gulag.
Competing interests: Time, gentleman. please
One readily available and free method would be to use NHSmail. Emails sent between addresses with the @nhs.net suffix are encrypted and may be used to transfer patient details. These email accounts are available from www.nhs.net and work on all computers and most mobiles.
Competing interests: GP