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Online Access System Live from Monday 20th May

We are pleased to announce that Engage Consult (our new online access system) is live from Monday the 20th of May at 08:30. Click here to start a new request.


Ask for help online. It’s simple, secure, and quick.


Big changes

We are acutely aware of the difficulties patients are having in accessing care at Portlethen Medical Centre at the moment. From trying to get through to the practice on the phone to actually getting an appointment with a GP, we understand how frustrating things have been. We are frustrated too!

We are moving a digital access system that will give us the ability to provide a better service, ensuring you get the care you need and in a timely manner.

This means the way you access Portlethen Medical Centre will change.

Digital access

When we change to our new system you will need to complete a simple online form to contact the practice. We will be using a system called Engage Consult which you will be able to access on our website or via a phone app.

To be clear, this is a change to the way patients access care at the practice. The way we deliver care will still primarily be through scheduled appointments. You will still be able to see a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner if you need to.

Can’t access the internet?

Relatives of patients registered with the practice can also submit forms. This is great for those who can’t access the internet and for their family members who are keen to help.

Of course, if you can’t access the internet you can still call the practice in the usual way. When you speak to receptionist they will be able to complete an Engage Consult form on your behalf. This will take a little longer than before so please be patient while they collect all the necessary details from you.

Online forms completed in this way will go into the same queue as those completing the forms for themselves. In this way, everyone will be treated fairly.

Requests for children

Parents can submit Engage Consult forms for their kids without the need to register them for separate online accounts. This should make it so much easier to keep track of your requests.

Temporary residents

If you are not a registered patient at the practice, but are staying for a short time within the practice area then you can register as a temporary resident. Please call the practice first so this can be set up.

How will the system work?

Watch this video to find out…

What happens once I submit a form?

All forms sent to the practice will be reviewed by a trained clinician who will decide how best to take things forward. These decisions will take account of clinical need (first and foremost) as well as your preferences.

Having a clinician at the very start of this process will allow requests to be handled in the most efficient way, thus freeing up resource for those who need it most.

Once the form has been reviewed, one of a number of things may happen:

  • Electronic reply (which may include further questions for you to answer)
  • Face-to-face appointment
  • Telephone appointment
  • Contact from the emergency team

We will do our best to accommodate requests for appointments. The timescale of when you may be offered an appointment will always be based on clinical need, as mentioned above.

Through the new system you will also be able to access self-referral services such as physiotherapy and mental health support. In time we hope to use it to help monitor long-term conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

What if I have an emergency?

If you think you have a genuine medical emergency then please consider calling 999. Though we do our best, Portlethen Medical Centre is not an emergency service.

Urgent queries submitted through Engage Consult will be continuously reviewed and acted upon by our clinical team as they come in. If there are clinical concerns that need dealt with immediately, then someone from our emergency team will contact you.

Of course, if you need to contact the practice urgently you can still call. The emergency line is answered by receptionists who have been trained in medical triage. Please be aware that you may be asked to complete an online form if your call does not meet our emergency criteria.

Can I still access the community ambulance?

Yes, you can. If you need the Portlethen community ambulance to take you to an appointment, please mention this on your form.

What isn’t changing?

You will still be able to call the practice for:

  • Routine nurse appointments (such as chronic disease blood tests)
  • Test results
  • General enquiries

Repeat prescriptions should still be ordered through Patient Services on our website. This service still requires separate accounts for every patient. Unfortunately this is beyond our control.

You can also register as a new patient, request fit/sick notes and upload health data via our website too.

As mentioned above, the way we deliver care will still primarily be through scheduled appointments. You will still be able to see a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner if you need to.

How does this compare to our previous digital access system?

Some of you will remember the previous digital access system that we used during the pandemic. Some people found it very easy to use but some found it difficult to use and time consuming.

Engage Consult is much quicker and easier to use. You can also save your details so you don’t have to enter the same information again and again. You will also be able to read through your previous forms and replies from the practice on the system.

Links

See below for links to our website, as well as the Engage Consult App for both iOS and Android.

On the app you will be able to find our page and register for the Engage Consult service.

Website: https://www.portlethenmedical.co.uk

iOS App: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/engage-consult/id6450985909

Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.engagehealth.consult

Thank you

Once again, thank you from the team at Portlethen Medical Centre. Your patience and support is deeply appreciated.

Portlethen Group Practice

Published 21/04/2024

Updated 09/05/2024, 13/05/2024, 17/05/2024, 20/05/2024