mHEALTH-INNOVATE (29) Q2: How do you use your phone to communicate with colleagues, patients and families? (4)

18 April, 2022


I work as a GP in Sheffield and North Derbyshire. [UK]

With patients - never use my own mobile phone - use the platform on the desktop to do video calls, text messages and use landline phone to ring them on. I would never share my personal mobile number or email with a patient.

When I was doing my medical student teaching and arranging for a patient to come and talk with the students, any correspondence was done through the GP practice email address.

On a home visit I may use my own mobile phone to speak with ambulance service to arrange transport or the hospital to arrange an admission.

With colleagues - often reply to work emails on my phone.

If ringing during surgery clinical time to a specialist i.e. dermatology, I may leave my personal mobile phone number for the doctor to get directly back in touch with me that day, as getting back through the surgery switchboard can be a lengthy wait at times and I want them to contact me back asap about a clinical concern.

I’m in a local "medic mum's" Whatsapp group - ranging from sharing clinical knowledge, support groups/networks available (always confidential re any info for patients). Discussion regarding own children's symptoms eg rashes or injuries.

Then more social ideas like current activities on for children at the museum or in the city centre.

Also in a med student teaching Whatsapp groups where useful resources and teaching experiences and support is shared.

Facebook - on my phone through app - a few GP and Physician mum's support networks - current news affairs often discussed and also new CPD (free ones) which are available, maybe seeking out support for family members who are in different areas of the country, supporting doctors who are struggling, support for social personal circumstances like Ukraine war.

Hope this is helpful

Sara Fairclough

GP Locum Sheffield.

HIFA profile: Sara Fairclough works as a GP in Sheffield and North Derbyshire, UK.