Launching a new service or project at this time of year might seem unrealistic but our team are setting up services across the UK in a matter of weeks, helping NHS areas stay resilient against winter pressures.
Benefits of rapid Telephone Advice & Guidance, for Primary Care, ambulance and community staff via Consultant Connect, include:
- Access to a pool of NHS specialists whenever local clinicians are not able to answer calls
- Connecting clinicians to a specialist in under 27 seconds*
- Eliminating long waits on switchboard
- Facilitating easy and secure two-way conversations that written Advice & Guidance cannot always achieve, especially when the query is urgent
- Account Managers who have the capacity to manage rotas for receiving clinicians and to engage usage from requesting clinicians
We’re working with clients across the NHS to implement Advice & Guidance services in time for winter, so if you’re looking for a solution, it’s not too late. The three examples below, show NHS areas that set up Telephone Advice & Guidance (A&G) projects quicker than ever:
An ICS in the South East of England
A year ago, an ICS in the South East contacted us requiring a quick and reliable A&G service that would help with growing pressures.
Rapid Telephone A&G was set up as a more urgent alternative alongside written advice. Clinicians use Telephone A&G for quick guidance when waiting for a response from written advice is inappropriate.
Due to existing pressures, there was no initial capacity at local trusts to deliver the A&G service. The Telephone A&G project was launched with the National Consultant Network (NCN), a team of out-of-area NHS consultants who can answer queries, from day one whilst local hospitals were being mobilised. This allowed the project to go live within 10 days of sign-off. A GP from the area said:
‘it is the single best innovation I’ve seen during my 12 years as a GP.’
One year later and the project is still running effectively with one project team member recently saying:
‘at this stage in the project, switching it off would be a risk in itself.’
Gradually, more teams are becoming available and clinicians in the area now have access to seven local lines backed up by NHS consultants from the NCN, with plans to trial a mental health line.
A new ambulance service – Frailty Project
Set up three months ago, the Frailty Project was introduced because capacity at the local acute trust for frailty advice for ambulance clinicians was lacking, meaning that patients were being conveyed to hospital, often unnecessarily, when timely advice wasn’t available.
Ambulance staff in this area now have access to a rapid Frailty Telephone A&G line answered by NHS consultants from Consultant Connect’s national network, which supports them in providing the best care for patients. This line also eases pressure on hospitals as 71% of phone calls result in patients not being conveyed**. With the average call connection time being 21 seconds, the Frailty Project is popular with ambulance staff.
An ICS in the North West of England
Having heard about the successful Consultant Connect Telephone A&G project in the same area, an ICS in North West England decided that a reliable rapid phone advice solution was needed to support their urgent care strategy before the end of this year.
With a total turnaround time of five weeks, the rapid Telephone A&G pilot provided by NHS consultants from Consultant Connect’s national network will launch this month. When local teams are ready, they will gradually front-fill the rotas. The phone service will cover all GP practices and ambulance staff in the area, as well as urgent care centres.
If you have any questions or would like more information about how our rapid Telephone Advice & Guidance service can support your area, please email email@example.com or call us on 01865 261 467.
* UK average
** data correct as of October 2022