answering emergency calls

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • the commonest reason for serious complaints against GP's is failure to visit
  • requests for 'telephone advice only' may be just timidity to ask for a visit
  • unnecessary-seeming requests may indicate a previous bad experience - so find out what's worrying the patient
  • gentle patient education can be effective but ALWAYS after the problem has been adequately dealed with
  • talk to the patient directly whenever possible, not through intermediaries
  • spend as much time on the phone as you would in a routine consultation if you don't intend to see the patient
  • state when you're likely to be there if a visit is required