About the GP and Technology Used
Dr Yama Rasekh is a GP at Vine House Health Centre, in the Herts Valleys CCG area. Since October 2021, clinicians across Herts West Essex (HWE) ICS have had access to Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect. On average, calls are connected in just 47 seconds, providing clinicians in HWE with rapid advice from specialist clinical teams.
We asked Dr Rasekh to share examples of how the service has helped improve patient care recently.
Initial Patient Presentations
Dr Rasekh used the Consultant Connect service for specialist advice about a patient’s ECG:
“I saw a 72-year-old patient who had bradycardia, presenting with slow atrial fibrillation. The patient had a history of myocardial infarction, and as their heart rate was at about 50, I was not sure whether they needed pacing. I used Consultant Connect to contact a cardiologist for advice on the patient’s ECG. The cardiologist explained that the patient did not need pacing. This was reassuring as it meant that an urgent referral was not necessary for the patient. The cardiologist advised on the management of the atrial fibrillation which we started in the community.”
Elderly Care Patient:
On another occasion, Dr Rasekh used the service for specialist advice about an elderly patient whose hip replacement had been cancelled.
“I saw an elderly 80-year-old patient who was waiting for a hip replacement. The operation was cancelled by the anaesthetist because the patient’s sodium level was low, and they were slightly anaemic. I carried out initial investigations, but couldn’t find a cause.
I used Telephone Advice & Guidance, via Consultant Connect, to speak to an elderly care consultant. The consultant explained that anaemia is not a contraindication, and that the patient could be transfused. I arranged further investigations for the cause of the low sodium level, or hypernatremia. I was then able to refer the patient back to orthopaedics for their operation.
Being able to get this type of advice quickly improved the care of the patient. Without the service, it may have taken three months for them to see a consultant, and by that time, the patient could have been presenting with new clinical conditions. Using the service was a good experience for myself and the patient.”
How using the service helped the patients and GP
On both occasions, the timeliness of advice received from the specialists reassured the patients and meant that they got the right care faster.
“Getting advice from a cardiologist reassured the patient and enabled their management plan to start sooner.”
Telephone Advice & Guidance enabled Dr Rasekh to expedite the patient’s hip operation. The patient was delighted as they were “desperate to move forward and have the operation.”
Dr Rasekh adds what he likes the most about Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect:
“It’s quick, and as GPs we sometimes need that rapid advice. It’s also really easy to use. I encourage other GPs who haven’t yet used it to give it a go!”