In November 2022, Enhanced Advice & Guidance (A&G) provided by Consultant Connect was launched in Greater Manchester Integrated Care Board (ICB). The service provides clinicians in Oldham with access to rapid specialist advice via Telephone, Photo and Messaging.
We spoke with Dr Fathema Johura, a GP in Oldham, to find out how the service benefits her and her patients in her everyday role.
17 Telephone A&G specialties available | 17 Messaging A&G specialties available | 93% first-time call connection rate | On average, telephone conversations last less than 4 minutes
How would you have sought A&G before you had access to Consultant Connect?
‘I would have written to the local hospital for A&G, which could sometimes take weeks to obtain a response. I’ve used Enhanced Advice & Guidance since it launched in Oldham, and it’s a much better way of communicating with specialists.’
What advice would you give to a clinician who was hesitant to use the service?
‘I’ve used Telephone and Photo Messaging A&G across a range of specialties, and they are all useful options that have proven beneficial.
‘I’ve recently used the Consultant Connect App to securely send images of an ECG for advice. It was straightforward to do and meant that my patient could be cared for in the community rather than attend hospital.
‘It provides rapid advice that saves you and your patients time. It avoids referrals where clinically appropriate, and the responses are very prompt. I enjoy using the service, and it’s very user-friendly.’
‘I had a patient who was referred to Endocrinology for hyperthyroidism and was started on carbimazole in the meantime. I was periodically monitoring her thyroid function tests on the new medication, and her results consistently improved. As she had still not received an outpatient appointment from Endocrinology, I used Consultant Connect to speak with a consultant endocrinologist for advice on the medication dosage and how to reduce it.’
Other Primary Care clinicians in Oldham said:
‘I like that the service is easy to use, and I receive quick responses.’
‘The responses are helpful, they’re good to learn from and often avoid unnecessary referrals. This service is great, and I will continue to use it.’
‘I can get very fast beneficial information without waiting for a response. I really find it so helpful.’
*Data correct as of September 2023