Patient Connect in Emergency Medicine

Implementing a system giving patients with non-emergency/ non 999 circumstances (who are directed to attend hospital via NHS 24) access to an immediate consultation from emergency consultants is paying off for a Scottish Health Board.

Non-emergency patients in NHS Lanarkshire, that had previously been asked to attend an emergency department within one to four hours, are now being asked to wait at home until they get a call back from a senior clinician, from the Flow Navigation centre to discuss the best course of action. On average patients are being called back within 4 hours.

NHS Lanarkshire has seen a significant impact since introducing the ‘Patient Connect’ service in December 2020 at University Hospital Monklands with the aim of getting patients the right care faster and first time. Patient Connect is Consultant Connect’s approach that allows patients and their carers to speak directly with clinicians. The system allows a clinician to ring a patient directly and tracks and records that call, including the call outcome.

  • 1,431 calls to patients have been made since the launch
  • 30% of calls result in the patient not having to attend A&E as a result.

 

Dr Gordon McNeish, Emergency Medicine consultant and project lead explains “Using Consultant Connect to contact patients directly, gives us the flexibility to work remotely, the confidence that calls are being recorded for governance, and the benefit of being able to rapidly analyse outcomes. The greatest benefit is to the patients who can often be given an appropriate alternative to having to wait in a crowded Emergency Department.

 
How it works

Before making a Patient Connect call the emergency medical consultant is provided with full access to the patient’s medical records, including history and medication, etc.

Calls are recorded for medico-legal purposes and reporting data is provided to University Hospital Monklands and NHS Lanarkshire so usage and outcomes can be monitored. Personal telephone numbers are never displayed, and the platform is fully IG secure and GDPR compliant.

During the call, the consultant can use their knowledge of local ED and what is available in the community via e.g., local opticians, pharmacists, dentists, etc. to find patients the right care.

 

  • Available 12pm-8pm, 7 days a week
  • Consultants answer calls from the hospital or working remotely at home with direct links in with nurses at the hospital via their PC.
 
 
Patient feedback

Patients are generally delighted to hear that an emergency medicine consultant will be calling them directly. Often, they know that they don’t need to go to an emergency department. The ability to talk through their condition provides the reassurance that they don’t need to attend hospital.

Emergency Medicine consultants can also bring in advice from other specialists, in the hospital using the Consultant Connect platform to quickly speak to colleagues. This is ideal for many patients including those with post-op or long-term condition needs. If a follow-up is needed the Emergency Medicine consultant can also arrange this for the patient which further expedites care.

 
Key benefits

For clinicians: 

  • Ability to contribute significantly to patient care whilst working remotely or at home.
  • The call recordings are also being used to deliver appropriate training.
  • They only see the patients they need to see.

For patients:

  • Instant reassurance, avoidance of stress or worry.
  • Avoidance of costs (childcare, missing work) and disruption through unnecessary hospital visits and long waits.
  • Right care, faster.

 

If you have any questions, please contact us: hello@consultantconnect.org.uk or 01865 261 467

Related case studies

NHS Area Case Study: Teledermatology using e-Referral Service advice and guidance

NHS Area Case Study: Teledermatology using e-Referral Service advice and guidance

We are delighted that our Consultant Connect project at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital was mentioned in the NHSX Dermatology Digital playbook.

Mental Health case study

Mental Health case study

Petrina Douglas-Hall, Medicines Information Manager, describes how answering a Telephone Advice & Guidance call from a GP helped with the management of a patient with depression and disturbed sleep.

GP case study: Acute Medical Admissions

GP case study: Acute Medical Admissions

Dr Holden had a visit from a patient with end-stage heart failure. The patient was adamant that he did not want to go into hospital, for fear of dying there.

GP case study: Paediatrics

GP case study: Paediatrics

A GP in Milton Keynes CCG prevents an emergency situation for an ill baby by using Telephone A&G from her local trust, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Contact us

For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals & mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.

Join a webinar

Listen to health experts from the comfort of your desk as we bring the experts to you in our series of online webinars.

Join our mailing list

Join our mailing list and we'll keep you informed of our latest blogs, project news, and upcoming webinar dates and topics.

Recent tweets

Contact us

Permissions

You can view our Terms & Conditions here.

Most Read Articles

How to help your Junior Doctors

If the NHS is to attract and maintain the best staff to care for its patients, urgent steps need to be taken to support and motivate the junior doctors who work within it. That’s where professional-to-professional advice systems come in.

read more
Consultant Connect & System EROC

As an established NHS data stakeholder, we have extended our existing collaborations with NHS England to work closely with the EROC team to support the new coding and reporting requirements. Find out how…

read more
How Dermatology is changing

Dr Nambi shares his experience of how dermatology pathways and practices have evolved over the last 12 months, and how the Consultant Connect teledermatology service together with dermoscopy has helped improve the quality of referrals, whilst reducing demand on secondary care throughout the pandemic

read more
3 examples of successful accelerator bids

NHS England and NHS Improvement introduced an ‘Elective Recovery – Accelerator Systems proposal’ in April 2021. In this article, we share how ‘Accelerator Systems’ are using Consultant Connect to restore activity.

read more