Dr Leye Ajayi is a Clinical Lead for Urology at The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Primary Care clinicians have been able to obtain Urology Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect since September 2020.
Dr Ajayi talks to us about his personal experience of answering Advice & Guidance calls through the service:
What would you say are the key benefits you’ve gained since using Consultant Connect?
‘It provides better access to clinical advice and referral pathways than the previous paper-based system. Enables faster care for my patients, all calls are recorded for medico-legal reasons and all the numbers are in one place, available at the touch of a button.’
Have you found it easy to use?
‘I have found Consultant Connect really easy to use, it is intuitive and there was no training needed. It is an excellent tool. I highly recommend my colleagues, who haven’t used it yet, to give it a go.’
How has it helped your department?
‘I have experienced good interaction with local GPs. It has reduced unnecessary referrals. Communication and information received from Consultant Connect about the service has been good. We receive regular updates about how the service has been used and the answer rates of the team so we can adjust our rota when needed.’
Have you found your team’s workload has been impacted by reviewing cases?
‘By interacting with GPs, I would anticipate a reduction in referrals to Secondary Care in time. The team’s workload has reduced as appointments were reduced.’
How has it helped with your response to COVID-19? What changes have you needed to make?
‘Very helpful tool to have during COVID-19 as it reduces unnecessary referrals into hospital and allows Secondary Care consultants to support GPs in Primary Care.’
What do you see as the main benefits to patients?
‘Timely advice, improved and faster care.
For example, I spoke with a GP who required advice on which pathway to refer an andrology patient, who had already tried PDE-5 Inhibitors. I was able to guide the GP on where best to send the patient for specialist care.’
‘It is just so easy! I only take calls when I am able. It is a pleasure to speak with GPs, and the calls never take long.’
‘It is good for working relationships between Primary and Secondary Care.’
‘There is no question that it does improve the speed of communication, appropriateness of referrals, and a reduction of waste of resources, including GP time.’
‘The benefit of helping GPs with patient care are huge – the advice given and patient management has changed as a result. Patients may be prevented from being admitted or conversely admitted urgent when previously they were thought to be fine.’