Clinicians in Kent and Medway have had access to specialist advice via Consultant Connect since September 2019. We spoke with two GPs and a pharmacist prescriber in the area to find out how Telephone Advice & Guidance has improved their working methods.
How did you get specialist advice before using Consultant Connect and how does this compare with Telephone Advice & Guidance (A&G)?
Dr Eliza Moldovan, a GP, said:
“previously, we would have needed to call the on-call specialist or their secretary at the local hospital for any advice and wait for a response. The service provided by Consultant Connect is much faster, and the rapid access to specialist advice allows me to make decisions within a consultation, often with the patient present.”
Dr Modupe Samuel-Onalaja, a GP, commented:
“Telephone A&G is a better tool as it helps avoid unnecessary referrals or waiting for an on-call specialist to call me back, saving me time.”
The Primary Care clinicians also added:
“the service is invaluable. The quick and helpful advice enables me to better manage patients in the community or refer them to a specialist if needed.”
Shenaz Khan, a Pharmacist Prescriber, added:
“the service streamlines my day-to-day job in a relaxed and easy way, and I feel much more informed. This is by far the best A&G tool!”
We asked the clinicians to share examples of how using the service has recently helped improve patient care:
Dr Samuel-Onalaja’s Gynaecology patient
“I recently called a consultant gynaecologist via the Consultant Connect App after seeing an 80-year-old patient presenting with lower abdominal pain. She had been referred for an ultrasound scan, which was reported as a distended endometrial cavity; however, the patient had had no per vaginum bleeding or weight loss. The consultant advised making an urgent, but not a two-week wait, referral to gynaecology for the patient to be seen by a specialist. The response was immediate, and I could make a rapid decision about the best care for the patient.”
Other patient examples
Shenaz shared how a patient’s blood test showed elevated alanine aminotransferase levels, so she contacted a consultant paediatric gastroenterologist via the Consultant Connect App.
“The consultant advised me to order an ultrasound scan for the patient and repeat liver function tests. His advice was helpful, truthful, and non-judgemental, which ultimately helped me provide the best care for my patient.”
Dr Moldovan recalled receiving a patient’s bloodwork which showed raised haemoglobin and haematocrit levels.
“I spoke with a consultant haematologist who reassured me that a referral to Secondary Care was not necessary, which I then shared with the patient. They were pleased and relieved that their case was discussed with a specialist promptly.”
If you have any questions about this service, please get in touch on 01865 261467 or at email@example.com