Dr Peter Gregory, MBBS MRCGP DCH, has been a GP for 30 years. 10 years of which was spent working in Sports and Exercise Medicine.
Prior to the introduction of a Phone Advice & Guidance service, Dr Gregory would phone or email a couple of consultants he knew directly if they worked in the right specialism. Otherwise he would use Advice and Guidance on ‘Choose and Book’: “Previously if I had a suspected urgent case, I would have been forced to try to admit the patient or phone a secretary to try to get a message to a consultant (that was often unsuccessful).”
The Surgery has been using Phone A&G, commissioned by South Warwickshire CCG and delivered by Consultant Connect. Dr Gregory says of the service: “The response is immediate and it is always better to be able to deal with the problem, resolve it and tick it off. Sometimes this is clinically crucial too.”
Using the Mobile App
We asked Dr Gregory what advice he would give GPs feeling unsure about whether to try the service:
“I have found it very useful and I would recommend that you have the phone number to hand and use it. It’s also probably worth downloading the app so that you can use it when out on a visit.”
Whilst most A&G is sought via the Phone A&G service, Dr Gregory still occasionally uses electronic A&G with a ‘letter’ dictated and sent through e-Referral when he has more time.
Below is a recent example of how Dr Gregory has used Phone A&G to benefit a patient facing delay to a complex gyane surgery decision:
“This was because the consultant was off work long term. The patient was very anxious the delay would make surgery harder and less likely to be successful. She had been ‘primed’ with a hormonal injection and anticipated a scan to assess changes and to help plan surgery.”
How Phone A&G helped:
“The gynaecologist understood the situation was complex and time critical, and needed to make a speedy clinical assessment in the absence of the colleague. They offered to get the patient re-assessed on the 2-week pathway. The patient was relieved by this and I felt better that the responsibility was lifted off me.”