The clinicians, reception staff and our administrative team at Riverside Surgery believe that we can offer patients a better more efficient service if we use eConsult as a Total Triage system for all requests whether it be for an appointment or any other type of request both clinical and administrative.  The exceptions to this are appointments with the Practice Nurse.

Please complete an eConsult; if you require a routine telephone appointment, urgent telephone appointment or administrative help.

If you need support to complete an online consultation, please call the surgery.


What is Total Triage?

It means that your requests received by eConsult, both clinical and administrative will be assessed and a decision will be taken to the most appropriate course of action, for instance an appointment arranged, an investigation organised or an administrative task carried out.


What is eConsult?

It’s an online form that you complete to detail your request both clinical and administrative. It can also be completed on your smartphone via the NHS App


We have been using eConsult for some time now so many of our patients will be familiar with using this already although in future all requests will need to be made using eConsult.  For patients that have not used it yet, it is an NHS-approved ‘digital triage and patient history-taking tool’, or it could be described simply as a form on the website that guides the patient through specific questions in relation to the issue that has been selected.  The eConsult form has been designed to enhance patient access, improve practice efficiency and signpost patients to the right place at the right time for their care. You can find it on the home page of our website: for more information.

For anyone in our patient population that is unable to use or complete an eConsult there will be dedicated administrators who will be able to complete an eConsult on their behalf, contact the surgery and this will be arranged for you.


What are the benefits of using eConsult and a total triage system being used for all my requests both clinical and administrative?

Saves you time:

  • save a trip to the surgery – your query may be resolved with a phone call, video consultation or text.


User Friendly:

  • you can access eConsult wherever and whenever you want: at home, at work, on holiday or on the move.
  • you can access it via a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. It is also available via the NHS App, which we strongly urge you to download to use.  Please see our website for more information.
  • you complete an eConsult form at a pace that suits you. It asks the same questions that a doctor would in a consultation, but you have more time to think about your answers.  You can also add pictures if appropriate.
  • you can complete an eConsult query for a child over 6 months of age. For children under 6 months please contact the surgery and an eConsult will be arranged for you.


Examples of where eConsult can make your life easier:

  • requests for letters and sick notes
  • diagnosis and advice about treatment without the need for a face to face appointment
  • opportunity for you and your doctor to plan investigations before seeing a GP – meaning one appointment rather than two.
  • when (after lockdown!) you are planning a trip and want advice on travel health and vaccinations
  • contraceptive pill checks and some other long-term condition reviews


Supports self-care:

  • medical advice is available via eConsult at any time. It includes NHS self-help information, pharmacy advice, signposting to other services and an on-line symptom checker


Clinically-supported and digitally safe:

  • eConsult was created by NHS GPs for NHS patients and is under constant review
  • the robust ‘red flagging’ system applied to every eConsult enquiry ensures that patients with urgently worrying symptoms are directed immediately to a person-based service
  • eConsult uses the highest security standards to ensure patient information is always secure


Why eConsult is great for the Riverside Surgery team?

  • knowing a patients symptoms upfront helps the practice get you the help you need from the right person straightaway
  • gathering information in a standard format helps doctors address patient needs efficiently
  • admin queries get filtered direct to the team that handles them

Why eConsult is great for our patients?

  • Total Triage ensures that your eConsult is directed and dealt with appropriately making this a better and more efficient experience for you!

One Appointment One Problem 

Appointments are 10 minutes long.  We ask that you try to observe the "One Appointment, One Problem" ethos by avoiding saving up your medical problems and bringing a list to the doctor or nurse practitioner.  We strive to deal with each medical problem to the highest standard and this proves impossible if we are expected to deal with a number of problems in one appointment.

Also your appointment is booked for you only, so please do not expect the doctor to deal with the problem of a relative or a child in addition during your appointment.  Please make a separate appointment for your relative/child if they need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner as well as yourself.


Any patient who arrives for a face to face appointment more than 10 minutes late may be asked to re-book their appointment.  The doctor or nurse practitioner is under no obligation to see a patient who arrives late and it is at their discretion.


If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.

To cancel 8-8 Hub Appointments when Riverside Surgery is closed please call;

  • Queen Mary’s Hospital: 0208 269 4120
  • Erith Hospital: 01322 356150    

To leave a message stating your Name, the Time and Date of the appointment you wish to cancel.

Home Visits / House Calls

A request needs to be made before 10:00am. This request is initially taken by a member of the reception team, they will ask the reason for your request as this information enables the Doctor to plan their calls and allow urgent visits to be dealt with promptly.

The Home Visit request message will be passed onto the GP/NP on duty, who will then call you and assess whether a Home Visit is eminent.

Please do not call the doctor out unless the patient is genuinely too ill to come to the surgery.

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website