Primary Care clinicians in North Central London ICB have had access to Enhanced Advice & Guidance provided by Consultant Connect since 2020, rapidly connecting them with specialists for comprehensive advice via Telephone and Photo Messaging.
We spoke with Drs John Gubbay and Karen Grossmark, GPs in Enfield and Barnet, respectively, to find out how this benefits them and their patients.
‘I find Photo Messaging Advice & Guidance to be a brilliant tool that improves patient care. Before having access to Consultant Connect, I was never able to send photos to specialists for advice, and this is a game changer. It’s quick and efficient. At the same time as working as an educational tool for the GP using the service, the patient gets a diagnosis and treatment all within hours of them contacting us.’
– Dr Karen Grossmark.
‘It’s much more responsive than using e-RS for advice and guidance. It’s real-time advice, and having a dialogue is easy as you speak directly to a specialist. No planning is needed, and the specialist can ask you for additional details as necessary. I advise anyone who has access to use it. This will help you manage patients when you are uncertain, especially in the current climate where we cannot count on patients being seen if we do a referral.’
– Dr John Gubbay.
Dr John Gubbay
‘A patient with a swollen and painful foot contacted the surgery, and I asked him to email us some photographs. These images and the patient’s history were uploaded to Consultant Connect via my browser and shared with the specialist.
The specialist and I worked together to decide on a complete management plan with different steps, which was shared with the patient. The specialist also asked that he be updated with each step so that he could provide further advice as needed.
This was a great result as the patient could remain in primary care and received support from two healthcare professionals.’
Dr Karen Grossmark
‘I recently saw a patient with a rash on their knees and feet, which was being treated as psoriasis but was not improving. I took photos of the rash with the patient’s consent via the Consultant Connect App and sent them to the Dermatology Team for Advice & Guidance. A dermatologist diagnosed the rash as lichenified eczema and suggested steroid cream.
The rapid service meant the dermatologist provided an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. The patient’s rash settled within three days.’
Feedback from clinicians in North Central London ICB:
‘Speedy and helpful responses. Really useful and quick, particularly dermatology. Invaluable and prevents many referrals.’
‘This service is incredible and has made remote working much easier, very beneficial to patients. Quick and efficient with a good range of available specialties.’
‘The consultants have always been very pleasant, helpful and it has always been a positive as well as educational encounter.’
‘Very quick response and helpful for same-day management and for the ability to give the patient the answer quickly so they are very satisfied.’
‘It’s absolutely fantastic! I cannot recommend it enough. As a newly qualified GP, it helps bridge the gap between having a trainer and then having no trainer. Consultant Connect is amazing, it has saved a lot of referrals and the patients are really grateful for speedy answers.’