FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

About Doctorlink

  • Who are Doctorlink?

    We are the UK’s leading health and symptom assessment platform, providing 24/7 access to healthcare to over 10 million NHS patients.

    Doctorlink’s digital symptom assessment helps you access medical advice 24/7 and will allow you to book or request an appointment within practice opening hours if clinically appropriate. Our symptom assessment tool is insured, clinically safe and directs you to the most appropriate care available at the time.

    Doctorlink was created by doctors to support patients and practices, and has been proven to reduce phone waiting times in practices. We have an extensive clinical team who reviews and validates clinical content. This guarantees that we always create clinical robust and fully indemnified algorithms to drive our product. For more information on how Doctorlink works, you can watch a short video here. Or you can read more about our team and what Doctorlink is all about here.

  • How does Doctorlink work with the NHS?

    Doctorlink is currently implemented in over 1350 practices and is available to over 10 million NHS patients in England.

    Your practice has opted to partner with Doctorlink to improve its offering to patients. Practices will choose how to embed the symptom assessment tool to meet their operation model and Doctorlink endeavours to work alongside practices to make this process as effective as possible.

  • Why has my practice decided to use Doctorlink?

    Doctorlink is the chosen provider by your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) who support with local developments in your practice, and/or your practice. Doctorlink was chosen to support in improving patient access to local services and to enhance efficiencies in practices that are experiencing unprecedented levels of demand.

    Doctorlink will help practices with:

    • Improved access to medical advice 24/7
    • Directing patients to the most appropriate care
    • Supporting patients to book or request appointments with the most appropriate clinician
    • Support patients in receiving a recommended timescale to seek care based on their clinical need and acuity of symptoms
    • Providing clinicians with symptom information before patients attend appointments in order to save time and streamline processes


    Doctorlink will help patients:

    • Check your symptoms at any time
    • Get advice as to the most appropriate care
    • Be advised of the recommended timeframe in which you need to seek care, if appropriate, based on your symptoms
    • Book or request an appointment at your practice in opening hours if appropriate
    • Be directed to the most appropriate out of hours care if needed

  • Why can’t I just call the surgery?

    You can still contact the surgery via the usual methods.

    Doctorlink is an additional way to access the services that your GP practice offers, with the added benefit of being able to complete symptom assessments 24/7. Doctorlink allows you to access appointment booking/requesting functionality as long as your recommended timeframe for seeking care falls within your practices opening hours.

  • Is the registration process complicated ?

    Registration is simple and takes around 2-3 minutes. All we need to know is your name, post code, assigned sex at birth and date of birth, this information must match what is currently held on file by your practice. You will need an email address and must be over the age of 16 to register.

  • Is Doctorlink free?

    Yes it is free to use. The Doctorlink apps are also free to download.

  • Is my data safe?

    Yes. We do not have access to your medical record as this is held by your practice. Doctorlink is also compliant with data protection regulations. For more information please see our privacy notice.

  • I already use another online service with my practice, do I have to re-register?

    You will need to register for a Doctorlink account. This doesn’t affect any other accounts that you have for online services with your practice.

  • What if I can’t access the internet?

    If you don’t have access to the internet you can contact your practice through your usual method. Doctorlink only works if you have access to the internet.

  • I am having trouble registering, what do I do?

    In order to register with Doctorlink, we have to check we hold the same information as your practice. This will mean that if you have trouble registering it could be because there is a mis-match of this information.

    In order to rectify this you can change the personal details you’ve entered to match the information that your practice has for you. You may need to contact your practice if you get stuck or if you’re unsure what information they have.

    You can contact the Doctorlink Helpdesk if you: 

    • have moved practice and need to update your account,
    • are having trouble registering and signing in after contacting your practice,
    • are having any other technical issues when using the app.


    Please note, the help desk is not manned by anyone clinically trained. You will not be able to receive any medical advice from the helpdesk.

    Helpdesk contact details:

    Phone: 0300 111 6433

    Email: [email protected]

  • Can I use Doctorlink abroad?

    The use of Doctorlink is intended for residents of the United Kingdom.

    If you are accessing or attempting to access the Service from any other location then we can make no guarantee that you will be able to or that it will function correctly.

