Desktop Consultation Helper

Here are a highly selective list of websites that may help you during your consultations.  You don’t have to remember any of these – this page should serve as your consultation tool box!   Just like a plumber who has many tools in his box but only selects the right one for the right job, the GP needs to  focus on those which will help with the particular task before them.   Rather than provide you with an overwhelming list similar to the Yellow Pages, I’ve only included those that I find invaluable in my day to day practice.  I hope you will find them helpful too.   If you find anything you feel would be helpful to others, please email me here.


CLINICAL KNOWLEDGE (click to open me)

  • GP NOTEBOOK – I love this website and consider it essential for my day to day consulting. Simple clinical information displayed in a simple and quick. If you want a site that TELLS you exactly what to do, this is it!
  • CLINICAL KNOWLEDGE SUMMARIES – evidence-based information and practical ‘know how’ about the common conditions managed in primary care.   This was a fab site but NICE decided no longer to support it and unfortunately, as of March 2011, it is not being maintained!   Why do people kill off some of the good things in life?  🙁
  • NHS EVIDENCE – Another site with a wealth of evidence.  NICE pathways, journals, databases – it’s all here.  Can be a bit overwhelming at first.
  • SEARCH MEDICA – A remarkably good search engine which trawls through a large database of well known medical websites for the type of information you want. Clinical information? Patient Leaflets? And make the search limited to the UK.  Looks better than just ‘google’ing’ stuff in front of the patient.
  • SIGN – SIGN was formed in 1993 and their objective is to improve the quality of health care for patients by reducing variation in practice and outcome, through the development and dissemination of national clinical guidelines containing recommendations for effective practice based on current evidence.
  • eGUIDELINES – eGuidlines is an exhaustive list of all the guidelines published. Useful if you want to look up a guideline or if you want to develop one but want to see what others have done. The only snag: GMC no. needed


  • PATIENT EXPLANATION PICTURES –  A collection of pictures I’ve put together to help you explain things to patients.
  • PATIENT.CO.UK – The absolute best!   Wide coverage with pretty pictures too.
  • CKS – CLINICAL KNOWLEDGE SUMMARIES – CKS is a bit like GP notebook and not only provides clinical information but patient information leaflets too.
  • BMJ BEST HEALTH – Best Health rates thousands of health and medical treatments, based on how well they work. Help your patients make the right choice for them.
  • NHS DIRECT A-Z – Extremely user friendly ++++  Wide coverage.
  • BBC HEALTH – BBC Health actually features some really good leaflets on some common problems yet expressed in a much more patient friendly way. I find the “A to Z of illnesses and conditions” link the most useful.
  • MEDLINE PLUS – This is a service provided by the US National Library for Health and the US National Institutes of Health. I don’t even know where to start to tell you about this site. It has masses of stuff for patients like health topics, drugs and even video clips of surgeries.
  • MICHIGANS HEALTH MEDICINE – This site is simply fabulous: it provides patient information on a wide range of clinical problems. Some amazingly good pictorial patient exercise leaflets.


  • WORD LINGO is one of the best translators I have used to communicate with patients who can read but whose command of the English language is very limited. It translates to and fro for quite a number of common languages.


  •  eMC – The electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) contains up to date, easily accessible information about medicines licensed for use in the UK. It’s as good as the BNF or MIMS and the best bit is that there are no log in or passwords – hence it’s the top of the list.   All content has been checked and approved by UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – i.e. it’s reliable.  Even provides medication leaflets for patients too!
  • NPCi – NPCi is a new and radically different NHS learning resource designed specifically for busy health care professionals. The content covers prescribing, therapeutics & medicines management. Click on “Enter the NPCi building”.
  • e-BNF – The electronic version of the BNF.   Unfortunately you need to register and log in before use! 🙁 🙁 🙁
  • e-MIMS – The electronic version of the MIMS.   Unfortunately you need to register and log in before use! 🙁 🙁 🙁
  • LEICESTER MEDICINES STRATEGY GROUP – Great summary of the latest new medicines on the market and the guidance available.
  • NeLM – National Electronic Library for Medicines: NeLM is the largest medicines information portal for healthcare professionals in the NHS. It aims to promote the safe, effective and efficient use of medicines.


