Consultant case study: Emergency Medicine
Dr Julie Ronald is the Clinical Lead for Emergency Medicine at Ninewells Hospital in NHS Tayside. The immediate Phone Advice & Guidance service, provided by Consultant Connect, has been running in this area since September 2018. Consultants at the hospital answer calls from local GPs and Junior Doctors as well as from ambulance, MIU, community hospital and prison health teams. The service is used for Advice & Guidance as well as to streamline the patient discharge and admission process.
One of the main strengths of the Phone Advice & Guidance service in Tayside is that Junior Doctors working in the Emergency Department can speak to their senior consultant colleagues before admitting or discharging a patient. Dr Ronald writes that this prevents “inappropriate admissions and, importantly, inappropriate discharges.” By streamlining the process in this way, doctors at the hospital provide a “safer discharge process” whilst also ensuring that NHS resources are correctly allocated to those who most need them. This improves patient care and reduces strain on the department.
Consultants also provide more general advice to Junior Doctors via Consultant Connect, covering aspects such as “how to manage a patient, remote review of X-rays and which specialty a patient should be referred to.” Dr Ronald comments that Junior Doctors “are able to do all of this with the knowledge that calls are recorded, so if ever required, we are able to identify and interrogate calls via the Consultant Connect system.”
Another benefit of the Phone Advice & Guidance service is that GPs and Paramedics can immediately contact local consultants. Consultants determine whether it is necessary for the patient to be seen in the Emergency Department or not. This improves the patient experience and reduces A&E waiting times as consultants can “get the right patient to the right place at the right time.”
For example, Dr Ronald and other members of her team often “suggest alternative outcomes or services that may be more appropriate for the patients than coming to an Emergency Department.” This is especially useful for “frail elderly care-home patients, where alternative pathways of care have been arranged.” In addition, as call answer times are much shorter than calling through the switchboard, there are more “incoming calls from Primary Care” which increases hospital efficiency as consultants decide on the most appropriate destination or outcome for the patient – bypassing A&E.
Why NHS Tayside clinicians like this service:
- Prevents “inappropriate admissions” and facilitates discharges
- Patient experience is improved
- Increases hospital efficiency because answer times are shorter
- Calls are recorded and so can be reviewed if necessary
We work with over 60 CCGs/Health Boards, 50 Hospitals, and 2,900 GP practices. Find out how we help them:
A GP in Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board avoids an acute admission for a patient with inflammatory bowel disease by using Phone A&G to speak to a gastroenterologist from his local hospital.
Jayne Gilbert from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust explains how paramedics use Consultant Connect to speak to ICC Hubs.
Find out why our project in Somerset features in the NHS England’s Elective Care Transformation Programme’s “Gastroenterology Elective Care Handbook & Case Studies.”
Dr Manjushree Pande details how the NHS Doncaster CCG Telephone Advice & Guidance service enables her to speak to consultants at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals & mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.
Join a webinar
Listen to health experts from the comfort of your desk as we bring the experts to you in our series of online webinars.
Join our mailing list
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you informed of our latest blogs, project news, and upcoming webinar dates and topics.
Most Read Articles
One of the biggest challenges for hospitals delivering an Advice & Guidance service is staffing it. Whether the requests come in from GPs by phone or in writing, most clinicians are expected to respond whilst also doing their day job. This can mean using consultant admin time, for example, to squeeze in advice & guidance […]read more
Writing a strong NHS business case for Advice & Guidance can make all the difference. That’s why we are sharing this real-life example.read more
We have recently been working with NHS Dorset CCG to create a free guide for taking the best photos for Teledermatology. Read on to find out more.read more
When the NHS LTP was published we recommended that local commissioners and Trusts could approach the challenge by looking for the easiest bits of the plan to gain quick, high-impact wins. Nine months on, we reflect on these recommendations.read more
One of the biggest challenges for hospitals delivering an Advice & Guidance service is staffing it – particularly during winter. The good news is that there’s now a way you can “switch on / switch off” additional consultant resource this winter.read more
Just a few weeks ago, we were included in the “rethinking referrals” part of the Neurology handbook. You can access the full handbook here.read more
Consultant Connect Ltd
One St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DE
Company registered in England & Wales.
Company number 09488206
01865 261 467