Who’s calling?

The College’s Clinical Adviser Dr Susan Blakeney FCOptom deals with anonymous enquiries and her favoured order of routine tests.

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How do you deal with anonymous enquiries? We all know the importance of keeping a record of queries that are received, but what if a patient phones up and won’t give their name? How do you deal with it? 

I have not phoned NHS111 for many years, but when I did, they wouldn’t let me pass go without taking my name, date of birth, etc. This was presumably so that they could access my medical history, but it also meant that they could keep a record of the enquiry. Do you do that if a patient phones up? I am sure that if an existing patient phones up, we would all take a note of their name so that we could access their record and give appropriate advice based on their symptoms and history. However, would you also do this if a new patient contacts you? 

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