Dr Pettit (BM FRCGP DRCOG) works at The Tolsey Surgery in Wiltshire. The practice was founded in 1987 and is part of NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG. She uses Telephone Advice & Guidance to speak to consultants at Royal United Hospitals Bath Trust (RUH) and has been a GP for 25 years.
Before the service was launched in the area in May 2017, Dr Pettit had to contact the on-call team or write a letter. She prefers the immediacy of the Telephone Advice & Guidance service, which is delivered by Consultant Connect and funded by NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG, as:
“You know you will be connected to an experienced consultant who will answer the query, or suggest a treatment.”
When asked about her advice to GPs who are unsure about the service, Dr Pettit told us:
“When I have used it my queries have been answered quickly and efficiently. Consultants appear very happy to discuss cases in a non-judgemental way.”
Below is an example of a recent clinical issue regarding a patient with on-going gastro problems to use Telephone A&G.
“A patient had on-going problems following amoebic dysentery abroad, protracted diarrhoea despite treatment and negative stool cultures. I was sure he didn’t need an urgent scope, but not sure whether steroids should be used, or if I should refer him in.”
How Telephone A&G helped:
“The consultant suggested the use of a further course of metronidazole, and refer in if still having problems.”
Dr Pettit also commented that both she and the patient “felt reassured that [she] could get access quickly to a consultant opinion.”