Consultant case study: Emergency Medicine

The Clinical Lead for Emergency Medicine at Ninewells Hospital in NHS Tayside discusses how consultants answer calls from Junior Doctors, doctors working in Primary Care and colleagues in the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Consultant case study: Emergency Medicine

Dr Julie Ronald is the Clinical Lead for Emergency Medicine at Ninewells Hospital in NHS Tayside. The immediate Telephone 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 Telephone 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 Telephone 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.

Click here to view and download the PDF version of this case study.

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

Related case studies

NHS Tayside Case Study

NHS Tayside Case Study

NHS Tayside share how their use of prof-to-prof advice or Advice & Guidance is playing a key part in their response to the national goal of redesigning unscheduled care.

GP Case Study: Cardiology

GP Case Study: Cardiology

In October 2021, Telephone Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect was launched in NHS West Essex CCG. Since the launch, over 60% of GP surgeries and more than 90 GPs have used the service.

NHS Area Case Study: Teledermatology using e-Referral Service advice and guidance

NHS Area Case Study: Teledermatology using e-Referral Service advice and guidance

We are delighted that our Consultant Connect project at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital was mentioned in the NHSX Dermatology Digital playbook.

5 minutes with a frontline Consultant Emergency Physician

5 minutes with a frontline Consultant Emergency Physician

Dr Ron Cook is a frontline Consultant Emergency Physician and Clinical Care Group Director for Unscheduled Medicine at Ninewells Hospital in NHS Tayside, Dundee, Scotland.

Contact us

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.

Recent tweets

Contact us

Permissions

You can view our Terms & Conditions here.

Most Read Articles

How to help your Junior Doctors

If the NHS is to attract and maintain the best staff to care for its patients, urgent steps need to be taken to support and motivate the junior doctors who work within it. That’s where professional-to-professional advice systems come in.

read more
Consultant Connect & System EROC

As an established NHS data stakeholder, we have extended our existing collaborations with NHS England to work closely with the EROC team to support the new coding and reporting requirements. Find out how…

read more
How Dermatology is changing

Dr Nambi shares his experience of how dermatology pathways and practices have evolved over the last 12 months, and how the Consultant Connect teledermatology service together with dermoscopy has helped improve the quality of referrals, whilst reducing demand on secondary care throughout the pandemic

read more
3 examples of successful accelerator bids

NHS England and NHS Improvement introduced an ‘Elective Recovery – Accelerator Systems proposal’ in April 2021. In this article, we share how ‘Accelerator Systems’ are using Consultant Connect to restore activity.

read more