GP case study: Haematology, Rheumatology and Endocrinology Advice & Guidance

We spoke with a GP about their experience of using Enhanced Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect in Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB.
GP Case Study: Haematology, Rheumatology and Endocrinology - Consultant Connect

‘It’s so helpful and saves such a lot of time. I do honestly think it’s a lifeline.’

GP case study: Haematology, Rheumatology and Endocrinology Advice & Guidance

Dr Cowan has been a GP for 22 years and works at a GP surgery in Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB. Since October 2021, clinicians across the ICB have had access to Enhanced Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect. On average, calls are connected in just 47 seconds, providing clinicians with rapid advice from specialist clinical teams. We asked Dr Cowan to share examples of how the service has helped improve patient care recently:

 

Patient Example – Haematology

‘I saw a patient who had recently been diagnosed with an extensive deep vein thrombosis (DVT). She exercised frequently right up until the diagnosis, and during my follow-up appointment with her, she mentioned that she was on her way to an exercise class that day. As the patient had only just started on a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC), I used Consultant Connect to speak to a haematologist for advice on whether there was a minimum amount of time a person should be on a DOAC before resuming exercise to reduce the risk of thromboembolism. The consultant was really helpful and advised that, although there was very little evidence on this, the consensus opinion was that it was safe to exercise as soon as the DOAC was started, as its primary mechanism of action was to stop clot extension. We concluded that the patient could continue to exercise, assuming it was not causing her any symptoms or pain.’

 

Patient Example – Rheumatology

On another occasion, Dr Cowan used the service for specialist advice regarding a patient showing abnormal liver function as part of his blood test monitoring for methotrexate.

‘I saw a patient whose blood tests came back showing very high levels of transaminases as part of his liver function blood test monitoring on methotrexate. The level of transaminases was just above the level at which specialist advice was recommended in order to decide if methotrexate should be temporarily stopped. Previously, I would have had to call the hospital. However, I was able to get through to a rheumatologist via Consultant Connect, who confirmed that it was best to omit the dose for that week and repeat the liver function blood test the following week. This was especially helpful as the patient was very reluctant to stop his methotrexate, so being able to provide timely specialist advice and reassurance was particularly important for him. She also discussed the best ongoing management with respect to the repeat transaminase levels, which was very useful.’

 

Patient Example – Endocrinology

In another example, Dr Cowan spoke to an endocrinologist regarding a bulimic patient who had also recently taken a course of anabolic steroids as part of her bodybuilding work.

‘The patient had started to purge again, so I did some basic blood tests, to ensure, amongst other things, that this hadn’t resulted in any electrolyte abnormalities. As part of those tests, I got some very abnormal and unexpected thyroid function results back, which suggested some pituitary dysfunction and considering her history of taking anabolic steroids, I was concerned about her hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. I called an endocrinologist via Consultant Connect to discuss the most appropriate investigations and how quickly we needed to request these. He was fantastic and gave a very clear action plan and advice. It was so quick, and I was able to reassure the patient, set up next-day investigations and ensure that she was safely managed and followed up.’

 

How using the service helped the patients and GP

On all occasions, the timeliness of advice received from the specialists reassured the patients and meant that they got the right care faster. Dr Cowan adds what she likes the most about Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect:

It’s so helpful and saves such a lot of time. I do honestly think it’s a lifeline. I think I’ve covered pretty much every specialty now – I’ve spoken with a rheumatologist, an endocrinologist, a gastroenterologist, a cardiologist and a haematologist.’

 

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

Related case studies

Telephone Advice & Guidance in Hertfordshire and West Essex

Telephone Advice & Guidance in Hertfordshire and West Essex

We spoke with two GPs in Hertfordshire and West Essex to find out how Telephone Advice & Guidance provided by Consultant Connects helps them ensure the best patient care.

Paramedic Case Study

Paramedic Case Study

Keith McRavey works for the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS). He explains how he uses Consultant Connect for prof to prof clinical decisions.

GP case study: Mental Health advice in Greater Glasgow and Clyde

GP case study: Mental Health advice in Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Since June 2021, clinicians in Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board have had access to the Mental Health Assessment Unit (MHAU) line for emergency mental health advice. We spoke with Dr Ejike Peterside, a GP at Lennox Practice, to find out the benefits of this service for him and his patients.

GP case study: Rheumatology Advice & Guidance across the NHS

GP case study: Rheumatology Advice & Guidance across the NHS

A GP in NHS Somerset ICB and a GP in South East London used the Consultant Connect App to get A&G from the Rheumatology Team at their local trusts for patients.

- Consultant Connect

Contact us

For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals and mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.

- Consultant Connect

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.

- Consultant Connect

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

Suspected Head & Neck Cancer Messaging service

The Suspected Head & Neck Cancer messaging service was launched in May 2023 to all clinicians in North Central London ICB. We caught up with the Lead Head & Neck and Thyroid Clinical Nurse Specialist who manages the line, and a GP who used the line to find out more.

read more