We’re delighted to recognise our final special achievements award – this time for a whole country. As well as the glory of victory, all Health Boards in Wales are receiving a donation to their chosen charities.
WINNER | For Innovation at scale – Welsh Government
At the start of the pandemic, the Welsh Government rolled out the Consultant Connect service across the whole of Wales to help deal with the COVID-19 outbreak and support primary care in the long term. By 2021 uptake for the service has continued to grow, with Primary Care clinicians and Paramedics using the service to improve patient care and reduce unnecessary hospital visits. Across all the Health Boards, we have seen a variety of success stories:
Welsh Ambulance Services Trust (WAST) – Paramedics now make over 2,000 calls per month across 7 Health Boards. In addition, Paramedics have placed just under 1,500 calls back to GPs via practice and bypass numbers since the September 2021 launch of this additional part of the service.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – the Paediatrics team, set up two separate advice lines with Consultant Connect covering Outpatient Advice and Referral Advice and an additional option for GPs to send messages via the Consultant Connect App. This service is now well established in the Health Board.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – for the local Cardiology line, over 72% of calls (where the outcomes were recorded) have resulted in the patient avoiding an unnecessary hospital visit.
Cardiff and Vale Health University Board – have created great engagement across both primary and secondary care resulting in an impressive level of use of the service in a relatively short space of time.
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board – over 70% of outcomes recorded indicate that patients are avoiding an unnecessary visit to a hospital.
Hywel Dda University Health Board – the team needed to send large file sizes between optometrists and ophthalmologists. Consultant Connect worked out a solution, and the Health Board is now triaging scans at the point of referral, allowing patients to be sent to the relevant team quicker or be managed in primary care.
Powys Teaching Health Board – 74% of Advice & Guidance calls answered by Powys consultants have had an outcome left. 75% of these outcomes indicate that patients had avoided either a hospital visit or a hospital referral.
Swansea Bay University Health Board – have pioneered Community Dentistry. The first project within the UK to utilise Consultant Connect for Dentistry, allowing community dental therapists on remote visits to access Advice & Guidance from consultant colleagues. The service is used when carrying out dental checks on 2,500 care home residents in Swansea.
The Lymphoedema Network – embracing a national approach to Consultant Connect, users anywhere in Wales can now access support from the national clinical leads. A shared national rota means more people can answer queries and support already stretched local teams.
Jonathan Patrick, CEO of Consultant Connect, adds “We’ve seen the hugely positive impact immediate advice can have for patients and clinicians in England and Scotland, so we were delighted to be able to extend this across the whole of Wales. The speed of the rollout still takes our breath away and the rate of growth, both in terms of usage and new service availability, continues to impress. If you’d told us before that a government could act so quickly and decisively at such a scale, we would not have believed it. It’s an extraordinary achievement and forms a key part of the country’s long-term plan for the future of health and social care, A Healthier Wales.”
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