What is telephone Triage?
This is the delivery of appropriate clinical care by telephone. The clinician assesses through a detailed history whether a prescription, be it advice and/or medication, is sufficient to replace the need for a face to face consultation. It is not necessarily designed to save time, but may do so for patient and clinician by providing streamlining access to appropriate primary care services.
Less waiting for an appointment
Reduced travel costs / interference with work
Reduction in use of A/E
Patients who contact the surgery for an urgent on the day appouintment will be asked for a contact number on which a GP could contact them. The patient does not necessarily need to ring the surgery as soon as the lines are open as there are appointments available throughout the day and the gp will prioritise the calls. When the GP telephones the patient they will dicuss the individual patient needs and decide together the most appropriate course of treatment. This may be an appointment with the GP that day, or with another healthcare professional within the practice; collection of prescription etc; or require the patient to attend the surgery or hospital for diagnostic tests (bloods; xray;ultrasound scan etc) prior to having a face to face consultation with their gp. The GP will arrange for an appointment with the patient when they will have the results of any investigations rather than the patient having to attend the surgery; then the hospital and then a further GP appointment saving time and hopefully improving the patient treatment pathway.