Important update for Practice Managers and Practice Admin Staff: Improving the process for referring long COVID patients


A new, single referral form

Following our email update on Thursday 18 November, we are pleased to announce that the new referral form for long COVID is now live and available for use.

The form has been uploaded to EMIS. Please see attached document with details on how to access and use the form and clinical template in EMIS (for GP practices using SystmOne, this information will follow this week).

OneContact

In addition, a new software tool called OneContact, is being rolled out to all practices who use EMIS or SystmOne. OneContact will make it easier for GPs to complete the new referral form. Patients can be sent a link to a long COVID questionnaire, which they complete using OneContact, and this pre-populates much of the referral form on behalf of the GP. This is as a result of ongoing conversations with GPs, LMCs, clinicians and patients to make referrals easier for both GPs and patients. 

Getting started on OneContact

You will receive a separate email from OneContact with a link to complete your registration (please check your junk folder if you can’t find it in your main inbox!). Please click the link in the email to get started. Instructions on setting up with OneContact are here, and are also available via the ‘Help’ link in OneContact.

Booking your training

To get the most out of OneContact, you can attend a 30-minute online training session with the OneContact team. The training session with include an overview of how to use OneContact as a remote review tool, as well as instructions on how to set up the interoperability with EMIS Web. Please click this link to advise of your preferred slot: https://forms.gle/i9iiL29oRvndb91y5

Training date/time options:

  • Wednesday 1 December – 4pm-4:30pm
  • Thursday 2 December – 4pm-4:30pm
  • Friday 3 December – 8:30am-9am
  • Monday 6 December – 1pm-1:30pm
  • Tuesday 7 December – 9:30am-10am 

Once you’ve confirmed your slot preference through the online calendar, we’ll send you an invite for the session.

The referral process for long COVID

As a reminder, the process for using it will be as follows (this is for people who are 18 and over only, a separate process is being worked up for children and young people):

  1. Patient contacts GP with symptoms of long COVID
  2. Following face-to-face consultation, GP decides to refer patient to long COVID pathway
  3. GP sends patient a text with link to the long COVID form in OneContact
  4. Patient completes the long COVID questionnaire on OneContact.
  5. The patient’s form response is sent into OneContact and can be exported as a PDF or filed into the patient record in EMIS Web.
  6. This populates the majority of the referral form.
  7. GP completes remainder of the referral form.
  8. Referral form is sent to the provider.

Instructions for using OneContact to follow this process are available here.

Please note the following:

  • The existing long COVID referral form is long and time consuming for a GP to complete. The new form allows the patient to complete much of the information via OneContact, removing the burden from GPs.
  • The data requested from using the single referral form is a national requirement – we can’t change this and so we are not able to make the form any shorter.
  • Patients with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, illiteracy etc. will need to complete the form face-to-face with their GP and, if applicable, their carer.
  • We are looking to make the OneContact tool available in different languages for patients who don’t have English as their first language.
  • We can also provide PDF versions of the questionnaire for patients to complete, where they don’t have access to the internet.

Information on local long COVID services

For Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, view a recording of our recent webinar on our long COVID support services: https://youtu.be/4PkIEQBj-ag

For City and Hackney, visit the Homerton web pages here: https://www.homerton.nhs.uk/covid-recovery-and-rehabilitation

For Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, visit the NELFT pages here: https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/information-and-advice-on-long-covid

If you have any questions, please email p.thomas6@nhs.net