Practice Demand Management

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Pressure on the healthcare system increases during the extreme weather in both winter and summer. Below you will find suggestions for how practices can manage the increased demand for GP and practice nurse appointments during this busy period.


iHUB (Extended Access)

  • Check your usage of the extended access service.
  • Many practices are still underusing iHUB.
  • Booking more iHUB appointments could reduce pressure on both UTC (Urgent Treatment Centre) and the practice.
  • Please ensure that all your receptionists are aware of the service and are using the script that was shared earlier in the year.


111 service

  • Practices should always encourage patients to contact 111 if they are unable to offer a same day appointment.
  • 111 should be the first point of call for urgent care needs if the practice is unable to provide an appointment.
  • 111 is able to offer a range of alternative urgent care services before referring the patient to the Whittington Urgent Treatment Centre.
  • Please ask receptionists not to instruct patients to attend Emergency Departments with a low acuity issue.

Direct booking: 111 service is now also able to provide directly booked appointments at iHub and the UTC

Pharmacy: 111 service is also able to book patients directly into a 1:1 appointment with a pharmacist, with a number of Islington pharmacies signed up to offer the Digital Minor Illness Referral Service (DMIRS). This service will shift to the Community Pharmacists Consultation Service (CPCS) in October when the DMIRS and the NHS Urgent Medicine Supply Advanced Service (NUMSAS) are brought together into a single service – the CPCS will provide a more comprehensive offer to patients.


Community Pharmacies

Pharmacies are a skilled and accessible part of primary care. Practices are advised to direct patients with a low acuity condition to their local pharmacy where they can be given a face to face consultation and provided with appropriate OTC medication.


Rapid Response Service

The Whittington Rapid Response and Virtual Ward service provides an acute integrated service for patients with complex medical and social needs, to avoid unnecessary admissions and reduce length of stay on acute wards.


Ambulatory Care

The Whittington Health Ambulatory Care Centre (Adults) offers same day emergency care, with the aim to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions and accept referrals from GPs.

Further details on ambulatory care services.


Acute COPD Exacerbation Service

The Acute Exacerbation Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD) service provides a rapid response to patients who are having an acute exacerbation to support their condition within the patient’s home and to avoid an unnecessary hospital admission.

Please call the mobile number first to ensure that the referral is appropriate and to alert the team.

t: 07919 575 653


Mental Health

The Islington Mental Health Crisis Line can be used as an alternative to A&E if someone calls and is distressed but can't access a primary care appointment quickly .



Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

Children’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Line can be used to speak to a duty clinician, when there are concerns about a child or young person’s emotional or mental health. The Social, Emotional and Mental Health Services for Children and Young People accepts referrals from health professionals or service users, through a new central point of access that sits within the Children’s Services Contact Team.

t: 0207 527 3355

Social Care

Children’s Social Care Team can be contacted by either a professional to speak to a duty social worker, when there are concerns about a child’s welfare.

t: 0207 527 7400