Dr Pettit (BM FRCGP DRCOG) works at The Tolsey Surgery in Wiltshire. The practice was founded in 1987 and is part of 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 Phone Advice & Guidance service, which is delivered by Consultant Connect and funded by 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 Phone 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 Phone 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.”