Radnor House Surgery & Ascot Medical Centre now offers a 21st century method of consulting a GP. I tried it and found it to be pleasanter, quicker and much more satisfactory, than a traditional consultation!

On their website Home page, click on the blue strip ‘Consult Our Doctors Online

You’ll be offered a wide range of conditions to click on. Or type your condition into the Search box and more detailed options will appear. I typed in rash and the drop-down menu offered me ‘hives’,   ‘urticaria’ and so on . This was very helpful and you feel you're getting somewhere quickly.

At this point we are also offered three options on what kind of consultation we’re seeking:

This is an example of how very well designed this system is. At an early stage, the doctor knows what the patient is trying to get out of the consultation. (It might be an idea to state this up front, in face to face consultations?)

So for example, if you click on ‘I want help for my condition’ and opt for ‘Hayfever’ , you will again be offered choices which clarify what the patient’s aims are.

After this, you click on  ‘Start my Consultation’, make a few declarations ( You must be a patient -not a proxy, and not be an emergency) and then fill in a more detailed form.  After that, your answers are sent securely to the Surgery, where GP’s review your answers and get back to you by 6.30pm on the next weekday. A much faster result for routine consultations than traditional methods!

Without giving away too much about my nasty little rash, the system worked extremely well for me. A GP rang me back next morning, having clearly read my answers and looked at the photos I’d attached. This ability of the doctor to study the symptoms and photos before we 'met', meant we had a much more meaningful discussion than we could’ve had if I’d just walked in to his consulting room, with none of the background  and aims established.

The result I got filled me with confidence; I got helpful advice and a rapid referral to a specialist.

We all know that frustration, after a visit to the doctor – it  was all over so fast, you forgot to mention that vital symptom, you didn’t really get what you wanted but had you thought about what you did want anyway? Well this e-consultation makes all that much less likely. All without leaving home! And gone are the battles to get through on the phone at 8.30am, and appointments two weeks hence.  You're guided smoothly through the process. You need no particular IT ability; it's certainly very easy for anyone who has ever ordered goods online or uploaded an image to social media .  It’s great; can’t recommend it highly enough!

Does your surgery offer eConsultations? E-mail us at editor@ascotmatters.co.uk