Dr Nicky Davies is General Practitioner at Beech House Surgery and Assistant Medical Director for Central Betsi Cadwaladar UHB.
A year after Consultant Connect Advice & Guidance was made available in her area, Dr Davies talks to us about what she thinks of the service…
1. How would you describe Consultant Connect to someone who has never heard of it and never used it?
“I would tell them that it’s an excellent service to get rapid senior Advice & Guidance. Any colleagues that haven’t yet used Consultant Connect for Telephone and/or Photo Messaging, please give it a try, it really is very useful, and it’s extremely easy to use! I’d encourage you to just give it a go.”
2. What do you like the most about Consultant Connect?
“The knowledge that I can pick up the phone at any time and get prompt senior advice on my patients. The fact that I can do that either by calling our surgery’s unique Dial-In Number on any phone, or on my smartphone via the secure Consultant Connect App. On the app we have the options of placing a telephone call or we can send IG secure and GDPR compliant photos and messages. This way of getting prompt senior advice is extremely positive for the patient and for me as I get an instant clinical decision support. I like the educational component of the service – if in the future I have a similar patient case, I might not need to ask that same question again.
There’s also a relationship building nature to using the service, when the local teams are involved it’s a great way of networking with them.”
3. Specialty numbers are pre-programmed into the app – how does this help?
“I really enjoy the fact I no longer need to have my little phone book next to me at all times, which was how I had to find senior clinicians’ phone numbers before. It’s also extremely useful for our locums and our new GPs who won’t have the networking going back many years, like some of us older GPs have.”
4. Can you tell us about your experience of speaking with both local and out-of-area NHS consultants via Consultant Connect?
“On our Consultant Connect service we have some local teams that have come onboard to answer queries from GPs in the area. Where a local team hasn’t been able to come onboard, we have access to a team of out-of-area NHS consultants on the National Consultant Network (NCN).
I’ve had experience in speaking to both local and out-of-area NHS consultants.
A recent example is when I saw a young respiratory patient with a clinical problem that I wanted advice on. I used Consultant Connect to speak to our local respiratory team and was connected very quickly. It was extremely useful and I got an instant resolution to this patient’s management.
I’ve had several conversations with NCN consultants from a range of different specialties about my patients, and that’s always just been incredibly beneficial for me.
One that is a firm favourite for me is the Dermatology messaging service, which is used an awful lot in Betsi Cadwaladar UHB. I personally have found it very useful to be able to send pictures of rashes, or lesions via Consultant Connect to the Dermatology team on the NCN. We’ve always had an excellent and very prompt response.”