Before booking an appointment with one of our clinicians, it may be worth looking at our self-referrals page to check if a surgery appointment is needed for the service you require.

SystmConnect: Contact us online!

How To Book An Appointment

Contact us online with SystmConnect! Complete a simple form using any device by answering questions you would expect in a normal consultation. Answer at your own pace and we may even be able to save you a trip to the surgery.

When you send a SystmConnect form it will be checked by a GP who will contact you by phone or email within 48 hours. If you need an appointment on the day you will be allocated one.

You can still call the surgery if you prefer to or do not have internet access. Phone numbers are provided at the top and bottom of the page. Please note, a SystmConnect form will still need to be completed, a medical receptionist will do this on your behalf. Or you can attend the surgery in person and a medical receptionist will help you to complete a SystmConnect form using one of the surgery tablets.

To book an appointment with a Nurse, please call the surgery.

Non-urgent advice: Notice

From Monday 5th June we are introducing a new appointment system at Elm Surgery.

The new system is designed to ensure that you have the right consultation with (or support from) the appropriate healthcare professional in the most efficient way and to make it easier for you to contact us.

Why are we Making This Change?

The UK is experiencing a shortage of GPs and Healthcare Staff. Plymouth is one of the worst affected cities. This practice continues to lose a considerable amount of clinical staff time every day due to people failing to attend booked appointments. Patients are also requesting GP appointments when members of the wider team can deal with their problem or query. This change will make better use of GPs very limited time and will make life easier for you.

Many of the calls we receive do not need the immediate attention that we give or could be managed more efficiently. We need this system to help us, to help you to get the help you need.

These FAQs should provide you with all you need to know about the system.

What if I have no access to the internet?

Accessing the triage system online will be by far the quickest and most efficient way to contact the surgery from the comfort of your own home, from work or even when on the bus! But we recognise that not all our patients are online so if you are unable to use the online system our reception team can help by completing the SystmConnect triaging whilst you are on the telephone – however this will not be as fast as completing online yourselves.

In time, we will also have tablets in the surgery so that patients without the internet can come in and complete their own contact form.

I do not like discussing health matters with the Receptionist.

Using SystmConnect, from your own device is perfect for this! All information is inputted by yourself and directed to the appropriate Health Care Professional for your request. If you telephone, you will need to inform the Receptionist of the reason for your call so that they can input your details and we can provide the help necessary.

On the telephone there will be no option but to provide this information – much like when we call 999 or 111, we are happy to provide our details to the non-clinical call handler so that we get the help we need. Should you not wish to discuss this with the Receptionist, you will need to contact us online.

What is SystmConnect?

SystmConnect is an online consultation service and appointment solution for GP practices. It makes it possible to contact a GP practice online through our website.

Where do I find the service?

You can find the service on Homepage – Elm Surgery.

Do I need any login or credentials for using the service? Do I need to register to be able to use the service?

The best way to use the service is to register for the NHS APP and this will ensure your details are validated and pre-populated in the final personal information page. This will also assist us when dealing with your enquiry. However, you can also access the service without registration.

Accessing SystmConnect uses a highly secure one-direction communications connection.

Can the service also be used with tablets and smartphones?

Yes, you can use the service with a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet.

I could not access the service with my desktop computer – what is wrong? The form looks odd and cannot really be read properly – what is wrong?

Your computer or Internet browser may be too old. Try updating your Internet browser to the latest version. If this does not help, you can try to use the service with a tablet or a smartphone. If this does not help either, contact the surgery by telephone.

What should I do if the system does not work, and I cannot submit a contact request?

In this case, contact us by telephone (or come into the surgery) and our staff will take your through the SystmConnect process.

What kind of information do I have to provide when using the service?

To refer you to the right care pathway for clinical enquiries, the service asks you to describe your query and symptoms. Naturally, you need to provide your personal and contact details so that we can contact you regarding the next steps in your treatment process.

My relative/child cannot submit a contact request themselves. Can I submit it on their behalf?

Yes, the service allows acting on relatives’ or children’s behalf if they have given their permission for this (if the child is under 10 years of age, no permission is required). If you are using the service on someone else’s behalf, remember to indicate this on the form under “Give your personal details” by ticking the box “I am using the service on someone else’s behalf” and filling in your details.

How do I know which option/button to select?

You should select the most appropriate button that most closely matches your need and complete the information as requested.

What happens after I’ve submitted my symptoms and enquiry?

SystmConnect’s triage engine will assess the urgency or requirements of your condition. This is all supervised by a medically trained professional at your practice. After this, your request will be assigned to the right person/ service (clinical or admin) or self-care to meet your need.

How do I know if the GP or surgery has received my request?

After you click ‘submit’ your enquiry will be sent to your practice. If you provided your email address, you will receive an email notification regarding its delivery. When the system has shown the notification “Your request has been sent”, you can be sure that the message has been sent and then simply wait for the GP practice to contact you.

How will I be contacted after I have sent a contact request?

We use traditional contact methods. In addition to calling by telephone, we use messaging to send and receive text messages. Please be aware that messages may come from an unknown number so please be sure to open such messages.

I have tried to reply to an SMS from my practice and have had a reply saying my case has been closed. What does this mean?

This means the practice has closed the online enquiry you submitted and will not receive your reply.

What if I need help with more than one problem?

If you have e.g., a health-related concern and require an appointment but also have an administrative enquiry you should choose the appropriate tiles on the platform and submit two (or more) separate enquiries.

I do not want to book an appointment but need other care instructions. What to do?

Please visit where you can find lots of selfcare information. If your query is not answered here, you can submit an online contact request. Follow the instructions provided by the service and a member of the team will contact you. If medical professionals think that you do not need an appointment or further service, you will be provided with self-care instructions or other advice regarding your issue.

Can I also take care of other health-related matters through the service (prescription renewals, test result enquiries, etc.)?

You can take care of all your general practice issues and concerns, conveniently through SystmConnect.

Is my personal data safe with SystmConnect?

Potentially sensitive data is stored within the UK using technical architecture, processes and security features approved by the NHS. SystmConnect assures compliance with regulatory and legal requirements for both UK and EU, i.e., GDPR in general, Data Security and Protection Toolkit (NHS) and Cyber essentials (NHS). Your GP practice is the data controller and SystmConnect acts as a data processor meaning that all personal data is accessed only by GP practices and professionals.

What if my problem requires immediate treatment? What kind of problems need to wait until the next day for contact to be made? How long will it take until the appointment?

The service also assesses urgency: if the symptoms entered indicate that the problem would need urgent care, the surgery will contact you in line with the timescales indicated on the landing page.

What if my condition is life threatening?

999 is for life threatening emergencies. Call 111 or go online (Get medical help – NHS 111) if you need medical help fast but it is not life threatening.

Non-urgent advice: Remember

This system is designed to ensure you see or speak to the right healthcare professional and to prevent you making unnecessary trips to the surgery.

We recognise this is a major change to our system and ask that you work with us while it is introduced. Thank you for your patience. 


If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason, please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to give the slot to someone else.