  • MICHIGANS MUSCULOSKELETAL MEDICINE – This site is simply fabulous: it provides patient information on a wide range of clinical problems. Some amazingly good pictorial patient exercise leaflets.
  • DERMNET.NZ – I like DermNet because of its wonderful collection of pictures. Go to the “A-Z” section on the right hand side of the page and select a letter, then the condition and you’ll see some great pictures (good for explaining things to patients).
  • ECG LIBRARY – This library is a collection of realistic looking recordings which will help improve your ECG skills. The site lists a variety of common conditions and example ECGs with annotated notes on important markers. Go on…. test yourself!
  • RENAL.ORG – Fabulous site for making eGFR interpretation dead easy. For people who need to have things made easy like me.
  • PALLIATIVEDRUGS.COM – Ltd. was founded in 2000 by Robert Twycross and Andrew Wilcock in order to promote and disseminate information about the use of drugs in palliative care, through the website and book versions of the Palliative Care Formulary. Profits from the company will be used to fund research and education.
  • NHS CANCER SCREENING PROGRAMMES – For patients who want to know more about a particular screening programme in the UK. Currently covers: breast, bowel, cervical and prostate
  • PCDS MINOR SURGERY VIDEOS – An amazing video clip collection of common minor surgery procedures in general practice. Bought to you by the Primary Care Dermatology Society.
  • TYNESIDE’S PSYCHOLOGICAL SELF HELP GUIDES – A fab collection of material available in pdf, audio or video!   The one on OCD is particularly good.
  • LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL – This is a powerful life skills resource written by a Psychiatrist using a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach and also in helping people use these skills in everday life. You have to register, but it is a one-off process and FREE.
  • MENTALHELP.NET – Another online self help book for patients with mental health problems. Again, you have to register but it is FREE.
  • EMBARRASINGPROBLEMS.COM – This site aims to help patients deal with those worrying health problems that are difficult to talk about with anyone. Straight talking good advice. Especially good for teenagers; try and promote it to them.
  • TALK TO FRANK – The definitive A to Z guide on drugs. Good for doctors if you are a bit clueless and especially good for patients or people who are concerned about someone.
  • FIT FOR TRAVEL – fitfortravel’ is a public access website provided by the NHS (Scotland). It gives travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK. Dead easy to use and provides concise information that will not overwhelm you.


  • PUBMED – I think PubMed was Al Gore’s legacy. It really is a great site if you want to look for some quick evidence. It was designed for the public – so you can just type your query in a layman’s way.
  • DYNAMED – DynaMed provides medical information for health professionals at the point of care. Type a question and get recommendations graded on the basis of the evidence supporting them. Also has 3000 clinically-organized summaries. This is the sort of website that should be free to ALL health care professionals.
  • NPCi – NPCi is a new and radically different NHS learning resource designed specifically for busy health care professionals. The content covers prescribing, therapeutics & medicines management. Click on “Enter the NPCi building”.
  • CLINICAL EVIDENCE – Clinical Evidence is one of the world’s most authoritative medical resources for informing treatment decisions and improving patient care.
  • ATHENS – Electronic resources at your fingertips. You can get a athens username and password from your local hospital library administrator…. just ask!
  • GOOGLE SCHOLAR – A great google tool for searching only through research and evidence. However, to be able to make sense of any piece of research YOU need to be able to critically evaluate it.


  • FUNERAL DIRECTORS – Trying to look for the telephone number/address of that Funeral Directors that you need to visit? Click on this link (which is set up to search Bradford, but you can just change Bradford to wherever you want and hit the return key).
  • DVLA – AT A GLANCE – At a glance guide to the current Medical Standards of Fitness to Drive. Now chuck away that paper copy!
  • DWP – DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS – Some desk aids and guidance on benefits in the UK.