Table 4

Average cost of all initial primary care actions in response to an e-consultation*

All initial response actionsn% All e-consultations (n=482)Average cost per e-consultation
GP face-to-face appointments18639£12.73
GP telephone calls18739£7.76
Nurse face-to-face contacts†7015£1.76
Nurse telephone appointments00£0.00
Fit notes316£0.37
Routine referral letters5612£0.67
2-Week wait referral letters102£0.12
GP given advice by email12526£0.00
Other GP actions10822£0.00
Unknown GP actions153£0.00
GP-led triage cost£11.60
Average cost of e-consultation£36.28
  • *Staff time collected from individual patient data from eight practices participating in the audit. Triage time of 5 min per e-consultation was assumed based on responses in our companion qualitative study. Staff time valued using 2015 unit costs for health and social care (Curtis and Burns, PSSRU).

  • †Includes treatment room and tests.

  • GP, general practitioner.