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:
- Special Achievement
- Advice & Guidance – Best Overall Projects
Read on below to find out the Special Achievement winners. For the Advice & Guidance – Best Overall Projects winners, click here.
Please note that all outcome data relates to calls and/or photo messages where an outcome was reported.
Special Achievement Award 2022
And the winners are…
WINNER for PIFU/Patient Connect project:
South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) Rheumatology PIFU
Following last year’s win of the Consultant Connect Advice & Guidance – Best Overall projects Award 2022, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has continued to be a shining example of implementing innovative communication solutions between clinicians and improving patient care. This year we’re delighted to announce their win for the Special Achievement Award for PIFU/Patient Connect.
SWFT has implemented both Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) and Patient Connect lines to support patients with Rheumatology needs:
Patients can initiate IG-secure virtual consultations for Rheumatology advice and/or Rheumatology prescription and blood test queries via Consultant Connect.
To date, over 16,000 patient calls have been placed to the service, with specialist nurses and consultants using Patient Connect to place calls back to patients for virtual consultations. Overall, 60% of calls are resolved first time, avoiding the need for the patient to attend hospital.
Lowri Howard, Account Manager at Consultant Connect comments:
‘Since we launched PIFU and Patient Connect in SWFT in 2021, the team at SWFT have exemplified how the Consultant Connect platform can be used in an innovative way to improve patient care. By using both PIFU and Patient Connect, the Rheumatology team at SWFT have created an easy and efficient pathway for patients seeking advice.’
WINNER for Urgent Care project:
North Central London ICS – Silver Triage line
Last year, North Central London (NCL) ICS won the ‘Advice & Guidance: Best Overall Projects’ award and this year we’re delighted to announce the ICS has won the Special Achievement Award for Urgent Care.
The ‘Silver Triage’ line, which launched in September, connects ambulance crews to frailty specialists in North London in just 17 seconds (average connection time). Ambulance crews can seek timely Advice & Guidance while with frail patients and, with specialist input, ensure they’re cared for in the most appropriate setting. To date, following a (on average) 9-minute discussion between ambulance staff and the frailty specialists, outcomes show that 80% of calls result in the frail or elderly patient avoiding a hospital visit.
Nick Smith, Account Manager for our project in NCL, comments:
‘After an initial pilot earlier in the year, it became clear that there was a real demand for the Silver Triage service for the ambulance crews in NCL. After the pilot, the team were able to secure the necessary staff to resource the phone lines based on the previous experience they’d had. This led to a seamless relaunch in September this year, with a simple process for users, leading to regular usage and improved patient care.’
HIGHLY COMMENDED for Urgent Care project:
Salford Care Organisation, Northern Care Alliance
For this year’s commended place for the Urgent Care project Award, we celebrate Salford Care Organisation, Northern Care Alliance. The project continues to enable access to their urgent care services:
- Emergency assessment unit (EAU) surgical triage
- Paediatric assessment unit
- Paediatric treatment unit
- Community urgent response team
57% of Consultant Connect calls to the four urgent care services result in the patient being advised to attend the hospital, 19% of patients are referred to outpatients, and the remaining 23% of patients are being treated out of the hospital, by their GP.
Patrick Keys, Account Manager for this project, comments:
‘This urgent care project has been a fantastic rollout, the level of engagement from all parties involved is reflected in the significant uptake from the start and expansions of the service to elective care. ‘
WINNER for Mental Health project:
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)
Following last year’s win of the Consultant Connect Advice & Guidance – Best Overall projects Award 2022, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) has continued to be a pioneer in using Consultant Connect to improve the physical healthcare of people with serious mental illness in South London. This year we’re delighted to announce that SLAM has won the Special Achievement Award for their Mental Health project.
The service allows clinicians at SLaM to rapidly contact nearby hospital doctors in over 50 specialties for recommendations on their patients without the need for a full referral. People diagnosed with a serious mental illness have a reduced life expectancy of between 15 and 20 years due to their worse physical health. But two-thirds of the time, the use of Consultant Connect by clinicians at SLaM has successfully enabled them to treat their patient’s physical as well as mental health over the last year.
