Our e-Consult service runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week, providing a service whereby our clinicians and administrators will respond to any clinical or admin query within 1 working day. When the service launched, numbers were low, but in part due to the pandemic, and also as word of mouth has spread news of the service, the number of consultations has become very difficult for our staff to keep up with.
We are considering how to manage this demand to protect our staff from burnout whilst ensuring a continued high quality of replies to all enquiries.
The slight change we are making is to close the e-Consult service to new enquiries on weekends and during the night so that the service will only accessible Mon-Fri 8am -8pm.
We will still respond to enquiries received on a Friday on the day following as we do have a Saturday service.
Patients wishing to make enquiries on a Saturday or Sunday can simply submit their query on the Monday morning. As the service is not designed to cover emergencies, we believe this is a responsible and safe move.