Why a ‘Total Triage’ model fails to maximise your transformation ambitions – but ‘Whole System Triage’ can

May 10, 2020

Essential reading for GPs: In this quick one-minute read, Jake Arnold-Forster, co-founder of Carredale Futures and special advisor to Klinik Healthcare Solutions, recommends GPs look beyond the pandemic when considering online triage solutions.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS England is encouraging general practice to move to a ‘total triage’ solution, whereby every patient is triaged via a phone call or online form before making an appointment. Footfall at surgeries will decrease dramatically, thereby protecting staff and patients from the risk of infection, therefore there is logic in this approach.

But consider this: does moving your existing triage process online address the wider challenges your surgery faces, such as inability to reduce or remove unnecessary appointments, improving financial resilience and reducing costs, or enhancing patient experience?

Whilst total triage is a welcome shift in the right direction for primary care transformation, it simply relocates costs and inefficiencies of primary care online. It also fails to take full advantage of the best available triaging systems that have the potential to release significant benefits for both GPs and the wider health economy.

Introducing Whole System Triage™

Whole System Triage™ is an approach that has been developed by Carradale Futures over three years working closely with 20+ practices. Whole System Triage™ channels people to the right advice, given in the right order of urgency, by the right expert (or team of experts) at the lowest possible cost.

Powered by clinically-proven, easy-to-use, scalable and quick to deploy digital solutions, Whole System Triage™ can help release immediate value to your practice, whilst future-proofing your business through:

  • the removal of 50% of appointments that GPs believe they do not need to have with patients
  • cost savings of up to £200,000 per annum for a practice with a 7,000 list, based on more efficient staff management and reducing unnecessary appointments
  • optimised referral and prescribing rates
  • 24/7 access to care for patients through an online platform
  • capturing high-quality clinical data to enable personal health care planning
  • forging a single healthcare system that ensures a seamless; triage-diagnosis-treatment-recover process for the patient


 Klinik: a game changer for the NHS

Poorly designed websites and online query-based forms that patients often interact with across the NHS will not be able to support the move towards WST. This is why encouraging people to choose an online service over a phone call has largely failed across the NHS. The importance of fit-for-purpose technology is a key enabler for Whole System Triage™.

Klinik Healthcare Solutions, a Finnish-based health tech provider, embodies the WST philosophy and believes it is a gamer changer for NHS and primary care. Indeed, the Klinik Whole System Triage™ solution, a combination of AI clinical decision support and patient flow management technology have been designed in line with it.

Beyond the pandemic

We are living in unprecedented times, with many practices such as yours adjusting to a new way of managing patient care. Many GPs are experiencing lower levels of demand.

But what happens when the UK eventually returns to normal life? The same pressures your surgery was facing are likely to remain.

50+ practices across York, Hull, Lancashire and the South East are currently using the Klinik system through telephone and direct online channels and are well placed to manage future demand and move towards Whole System Triage™. Two practices in Hampshire and Sussex have implemented Klinik with a detailed plan to implement Whole System Triage™. All these practices are:

  • including up to date coronavirus triage and guidance through the online service
  • providing more responsive service to patients
  • managing all incoming demand through a single solution
  • keeping staff safe by enabling remote working
  • reducing pressure on patient to staff ratios
  • implementing the solution remotely, especially helpful during the Covid-19 crisis


There will never be a more receptive time for change, with primary care digitisation at the forefront. Consider Whole System Triage™ as your route to sustainable transformation beyond the pandemic.


Klinik Access is an online consultation & patient flow management software that directs patients to the optimal resource in primary care. The system’s unique algorithm interprets the person’s symptoms to make a provisional assessment, and estimates the urgency of the care needed. Based on this, the person is automatically referred to the right place for care to begin.


"Even our most ardent doubters have seen that demand can be successfully managed with online triage."
Martin Eades, Managing Partner
Priory Medical Group
"We understand our patients like never before. We now have data on the true demand we face in general practice. We have the tools to share that workload across the whole primary care network."
Martin Eades, Managing Partner
Priory Medical Group
"We are seeing 8,000 more patients compared to the same time last year thanks to Klinik, and doing so with the same level of resources."
Martin Eades, Managing Partner
Priory Medical Group
“The system enables our clinicians to review the information provided by patients, and provides a suggested priority level. This allows us to ensure we have the patient see the right person at the right time.”
Dr. Azhar Ali, Managing Partner
Forth Medical Group
"Together with Klinik, we have invested the energy to make it the way we want it to be, and now we are seeing the results.”
Dr Sarmad Zaidi
Roxbourne Medical Centre
“Now Klinik is in place, we don’t ever want to go back. Our reception staff feel less pressured to act according to patient expectations, and the whole team feels that they are better placed to deal with all incoming queries. We can breathe now.”
Trupti Chauhan, Operations Manager
Roxbourne Medical Centre
"Now we know what the demand is, we can see what changes need to be made, and we can manage expectation and optimise the journey for every patient. We can assign the right level of resources to deal with the enquiry, and use the most expensive resource where it’s most effective."
Trupti Chauhan, Operations Manager
Roxbourne Medical Centre
“Feedback from other practices using the system was very positive, especially how responsive the company was to people’s needs.”
Dr Michael Curran, GP partner
Church Street Medical Centre
“For any other practice I would say this would make a valuable addition to the practice. In the current environment, it is becoming essential to have an efficient triage service that can assess risk and identify urgency, so that care can be given according to need, rather than demand. I would strongly recommend this to any GP practice.”
Dr Michael Curran, GP partner
Church Street Medical Centre
"With the Klinik online consultation service, we can now get the correct patient to the correct point of care in the most efficient way."
Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell
Haxby Group