Configure Appointment Details

From Monday 13th May, the practice aims to extend the access via e-consult access for queries Monday -Friday from 8am-5pm.

Online access using e-consult is now the preferred method of contacting Crocus Medical Practice to find advice on self-help for medical conditions, self-referral to services such as physiotherapy or to submit a query direct to the practice about a Health Problem or an Administrative query such as requesting fit notes, letters, or test results.

To access the e-Consult service please click on the image below, to lauch the e-Consult service. 

Econsult FAQ's

How can I contact my surgery?

From Monday 13th May, the practice aims to extend the access via e-consult access for queries Monday -Friday from 8am-5pm.

If you do not have computer or smartphone access, have accessibility needs, are a parent of a baby younger than 6 months old, or just prefer to pick up the telephone - you can still ring the surgery on 01799 522327 and speak with a member of our Care Navigation Team who will assist you by completing a brief online e-consult lite request.

This means that whatever your preferred way of contacting the surgery is, either online, by phone or in person, all requests are processed in the same way to reduce inequality of access.

Important Notice – If a patient cannot use the internet, they should be prepared to provide brief medical information to our trained Care Navigators for them to complete the questionnaire on their behalf. All practice staff are bound by confidentiality agreements. Without this information we are not able to process your request safely.

How do I access E-consult?

  1. Via the E-consult Box on the practice website and then click on the E-consult picture Get Started.
  2. Via the NHS app - select Ask My GP
  3. Via the e consult patient login page - https://econsult.net/nhs-patients/how-to-use-econsult

What is E-consult?

e-Consult is a platform that allows you to seek NHS self-help information, access local services you can self-refer to such as physiotherapy and allows you to seek advice online from your own GP for your condition or if you need general or administrative advice from the practice.

If you are interested in seeing how it works using a dummy page please follow this link link: https://demo.webgp.com/ but please DO not use this link for your own queries.

Who can submit an e-consult?

An e-consult can be completed by patients, young people aged 16-18 yrs and for limited conditions for the parents, and guardians of children between 6 months and 18 years.

For babies younger than 6 months old please telephone the practice on 01799 522327.

The practice can prioritise the review of e-consults based submitted on behalf of our youngest and eldest patients.

How does submitting a clinical query work?

e-Consult is an online system that prompts patients to provide information that describes their current medical concern. Patients will be asked questions about their symptoms, and it will only take a few minutes to complete. The completed form is called a health questionnaire. In having this information upfront, your practice can then decide on the best course of action for helping you manage your symptoms and condition, and this may mean you don’t have to come into the surgery unnecessarily.

After adding some personal details, to verify identity, the e-Consult system first uses built-in clinical knowledge to determine if help is needed more quickly than the Practice can provide e.g. emergency services. In these cases, the system will stop processing the request and suggest how to seek urgent medical advice.

All patients are advised to follow the advice given by e-Consult as this is correct on the back of the information a patient has given the system. If you disagree with the advice given patients are given the opportunity to amend their answers. Patients are recommended to be honest when answering the questions and it is important to understand that e-Consult has been designed to advise ALL patients; from those who are fit and well to those who need urgent and in some cases emergency care.

What happens after I submit my e-consult?

Once you have submitted your e-Consult online, you will receive a copy of the e-Consult report via email. This email will also contain the unique reference number for your e-Consult, should you need to speak to the practice about any of the information in contains.

The practice will respond to your clinical e-Consult within 3 working days, but aims to do this sooner.

The practice may respond in a variety of ways, based on the advised next steps or the urgency of the information you have provided:


  1. In the case of a minor illness, we could text or email to advise a visit to the pharmacy in the first instance.
  2. Sometimes our clinicians may telephone if they need further information or if they consider that your query could best be resolved by phone. This will save you from having to come into the practice.
  3. We may request that you submit a photo. This video explains how: https://youtu.be/z3abZDtvyUU?si=tTPpVPTY4qcSisKM
  4. If our clinicians decide that a face-to-face appointment is needed with one of our Healthcare Professionals either same day or at a later date and our Care Navigators will text or phone, you with a date and time depending on the nature of your query.
  5. Alternatively, we may arrange investigations to be completed before a face-to-face appointment, so that a shared management plan can be agreed at the time of your appointment.



