Implementing total triage best practice for online consultations

Coordinating a national resource to support the implementation of online consultations, minimise face-to-face appointments, and provide the best outcomes for patients.


Total triage is a methodology being used by NHSE across the UK to keep face-to-face consultations to a minimum and limited only to patients with no COVID symptoms. Clinicians needed to be able to triage and consult as if they were physically present in a GP practice. SCW was asked to be part of the blended delivery team to support the implementation for the SE and SW regions and to coordinate the CSU involvement nationally.


The project provided advice on how to establish a remote ‘total triage’ model in general practice using online consultations, enabling practices to triage the best treatment pathway before the GP gets involved, and also encourage the use of other online patient-facing services. We are part of the blended delivery team involving existing local provision, NHSX, NHSD, NHSE/I AHSN and Astra Zeneca, and SCW is managing the national CSU participation/involvement in the programme to fill gaps where needed.


SCW is contributing to the delivery of the nationwide position where 79% of practices are now live with online consultations, and video consultation capability is available to most (at least 93%) practices.

For practices, the ability to use online consultation systems allows about a quarter of all requests to be closed with an electronic message.

The use of online systems can increase resilience by enabling more adaptable working patterns and giving staff more control over managing their time and workloads.


Stephanie Colborne

Programme Manager, Informatics, Digital Transformation

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