Significant changes to booking your appointments


After an extensive review of access to our services, we are writing to advise you that there will be a significant change to the way in which you access our clinical appointments as from week commencing 16th October 2023.

All requests for clinical appointments are to be made through our online consultation service ‘eConsult’. A link to this system can be found on the home page of our website and it can also be sent to your mobile phone via text message by a member of our Patient Assistant Team or can be accessed by visiting the eConsult website and typing ‘Downend Health Group’ into the search field.

You will be asked several questions relating to your problem. It is important that you answer these truthfully, and in full, to assist our newly appointed ‘eConsult Navigation Team’ in booking your appointment appropriately. All the information you provide will be treated in accordance with our confidentiality policy and will be managed in the strictest of confidence.

Not all symptoms require a GP appointment. We will be using a variety of experienced healthcare professionals, both in the community and practice-based, to manage your concerns. The information you provide will be used to enable our team to navigate your appointment to the most appropriate clinician.

You will receive an acknowledgement confirming that we have received your eConsult. It will then be managed in order of priority, ensuring those patients

that require our urgent care and attention receive it that same day. Requests identified as, suitable for a routine appointment, will be responded to within two working days.

In the interests of offering a safe and effective consulting service, please can we remind you that our clinicians are only able to treat one medical concern at each appointment. You will need to submit a further eConsult if you have more than one medical concern that you would like to discuss.

We appreciate that some patients may not feel confident in using this service. To assist, our Patient Assistants will be available on the phones or at front desk to submit an eConsult on your behalf. Please note, this will not expedite your request. It will be submitted in the exact same way as any other eConsult and managed by our team following the same navigation pathways.

We recognise change can be difficult and, at times, can cause frustration. Our staff are here to help you, please be mindful of this when speaking with members of our team.

We trust these changes will prove to be positive ones, which will provide you all with equitable access to our services.

Published: Aug 25, 2023