A HAMPSHIRE MP is to speak to the Health Secretary about the pressure online patient services are putting on GPs.

Flick Drummond has recently visited four practices in her Meon Valley constituency and all said the service is increasing workload.

The vast majority of emails need to be looked at by GPs in addition to their face-to-face surgery work or telephoning patients who have called in.

“This online service is great for patients in many ways but it is not so great for GP surgeries who have told me the sheer number of emails is close to overwhelming them,” said Ms Drummond.

“GPs are working at capacity and doing a great job with many still offering nearly every patient a face-to-face appointment despite the pressure.

“However, the success of eConsult is a problem. There is evidence that people are emailing in the evening when it could wait until the next day when symptoms might have abated. However, the email still needs to be looked at and acted upon and this is taking up time and resources.

“I will be speaking to Sajid Javid to ask him to look at what can be done to alleviate some of the pressure on GPs. I understand an online tool like this is very helpful, especially in a pandemic, but it can’t be allowed to overwhelm surgery staff.”

Flick Drummond also praised GP surgery staff for all their work in such challenging circumstances.

She said: "From the visits I have undertaken, I can see surgeries are under pressure but doing a fantastic job. I would like to thank them for their dedicated work."