NHS Fife Axes GP Patient Personal Consultations in parts of Fife when the NHS is Supposed to be ‘Open’

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NHS Fife Axes GP Patient Personal Consultations in parts of Fife when the NHS is Supposed to be ‘Open’

Opinion and Editorial.
Without any consultation, letter or email to patients NHS Fife on Wednesday 19th August caused pensioners, some of the public, and Disabled people unnecessary hardship and distress. Forcing people to use a flawed online system or a poor telephone system to arrange online GP Appointments. Emergency appointments banned and no physical GP appointments allowed. 
We have tested the form – we would suggest the text is increased in size to at least 14 point – ideally 16 point for the partially sighted – with an option for 20 point.  We also would suggest that the following information should be collected first before any search for a medical condition, remember we may be dealing with someone that is not very well.  This would be the best order. That is telephone number, (Collect the information on entry),
Post Code, (Collect the information), House Number (Collect the information), 
Street (Collect the information),
Name (Collect the information). 
End of Editorial and opinion
Here is the story from “What’s happening Dalgety” on Facebook. This is just one comment…
Tried to call surgery today
9 times I called before I got through
Sometimes 3 mins before the line went silent some times 9 mins”
By try 4 I attempted going online what a flaming palaver”
“I gave up and started calling again
Was ever so glad to eventually get through
So told the receptionist what was wrong and what I required she suggested going online I explained the problems I was having.  She said okay I will get someone to call you back”
“A while later someone did call and took my details and within an hour or so the Doctor called me back”
“It was just as well I had nothing better to do with my afternoon and that it wasn’t urgent”
“God help anyone that’s worse than me on a pc (personal computer)”
“And really annoying when the phones go doolally when the new BT system installed in January starts doing what it used to do before the upgrade which was also the reason for the upgrade”
“Eventually got sorted but it was very frustrating”
“Thankfully the staff were great but what would have happened if I didn’t have a smartphone or access to the net etc”
“I’m rubbish when it comes to doing everything online”
“I much prefer dealing with a person
I understand for some it is easier to do everything online”
“But too many especially during these isolating times it’s yet another loss of human contact”
“And that makes me sad for and inclusive society as it shuts so many out”
Here is the story from What’s Happening Dalgety Bay see www.facebook.com/1600085600219792/posts/2746652448896429/?d=n but the information is below:
Dalgety Bay Health:  Inverkeithing Medical Group (IMG) – Online Consultations from tomorrow.  The story below via IMG


If you don’t have a computer, device, or smartphone to make your appointment don’t worry. You have two options. 

1) Contact a friend with an appropriate device and ask your friend to enter the details

2) Phone the surgery as usual. They will then arrange for someone to phone you back. But the downside is that you may not get help on the day. 

Just slightly concerned a two-tier system is being implemented here that put those without computer equipment at risk. 

40% of the population do not have computer access.

80% of those over 65 and the disabled do not have Internet Access.

Quoting from the info below:

“Will I be able to telephone for an appointment on the day?

The best way to seek medical help is to complete the online form.”

Slightly, concerned that people will be surprised by the changes tomorrow as the information is only available online. I have not had a letter personally from the surgery telling me about the changes. It will come as a shock to a lot of patients

End of Editorial.

Below is a full note from IMG

‘From 19th of August, the Practice will be introducing a new way to seek help to manage your health conditions.

Please go to our website:


Click on the button below and complete the online form.

There is no need to telephone or come to the Practice.

Online Consult provides information and advice

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Forms will be dealt with during normal

working hours, Monday-Friday


Why are we changing our Appointment System?

As lockdown measures continue to change, we have had to follow the Health Protection Scotland Guidance and adapt the way we deal with patients’ medical problems. To keep patients and staff safe, we will have to deal with patients remotely wherever possible.

Working differently will help us to free up capacity, offer a sustainable service, and ensure that our patients access the right person in the right place at the right time in a safe way. We have a range of clinical and professional staff available to offer health care to patients to help us to do this.

What if I do not have a computer, smartphone, tablet/iPad?

Online Consult does not require registration logins or password so a family member or friend can complete the online form on your behalf, even if they do not live at your address.

Patients with no means to access the online form can telephone the Surgery.Your details will be taken and you will be placed on a list for a call back from a member of staff who will complete the form for you, with your input.

What if I am under 16?

Please ask a parent or guardian to fill out the form on your behalf.

If you do not wish a parent or guardian to know you are contacting the Surgery then please telephone Reception.

How quickly will someone deal with the form?

We will aim to deal with the form as quickly as possible throughout the day but no later than 2 working days (excluding weekends and public holidays) after receipt.

Will I be able to telephone for an appointment on the day?

The best way to seek medical help is to complete the online form.

If you are looking for advice on the day, the earlier the form is completed, the more likely you will receive advice on the day.


You can access this system 24/7 even when the Practice is closed. The system offers a wealth of advice and information including leaflets and videos directing you to appropriate services to help you self-manage your condition – all advice will be tailored based on your symptoms.

All advice and information provided are clinically approved.

No more waiting to get through on the telephone.

We will call you back during Surgery opening hours, saving you any telephone costs.

It will be easier to include confidential information on the online form so no more embarrassing conversations over the telephone.

The form will allow you to provide more detailed information/history of your symptoms, allowing the Clinician to provide the most appropriate care for you.

The Clinician will consider whether you need to be seen remotely or face to face, and we will try to accommodate a suitable time and place for this to happen.


Go to our website home page:


Click on the Big Blue Online Consult Button.

Search for your symptom or condition.

Select the result that matches.

Fill in the online form outlining your symptoms to view relevant information tailored to your result.

Please enter all your contact details on the form, i.e. landline telephone number, mobile telephone number and email address.

If you still need help after viewing the support information, submit the form directly to us.

A Clinician will review the form and consider the most appropriate care for you based on your symptoms.

I am worried about the confidentiality of information submitted:

You can be reassured that Online Consult has passed stringent security and is approved for use by NHS Fife.

All our staff adhere to a strict confidentiality policy and will only use information submitted to ensure that the right person deals with this, e.g. medication advice will be dealt with by our Practice Pharmacist.


Booking a Nursing/Phlebotomy Appointment

You can continue to book an appointment with the Nurse or Phlebotomist by phoning the Surgery to make an appointment.

Repeat Prescription Requests

You can continue to request repeat prescriptions online via Patient Access, via the Community Pharmacy or posting in the Prescription Box at the Surgery.

We would encourage you to register for Patient Access to order your repeat prescriptions. If you wish to register for Patient Access please contact the Surgery for more details.

Housecall Requests

Housecall requests can be made via telephone, preferably before 10 am.

Palliative Care Patients

Palliative care patients can call us on the telephone at any time. 

Need More Info:

If you require further information about Online Consult, please email us at




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