Dr Puja Choudhury has been a GP for 15 years and works at Weeping Cross Health Centre in NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG. Consultant Connect Telephone Advice & Guidance was introduced in November 2020.
Dr Choudhury enjoys using the Consultant Connect App to get rapid specialist advice, as well as for referrals and to contact hospital switchboards, she explains:
“I have been using the Consultant Connect App over the past few months since it was launched locally. I have used it not only for Advice & Guidance but also for referring patients to relevant specialties for admissions and to connect to hospital switchboards. It has taken away the stress of trying to contact secondary care on a busy on-call day, especially if you have the patient waiting in the room with you too.”
Initial Patient Presentation
A female patient came to visit Dr Choudhury who had recently suffered weight loss. Dr Choudhury examined the patient and found an enlarged liver. Urgent blood tests showed deranged liver function and raised ovarian tumour markers. The patient had a past history of breast cancer and had been discharged a year ago. Clinically the patient had suspected metastases from an unknown primary and Dr Choudhury was worried about the potential delay that could happen to her investigations due to COVID-19.
How Telephone Advice & Guidance helped the patient
Dr Choudhury used Consultant Connect to speak to a local radiologist to discuss the patient’s symptoms and arranged for her to get an Urgent CT TAP scan in the same week.
The scan results showed multiple metastases secondary to breast cancer. Dr Choudhury was able to promptly refer the patient thereafter to the Breast Team/Oncologist, where the patient was assessed for palliative chemotherapy within 2 weeks of being seen in primary care. Dr Choudhury explained:
“The patient was very grateful for the speedy way in which she was managed.”
How Telephone Advice & Guidance helped the GP
Using Telephone Advice & Guidance in this way meant that Dr Choudhury was able to make a prompt referral. It ensured that the patient was sent to the right place first time, to receive the appropriate treatment.