We spoke with Drs Anggiansah, Sehla Anwar and Boswell, GPs in South East London who have had access to Enhanced Advice & Guidance provided by Consultant Connect since 2018. Clinicians in South East London ICB have access to Telephone Advice & Guidance, allowing them to contact specialists over the phone rapidly; PhotoSAF, enabling IG-secure clinical patient photography; and Photo Advice & Guidance, facilitating the taking and sending of patient images with notes to specialists for rapid advice.
Before Consultant Connect was introduced in South East London, many clinicians could not take secure patient photos as this facility was unavailable.
What are the benefits of Photo Advice & Guidance?
‘I like using Photo Advice & Guidance because it is IG-compliant, and photos are automatically uploaded to the cloud, ready to be safely added to the clinical system when needed. I often use it for Dermatology imaging to receive a prompt opinion on skin rashes and lesions. Skin lesions that I am unsure of, for example, atypical seborrheic warts or questionable moles, can also be photographed and sent for review.’ – Dr Anggiansah.
‘Photo Advice & Guidance is an excellent tool. It takes seconds to upload a photo with the patient’s consent and send it to the specialist team for advice. There’s also a useful option to write some brief background information with the photo(s).’ – Dr Anwar.
‘It is easy to use, and images taken aren’t stored on my personal phone. Responses from specialists are rapid and can really help with dermatological uncertainty.’ – Dr Boswell.
‘I saw a patient concerned he might have developed changes to a skin cancer incision scar, but examination revealed no concerning features. I used PhotoSAF on the Consultant Connect App to take a photo of the patient and later downloaded it to review it at intervals.
When the scar was reviewed, the photos evidenced no change. I was pleased with the use of this service as it saved the patient from further anxiety. A Secondary Care referral was avoided, saving time for both the patient and the local specialists.’
‘I recently saw a child with an itchy body rash and a history of eczema. As I was unsure if this particular rash was eczema, I took photos of the patient using Photo Advice & Guidance to send to the Dermatology team. I received a written response from a local dermatologist the next day, who diagnosed the rash as chronic eczema with lichenification and follicular morphologies. The consultant had also written a detailed patient management plan.
The patient was provided with the correct treatment plan early on. They did not need to wait for a Dermatology hospital appointment, and a potential hospital referral was avoided.’
‘A patient with a facial rash presented, which was presumed to be seborrheic dermatitis. As the patient wasn’t responding to standard treatment, I used Photo Advice & Guidance to take patient photos to send to the Dermatology team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. I received a response from a consultant dermatologist advising me to try an alternative rosacea treatment.
With this alternative treatment, the patient’s condition improved rapidly.’