  1. Always let us know if there is a time that you cannot take a call or attend the surgery in a free text area of the e-Consult questionnaire. We cannot guarantee that we will manage it but we will always look to accommodate.
  2. Please look out for a call from an “unknown number” because the practice has an unknown number, and it is not possible to change this.
  3. If you receive a text message or email, you may not be able to respond to the message you have received. This is to ensure your safety, as we cannot discuss personal matters unless we are certain we are speaking to you, or someone who you have authorised to speak to us on your behalf.

What happens if I believe I need to be seen on the same day?

  1. Submit as much clinical information as possible on the consult form as this will enable the system to flag up any clinical urgency
  2. Free text in one of the free-text response boxes with your availability
  3. Same day appointments are offered based on clinical need and cannot be used to fast track administrative requests.
  4. If you have not had a final response by 4pm or you believe your condition is worsening, then please contact reception on 01799 522327 who will request a clinical review of your e-consult.

 Who is data that a patient discloses on e-Consult shared with?

The data that a patient shares on e-Consult is not shared with any third-party companies. It is matched to your clinical record by Care Navigators at Crocus Medical Centre and then reviewed by the clinical team at the practice. All staff are bound by practice confidentiality agreements.


What is an administrative query?

This pathway can be used to:


  1. To discuss a recent test result:

Our clinicians will contact you to discuss abnormal results either by phone or text as clinically appropriate.


The practice does not receive results requested directly by Addenbrookes or other Hospital’s but patients can register and view result requested directly by Addenbrookes on My Chart and should contact the Hospital Service directly about what the next steps are either via my chart or using the contact details on your clinic letters.


  1. To request a Sick/Fit Note:


If a Fit Note is requested, a text will be sent with the note attached or to notify you of when it is ready for collection unless the clinician needs to speak with you by phone or see you face to face first.


  1. To request a Maternity Exemption Certificate:


Maternity Exemption Certificates are usually provided by your midwives but,  if you do  request one, a text will be sent to notify you of when it is ready for collection.

    4. Other


  1. To request a medicine that is not on repeat: If medication is requested that is not on your repeat prescription, we will notify you when it has been issued unless the clinician needs to speak with you by phone or see you face to face first which may be necessary for new prescriptions which weren’t issued by the hospital or other providers. If the document hasn’t been received yet by the practice, then this may cause a short delay whilst we verify the request. We think patients may prefer to use this route rather than the clinical route for prescription requests to make it faster for them, and then we will redivert your query in-house into our clinical workstream.

     2.To request a referral: Your referral request will be passed onto the appropriate member of staff who will text you when it has been done or                arrange a phone call or face to face appointment to discuss it further.

     3.To chase up an existing referral:

     4.If you have been referred in a 2WW cancer pathway then please use e consult if you haven’t been given an appointment within 2 weeks

     5. For all other appointments, If you are waiting for an appointment at a hospital or provided by another service, please use the NHS App to                     monitor  its availability. Please contact the hospital or service directly via My Chart, on the phone numbers of your clinic letter or by contacting            the Patient Advice and Liasion Service (PALS) for that service.Addenbrookes PALS: Email cuh.pals@nhs.net. Phone: 01223 216756 9am to 4pm            Monday to Friday

      6.To query a rejected referral: To manage their waiting lists many hospitals and services are tightening their referral criteria and rejecting more         referrals than ever before. Sometimes it may be because they need more information or because they think another service might be more                   suitable but occasionally it may be because Saffron Walden is out of area as we are in Essex whilst our nearest acute hospital is in Cambridge. You         may have experienced this for pain clinic referrals or children’s epilepsy services as examples. As a practice, we are trying to mitigate and bridge           these issues and we will work with you to help navigate you to the right service.


