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Telephone Consultations course for GPs

Speciality Classification
General Practice ( GP ) / Family Medicine
Time / Duration
30 minutes
Subject matter expert
e-Learning for Healthcare
Endorsed By
Royal College of General Practitioners

This session explores the issues that may arise when a consultation is conducted over the telephone, including how to minimise the possible negative factors. The advantages of using the phone are then discussed, following by a presentation of best practice advice.

This session was reviewed by Khyati Bakhai and last updated in December 2020.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • List the reasons why the telephone can be an advantageous consultation tool
  • Describe the drawbacks and possible negative outcomes
  • List the reasons why some people may not be comfortable talking on the phone
  • Discuss what sort of conversations should be avoided
  • Give examples of best practice guidelines for using the telephone as part of a consultation

People have been using the telephone to consult a doctor from the time the telephone was invented in 1876. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a huge change in practice where over a short period of time, the majority of consultations across the country were initially taking place remotely, particularly over the phone.

Entry Requirements / Prerequisites

Before commencing this session you should:

  • Have had experience of talking with patients on the telephone
  • Have observed senior clinicians consulting on the telephone
Instructors / Speakers
Michael Innes,
GP Principal, Stirchley Medical Practice. Clinical Chair, Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group

As a GP, Michael Innes works in a large urban practice in Telford that has a strong tradition of training at all levels of medicine.

Until 2011, Dr Innes worked as a Senior Lecturer in the department of Primary Care at the University of Birmingham. Both his MSc and PhD concentrated on telephone consultations in primary care. He has published both on telephone consultations and on electronic records.

Dr Innes has been involved in further training for doctors with specific communication needs. He has facilitated training on organisational aspects of primary care as well as on telephone use for all practice staff. He has also been an author, actor and editor for the RCGP communication skills DVD.

In 2011 he swapped his Academic role for a commissioning one and he now is the Clinical Chair of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group.

Telephone Consultations course for GPs
Interest Areas / Topics Covered
Provider Type
Education Provider
Time / Duration
30 minutes
Access Duration (in months)
Programs this course belongs to
Modules this course belongs to
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