GP case study: ENT

Dr Tabitha Smith regularly uses Telephone Advice & Guidance. She recently helped a patient at Milborne Port Surgery in NHS Somerset CCG, who was experiencing BBPV symptoms.

“Dr Tabitha Smith learned something that would help future management of cases like this and helped a patient avoid a long wait, and an unnecessary trip to hospital.”

GP case study: ENT

Dr Smith has been a GP for 15 years and works at Milborne Port Surgery in NHS Somerset CCG. She enjoys using Consultant Connect Telephone Advice & Guidance because:

It is a direct way to contact a consultant, to seek advice in patient cases where I’m not sure whether to refer or admit a patient.

Dr Smith explains:

The app makes it a very quick and easy service to use and it often facilitates investigations that can avoid lengthy delays for a patient, when we would otherwise have referred them or written to a consultant for advice.

Initial Patient Presentation

Dr Tabitha Smith recently saw a patient, at Milborne Port Surgery in Somerset, who had consistent symptoms of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV). Dr Smith had already “performed three Epley manoeuvres”, which did lead “to partial improvement in her symptoms” and was beginning to consider referring the patient to ENT. However, Dr Smith was aware that if the patient was referred, “they may have to wait months before being seen”. With this in mind, Dr Smith decided to utilise Telephone Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect to gain specialist advice regarding the patient’s condition. 

Dr Smith’s call was connected to “a very helpful ENT consultant” on the National Consultant Network (NCN). The out-of-area NHS consultant was able to give recommendations and advice to Dr Smith, on what to try next before considering a referral to hospital. The consultant explained that the patient should try home exercises (Brandt-Daroff) regularly for four weeks.


How Telephone Advice & Guidance helped the patient:

The patient left the appointment with “more confidence to try the home exercises and was more motivated to persist with these”. The patient: 

  • Felt reassured with the care plan in place
  • Received the right care, efficiently
  • Avoided a referral and a long wait for a hospital appointment 


How Telephone Advice & Guidance helped the GP:

Dr Smith “learned something that would help future management of cases like this” and also helped a patient avoid a long wait, and an unnecessary trip to hospital. Dr Smith: 

  • Finds that the service helps build relationships with specialists
  • Learnt medical knowledge which may help future patient management
  • Felt more confident with the decisions made 

Click here to view and download a PDF version of this case study.

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