2022 Consultant Connect Awards: A&G – Best Overall Projects

Published: 14th December 2022
2022 Consultant Connect Awards - read on to find out the winners of the Advice & Guidance: Best Overall Projects category…
2022 Consultant Connect Awards: A&G – Best Overall Projects - Consultant Connect

As 2022 comes to a close, we’re delighted to recognise the achievements of our NHS colleagues with the third annual Consultant Connect Awards. As well as the glory of victory, all winners are receiving a donation to their hospital charities. There are two categories:

  • Advice & Guidance – Best Overall Projects
  • Special Achievement

Read on below to find out the Advice & Guidance – Best Overall Projects winners. For the Special Achievement winners, click here.

Please note that all outcome data relates to calls and/or photo messages where an outcome was reported.


Advice & Guidance: Best Overall Projects 2022

And the winners are…


WINNER for Biggest Growth:
Herts and West Essex ICS

Following last year’s win of the Consultant Connect Special Achievement Award for the fastest ICS rollout, Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) has seen the biggest growth in 2022.

The ICS has seen an increase in the usage of Telephone and Messaging Advice & Guidance (A&G) across Primary Care, which supports clinicians in ensuring the best patient care.

What started with 15 specialties a little over a year ago has now grown to offer 26 specialties, including 20 for Telephone A&G in Urgent and Elective Care and 6 for Photo Messaging A&G in Elective Care. The A&G data for the ICS from the last year shows that over 8,000 A&G interactions have been made via Consultant Connect with 63% resulting in patients avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital – Meaning more patients were treated in the right place by the right clinician, the first time.

Marija Tofts, Account Manager for this project, comments:

‘Implementing this service in just 10 days across an entire ICS was a huge achievement. The widespread adoption and growth of the service in the last year is down to the willingness of local teams to embrace innovation.’


HIGHLY COMMENDED for Biggest Growth:
Surrey Heartlands ICB

Over 1,000 Primary Care clinicians in Surrey Heartlands (ICB) have downloaded the Consultant Connect App. In the last 12 months, 8,000 calls and messages have been placed via the service, which represents an increase of almost 40% against the previous year, mostly driven by the usage of Teledermatology, which has doubled in the last year.

Stephen Lamb, Account Manager for this project, comments:

‘The numbers speak for themselves – clinicians have embraced using Consultant Connect to connect with their colleagues. Well done all involved and I look forward to seeing what 2023 brings!’


WINNER for Innovation:
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust (QEHKL)

This year’s award for Innovation goes to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust (QEHKL) for their Cardiology Referral Triage project. Consultant Connect has worked with the Trust to triage over 2,500 Cardiology referrals since July 2021 and, following their quick adoption of the service, 29% of referrals have been returned to Primary Care with detailed Advice & Guidance. A further 25% of referrals have been booked for diagnostics.

A Consultant Connect first, we’ve worked with QEHKL to then review the results of the diagnostics, re-triaging accordingly.

The project ensures patients don’t attend a first outpatient appointment unnecessarily, after months of waiting, and means that those who do need to be seen by the QEHKL Cardiology team have had the appropriate diagnostics completed beforehand, streamlining their care.

Sophie Paddick, Account Manager for this project, comments:

‘This has been a fantastic project to be a part of, and the team at QEHKL have been brilliant in supporting the quick rollout of the project; by reviewing the results of the diagnostics in addition to the initial referral, we’ve been able to help reduce waiting times for patients and ensure that referrals are directed to the right service first time.’


WINNER for All-encompassing:
Coventry and Warwickshire ICB

For this year’s All-encompassing Award, we celebrate Coventry and Warwickshire ICB in their achievements. Consultant Connect’s Advice & Guidance (A&G) service was commissioned in 2016 across all three places in Warwickshire, now known as Coventry and Warwickshire ICB. 

Across the ICB, 54 lines have been set up to date, allowing rapid access to A&G for Primary Care clinicians from local and out-of-area NHS consultants on the National Consultant Network (NCN).

Over the last year, more than 6,000 calls have been placed via the service, with, on average, 64% of calls resulting in patients avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital across elective specialties, meaning more patients were treated in the right place by the right clinician the first time.

What started as a project focused on A&G provision has since seen significant ICB-wide and localised place-based expansions and innovations, including:

Across the ICB:

  • Patient Record Integration
  • Paediatrics Suspected Childhood Cancer (2WW) pathway
  • Referral Triage
  • Community Teams


Across South Warwickshire:

  • WMAS to Frailty
  • PIFU and Patient Connect
  • MDTs
  • Involvement with PDSAs


Across Coventry and Rugby and Warwickshire North:

  • Messaging replacing eRS for obtaining Advice & Guidance from Cardiology and General Dermatology
  • WMAS in Warwickshire North


Click here to read about the project coverage in more detail.

Lowri Howard, Account Manager for this project, comments:

‘The evolution of our project with Coventry and Warwickshire from when it first launched in 2016 has been truly impressive. The rollout shows how Consultant Connect can be used across all aspects of the patient journey, going beyond Advice & Guidance to encompass patient-specialist communication, triaging hospital backlogs, multi-disciplinary teams and more. It’s been great to work with such focused and motivated teams, who have quickly and effectively used the platform. The levels of engagement across all teams have been fantastic, and we are really excited to see how the project develops in the future.’


If you have any questions or would like more information on our projects, call us on 01865 261467 or email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk.

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