    Advice and recommendations are based on users being located within the UK. If you need care outside of the UK you should seek appropriate assistance from local services.

    Your GP is not able to provide care or conduct any remote consultation with you if you are located outside the UK.

    You are also responsible for ensuring that you act in accordance with any applicable laws in whatever jurisdiction you are resident.

    For more information on the use of Doctorlink please see our Terms of Service.

  • Video Consultations

  • Is there a quick guide for video consultation?

    Click here for a quick guide for video consultation

  • Why am I being offered video consultation?

    The use of Doctorlink is intended for residents of the United Kingdom.
    In line with Public Health England recommendations and practice guidance issued by the NHS Medical Director of Primary Care regarding COVID-19, Doctorlink has built new functionality called QuickVideo. This means that patients can be seen by a clinician without having to go to the practice. It also means you don’t have to wait on hold to speak to someone.

  • What happens if I don't have a smartphone?

    If you don’t have a smartphone and you’re unable to participate in a video call your practice will default to a voice call instead.

  • How do I join a video consultation?

    When you contact your practice for an appointment they’ll determine whether you’re eligible for a video consultation. If you are, the practice will send you a link to join the video call in an SMS (text message) which expires after 5 minutes.

  • Why does the link in my SMS (text message) to join the video call expire after 5 minutes?

    When you receive the text message to join, the clinician is already in the call. This will help appointments run on time and you get the care you need when you need it.

  • What do I need to do before joining the call?

    We suggest that before joining your video consultation, all users check the following;

    • Audio –  Make sure you’re in a quiet room with little to no background noise
    • Lighting – Go somewhere well lit, so the doctor can see you clearly
    • Connection – Ensure that your mobile data or wifi signal is strong and you have allowed access to your device’s camera and audio settings

  • What happens if the call fails?

    If for some reason your call ends prematurely (due to a bad connection, for example), you’ll be taken to an error page with an option to rejoin the call. If you’re unable to rejoin the call please contact your practice directly.

  • What happens if I miss my video consultation because the link has expired?

    Accessing the joining link in your SMS (text message) once it has expired will take you to an error message asking you to contact your practice directly to arrange a new video consultation.

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • How is coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting my GP practice

    GP practices are working differently due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are exceptionally busy at this time, this means:

    • You might be on hold longer if you try to phone the practice
    • Repeat prescriptions, fit notes and other support functions may take longer to be processed
    • Phone and video appointments will replace some face to face appointments to reduce exposure to patients and staff
    • Some practices will telephone all patients before any appointment is made
    • Your practice may set up special messages on their website to keep you updated of changes

  • How can Doctorlink help me get the healthcare I need?

    Doctorlink provides access to reliable, up to date medical advice and support for COVID-19, and over 95% of all other healthcare concerns. Using Doctorlink you can:

    • Access links to the latest NHS and Government Advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Check your symptoms at any time 24/7/365
    • Get information as to the most appropriate care
    • Be given the recommended timeframe in which you need to seek care, if appropriate, based on your symptoms
    • Book or request an appointment at your practice in opening hours if appropriate and dependant on the options chosen by your practice
    • Be directed to the most appropriate out of hours care if needed
    • Check symptoms for someone you care for (providing they are registered with the same GP Practice as you, you have their consent and you have parental responsibilities if they are under 16)
    • Request sick notes and repeat prescriptions from your GP. You will be able to access these features on the homepage if your practice has chosen to enable them.
    Register here

  • Is Doctorlink a healthcare provider?

    No, doctorlink is a registered Medical Device not a healthcare provider. GP practices and their patients use doctorlink as a Digital Front Door to health services.

    The Doctorlink Symptom Assessment does not replace your GP but offers a safe, reliable way for you to check your symptoms 24/7/365.

    The results of the Symptom Assessment produce a report which indicates what might be wrong with you and what you should do next. Your GP can use this report to further assess your symptoms against your medical record and the timeframes given will help them prioritise the urgency of an appointment if you need one.

    Unfortunately, doctorlink is unable to discuss symptoms and/or health conditions with you, these conversations need to be held locally with your GP in consideration of your full medical history.

