Since November 2020, Haematology Advice & Guidance queries have been routed through Consultant Connect, providing a single point of access for clinicians in Swansea Bay University Health Board to speak to local specialists at Singleton Hospital.
Monthly Haematology line statistics* (average):
calls answered in 34 seconds | 78% first-time connection rate
We spoke with Sam Jenkins, Haematology Service Manager at Singleton Hospital, to find out how the implementation of Consultant Connect has benefited the Haematology team.
Before calls were made via Consultant Connect, how did your team receive queries?
‘Our team had five landlines, so queries would sporadically go to any of those. Any clinician could ring any of those five telephone numbers or any of the admin team, so there was no continuity or structure for Primary Care nor the on-call consultants or specialist registrars (SPRs). Now, any calls made to the Haematology team are mandated to go via Consultant Connect, allowing for a quicker connection and an all-around smoother process.’
What are the benefits of Consultant Connect for the Haematology team?
‘Consultant Connect provides one direct number and consequently one point of access, rather than five. We now have one phone for the on-call consultant and one phone for the on-call SPR, and they are held all day every day by the nominated specialists, which provides a much more robust structure.
The calls go through a rota of consultants and SPRs, which gives more organisation to the system. Prior to this, a lot of calls went unanswered as often the landline phones were switched off, and those seeking advice wouldn’t know where to call next.
This has reduced the consultants’ and SPRs’ workloads as all calls come through to those designated phones, so the specialist doesn’t receive any queries unless they’re on call. It is reassuring to know that advice-seekers will be able to get hold of the most appropriate person via Consultant Connect.’
What are the benefits of Consultant Connect for the patient?
‘If there are any urgent or time-sensitive queries, such as haemorrhages, it’s much easier to get timely access to specialist advice. The advice-seeker gets faster access to guidance for their patient, rather than the phones ringing out. The patient can be reassured knowing that their clinician is calling a dedicated line, and it closes the gap where feedback is not provided.’
How does having access to call data and outcomes help your workload?
‘We have recently sampled a few call recordings for training purposes for a new set of SPRs. The team will listen to the recording, discuss the patient’s case and what advice was given. It’s a great learning technique, but also a great way to monitor what advice was given, and we found that if any non-urgent queries come through, they can quickly be redirected to the most appropriate team or place.’
* Data correct as of May 2023.
If you have any questions about this service, please get in touch on 01865 261467 or at email@example.com.