Dr John Gubbay, a GP at Abernethy House Surgery in Enfield, uses rapid Telephone and Photo Advice & Guidance provided by Consultant Connect. This service is commissioned by NHS North Central London CCG and has been available since March 2020. Patients in this area can also send photos, of their conditions, to their GP which are then uploaded to the Consultant Connect platform and shared with specialists for Advice & Guidance.
Prior to Consultant Connect being introduced in his area, Dr Gubbay used the e-RS system to get Advice & Guidance. When he needs rapid Advice & Guidance he prefers Consultant Connect as;
“It is much more responsive, its effectively real time advice and having a dialogue is easy as you are speaking directly to a consultant. There is no planning needed and the consultant can ask you for additional details as needed.”
To GPs who have access to Telephone and Photo Advice & Guidance but who are unsure about using it, Dr Gubbay says “Please use it.” He continues that;
“This will help you with managing patients when you are uncertain, especially in the current climate where we cannot count on patients being seen at all if we do a referral.”
The following example was provided by Dr Gubbay. It illustrates how he was able to get Photo Advice & Guidance on images sent to him by a patient.
A patient with a swollen and painful foot contacted Dr Gubbay. Dr Gubbay “asked him to send in some pictures.” These images and the patient’s history were uploaded to the Consultant Connect platform and shared with a specialist.
How Photo Advice & Guidance helped:
Dr Gubbay and the consultant were able to decide on “a full management plan with different steps” which was shared with the patient. Dr Gubbay and the patient “have started actioning this.” The consultant also asked to be kept updated so he could provide further advice as needed.
This was a good result for both doctors and the patient as it meant that the patient could remain in primary care.