Dr Lorna Burn works at the Mayflower Medical Centre which is part of NHS North East Essex CCG. She uses Telephone Advice & Guidance to speak to local consultants at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and has been a doctor for 10 years.
Telephone Advice & Guidance has been available in North East Essex since June 2015. Prior to this, Dr Burn had to leave messages with consultant secretaries. She writes that Telephone Advice & Guidance is a better tool as: “It used to be very hit and miss as to when consultants would get the message and if they would get back to you. Consultant Connect provides an immediate and direct line to consultants to enable prompt advice and management.”
Dr Burn provides the following advice to GPs who are thinking about using the service:
“The consultants are all very friendly and approachable. It benefits the patients, primary and secondary care to have open channels of communication.”
You can find a recent example below of how Dr Burn has used Telephone Advice & Guidance to benefit her patients.
“An elderly patient with heart failure complicated by a valve prolapse was under my care. Her management was delicate as she has co-existing renal failure that meant it was difficult to balance her diuretics and manage her polypharmacy. I was able to contact her cardiologist via Telephone Advice & Guidance and get advice one day when she was unwell. I was able to establish what an acceptable renal function for her would be with the new diuretic regime, and also second and third line drugs to try next. Finally the consultant gave me advice on when she would need admission.”
How Telephone A&G helped:
“I was able to avoid admitting the patient and she remained in her own home whilst I adjusted her medication, which is what she wanted. Having a clear plan gave her reassurance and me confidence to manage her when she was more unwell.”