Weekend e-consults and online access

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We are aware that many practices are receiving online consultations submitted over weekends and triaging these is creating significant workload, often running into several sessions of GP time each week.

Currently there is no requirement for practices to provide online consultations, although there is a commitment for them to become a mandatory part of core GP services in a future iteration of the GP Contract.

Practices may switch off their online consultation platforms outside of core hours, which will normally be done by contacting the platform provider, or in some cases just temporarily removing the link/embedded access to the platform from their website. However, they should make it clear on the page that formerly provided access to the platform that patients should visit NHS 111 instead.