  • What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

    Should you display any symptoms relating to COVID-19 then it is recommended that you self isolate immediately and use the Doctorlink symptom assessment for further guidance. Recommendations that you get following a symptom assessment will be based on the symptoms you are presenting at the time.

    Doctorlink is kept up to date with Public Health England and UK Government Guidance on COVID-19. Product enhancements will continue to be released as and when government guidance is updated.

    You can also access NHS 111 for further information and support here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms-and-what-to-do/

    NHS 111 Online has launched an SMS service:

    ‘Get text messages from the NHS about coronavirus’.

    You can find out further information about this service here: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/sms

  • What do I do if I have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19?

    Should you display any symptoms relating to COVID-19 then it is recommended that you self isolate immediately and use the Doctorlink symptom assessment for further guidance. Recommendations that you get following a symptom assessment will be based on the symptoms you are presenting at the time.

    Doctorlink is kept up to date with Public Health England and UK Government Guidance on COVID-19. Product enhancements will continue to be released as and when government guidance is updated.

    You can also access NHS 111 Online for further information and support here:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

  • Where can I get advice on social distancing and self isolation?

    The most up to date links to the general guidance on COVID-19, social distancing and/or self isolation can be found on the homepage of Doctorlink.

    You can also access the latest government guidance on Social Distancing here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

    If you have been told to stay at home because of coronavirus and you need a note for your employer you can also use the NHS 111 service https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

  • I have heard about rescue packs, where can I get further information?

    Some people with severe Asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions which make them extremely vulnerable to pneumonia or infective exacerbations of their COPD may have these prescribed.

    Rescue packs are not a new intervention for COVID-19, they are an established regime for patients with severe chronic respiratory conditions, mainly COPD. GPs may typically prescribe these for patients who are at risk of frequent exacerbations(at least two a year) and who can recognise when an exacerbation is starting. They are not suitable for everyone with these conditions.

    If you have a severe respiratory condition and are concerned about your regime make a routine telephone appointment with your doctor who can give you specific advice for your condition. Please check your practice website for any updates on how they are handling requests and supporting patients during this exceptionally busy time.

  • How do I get a sick note for work?

    If your practice has opted to enable this functionality, then you will be able to request a sick note directly in the homepage of your Doctorlink account. This functionality is for all health concerns.

    If you are unable to see this feature in the app or have any queries you can contact your practice directly. Please check your practice website for any updates on how they are handling requests and supporting patients during this exceptionally busy time.

    If you have symptoms of coronavirus, are self or household isolating, or have been told to stay at home because of potential exposure to coronavirus and you need a note for your employer, you can follow this link for an isolation note: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/

  • How do I get a repeat prescription?

    If your practice has opted to enable this functionality, you will be able to request a repeat prescription directly through your Doctorlink account.
    If you are unable to see this feature when you log in, then please contact your practice directly. Please check your practice website for any updates on how they are handling requests and supporting patients during this exceptionally busy time.

  • How do I tell if I am a high risk regarding COVID-19?

    The most up to date links to the general guidance on COVID-19 and risk factors are embedded in the homepage Doctorlink.

    If you think you or someone you care for might be at risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19), because of an underlying health condition, you can access further information in the government guidance here:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

  • I am worried about day to day living for myself or someone else, how can vulnerable people get help?

    Advice on how the government is supporting vulnerable people can be found here:

    https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

    If you or someone you know has an existing medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus you can get help with things like food and essential supplies by registering here:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

    If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, register anyway. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

  • I still haven’t got my NHS Letter to say I am high risk. What do I do?

    The NHS letters have identified extremely vulnerable people who are deemed a high risk. This was created using data at national level and the people identified have been contacted. GPs are now reviewing that list and using their local knowledge and RCGP guidance to consider if any patients not already contacted should be added.

    Patients who have not received letters that feel that they are a high risk can self register for further support using the link below. Government guidance recommends that you register for this service before contacting your GP practice.

    https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

    Doctorlink will be unable to discuss eligibility for NHS letters as this is an initiative managed directly by the NHS; further assessment of any high risk patients not already contacted will be made locally by your GP, in consideration of your full medical history.