How will I benefit?

You won’t have to walk in or queue on the phone as soon as the practice opens to get an appointment - you simply tell the practice what you need help or advice for, and they will review your request and get back to you no later than by the end of the next working day.

The service will make interacting with your GP more convenient - you may not have to come into the practice to get help, meaning you don’t have to take unnecessary days off from work or can stay at home if you feel poorly.

e-Consult allows you the flexibility to seek advice from your GP or help yourself to manage your condition or symptoms wherever you are at work or home.

How will the practice benefit?

The practice will be easier to access because most requests will be received online, freeing up the phone lines.

Going forward, Digital first is our preferred method of accessing the practice as it will reduce inequality, making access fairer for all patients as all contacts will be passed via e-consult whether made online by the patient or for those who can’t access the internet or have disabilities our Care Coordinators will submit an e-consult by taking details over the phone or if a patient walks in.

The practice will find it easier to identify patients who really need to be seen sooner e.g. for symptoms of suspected cancer. This is because we will already have an idea of what you might need help for because of the questionnaire you complete. This will improve safety by making sure those who need to be seen sooner can be.

Appointments can be offered based on clinical need, so patients get seen by the right clinician first time around. This means that we can better manage available resources in a time of difficulties within the NHS. This may mean you can have tests done before your appointment.

Why are you making these changes?

As we’re sure you have read in the media, the NHS faces many concerns, and general practice is a key part of ensuring patients get the best care. We need to do all we can to modernise and prepare for future challenges. We have also listened carefully to patient feedback.

People are living longer and with more long-term health problems that require more medical help and support. Patients are going to see their GP twice as many times each year as they were 10 years ago while individual core practice funding is continuing to decrease relative to inflation, so we are being asked to do more with less. There is increasing difficulty for practices to recruit and retain doctors or other staff to work in their surgeries and in the last few years, across the UK, many practices have had to close because of this.

Continually developing and modernising the way we work as a practice will help us provide a high-quality service to patients while ensuring that we remain a strong and sustainable medical practice for the future so that this care can be provided to generations of families to come.

Initially, like other practices who have made this change, we expect to experience increased demand, as some patients will be curious to test it out, others may not have been able to access appointments under the old system and some patients may feel anxious about the change whilst others will be pleased. We will continue to listen to feedback and improve the system using the data it provides us with. As demand subsides after the first few months, and patients have greater confidence that they can access the surgery across the day, most practices find that patients start to feel the benefits of being able to access their surgery when they want to- to get the right care, from the right person at the right time.

We believe that going forward, e-Consult allows us to offer you more convenient access to information and advice. It helps us to deliver safer care to our patients, allowing us to prioritise patients who need more care sooner or need to be seen face to face, whilst still enabling us to provide advice to patients who have a less urgent need for advice. Above all, it is the only feasible option open to the practice within our current funding envelope to end the “8am rush.”

How can I feedback about e-consult?

Each e-consult request has a patient feedback form, and this data is monitored.

How will e-consult affect my annual review for my Long-Term Health Conditions?

The practice has protected appointments for the management of long-term conditions so you will continue to be invited for a review in the month of your birth.

You may be invited for a blood test appointment and sent questionnaires before your appointment so we can target your needs more effectively during your appointments.

If you don’t receive an invitation, please submit an admin e-consult so we can chase it up.


What if I just want to see a doctor?

Your health and that of ALL patients is of paramount importance to us. We recognise that sometimes patients just want to ‘check in’ with their doctor. If this is the case you need to access our website and select the lighter blue e-Consult box which says 'I need administrative help'.

When you reach the question, which asks 'What administrative issue can we help you with?' please select 'Other' and write your message to the GP. Please do not forget to tell us which GP the message is for.