North Road Suite

Appointment Cancellation

Lines open 8.00am – 6.30pm

Why have we changed from Engage Consult to PATCHS and What is PATCHS?

PATCHS is an online consultation system

Online consultation systems have been around for a while, but have so far had limited impact on primary care.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all GP practices are expected to have an online consultation system, and NHS England recommends they should be used for all initial patient contacts to reduce the spread of the virus.

How does PATCHS work?

Patients register for an account via our practice website or smartphone.

Patients submit requests about health issues and other queries using the PATCHS ‘Chatbot’.

Benefits for patients

Improved access. Patients can submit requests any time (depending on when you have PATCHS turned on) without having to wait on the phone.

Quick response. They get a quicker response from a clinician than having to wait for an appointment in future.

Convenience. Patients usually don’t have leave their house if consulted via PATCHS.

Support for vulnerable patients. Carers can use PATCHS on their behalf – but for those that don’t have carers and cannot use a computer or smartphone, PATCHS frees up the phone lines for them.

Many patients prefer communicating in writing. Because it’s easier for them to describe their symptoms more fully and accurately than they could in a traditional telephone or face-to-face consultation, they can take their time to answer questions, can review and edit them before submitting, and have a written record to refer back to in future. This is particularly helpful for patients with anxiety or autistic spectrum disorder because they may find it difficult to communicate verbally how they’re feeling. Some patients say it’s easier for them to discuss sensitive topics, such as mental health issues, in writing rather than on the phone or face-to-face. We’ve found this is particularly true for male patients who may have avoided seeking help from the doctors before.

Patients can use their own words to describe their issues. Rather than certain other online consultation systems where they have to answer lots of yes/no tick box questions.