Nick Smith, Account Manager for our project in SLaM, comments:
‘It has been a pleasure to work with the team at SLaM on such an innovative project. The work seamlessly joins up with the existing Advice & Guidance channels in South East London in both urgent and elective care and ensures that high-quality advice is available across all spheres of healthcare.’
HIGHLY COMMENDED for Mental Health project:
Greater Glasgow and Clyde – Mental Health Assessment Unit
A special mention goes to Greater Glasgow & Clyde’s Mental Health SDEC Telephone Advice & Guidance (A&G) line. The line is answered by senior nurses at the local Mental Health Assessment Unit (MHAU) and is available to primary care clinicians, the Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Scotland. Clinicians/the police can contact the MHAU regarding their patient’s mental health and agree the best next steps in the patient’s care. For example, it may be agreed that a member of the MHAU team will visit the patient’s home, or the patient may be admitted to the MHAU for a mental health assessment, bypassing the Emergency Department.
Over 1,000 calls have been placed to the MHAU team so far this year, and have seen a connection rate of 95%, meaning that the vast majority of calls were answered first time, providing rapid support for patients.
Amy Ryan, Account Manager for this project, comments:
‘It has been really rewarding to work on this project and see SDEC supporting the care of patients with Mental Health issues. Well done to everyone involved!’
WINNER for Photo Messaging Advice & Guidance project:
Joined Up Care Derbyshire – Ophthalmology
We’re delighted to announce that this year’s Photo and Messaging A&G Award goes to the Ophthalmology specialists in ‘Joined up Care Derbyshire’ for providing Photo Messaging A&G to local optometrists. Within Derbyshire, more than 120 messages per month are sent and received for Ophthalmology A&G alone. Many patients have avoided the need for a referral, impacting positively on patient flow during the major pressures of peak demand.
Marija Tofts, Account Manager for this project, comments:
‘We continue to be impressed by the uptake of our Photo Advice & Guidance service in Derbyshire. This project is a shining example of an outstanding collaboration source, enabling faster communication between clinicians and improved care for patients.’
WINNER for Teledermatology project:
Birmingham and Solihull ICB
We’re delighted to announce that this year’s Teledermatology Award goes to Birmingham and Solihull (BSOL) ICB.
Consultant Connect’s Advice & Guidance (A&G) service was commissioned in 2016 across Birmingham and Solihull ICB. When the local hospital paediatric dermatology service closed in 2019, Consultant Connect was introduced as a solution to provide GPs in the area with out-of-area paediatric dermatology advice.
This is one of our most used teledermatology services, with over 1,900 photo messages Advice & Guidance queries sent since launch, and 77% of all requests avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.
Following the success of the paediatric dermatology service, in 2020, a pilot project focusing on adult dermatology was launched in one practice in the Solihull area.
The pilot has since become a successful service covering a population of 42,000 in a few different locations and is now available to all GPs across the ICB. Results have continued to impress, with over 3,800 photo messages sent to the line and 75% of cases avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.
The success of the paediatric and adult dermatology services led to the launch of a local community dermatology advice service, enabling GPs in the area to seek general dermatology advice from GPwSIs (GP with Special Interests). Results are impressive, with over 1,900 photo messages sent to the line and 72% of cases avoiding unnecessary hospital visits.
The success of these teledermatology services led to more messaging specialties being made available to clinicians in the area.
Ashley Backhouse, Consultant Connect Account Manager for our project in Birmingham and Solihull, comments:
‘It is great to see BSOL ICB utilise our messaging service so effectively. We have worked collaboratively to offer appropriate services and grow their usage, hugely benefitting clinicians in Primary Care and their patients.’
WINNER for Best Secondary Care project:
NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICB – University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL)
Congratulations to NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICB, who are this year’s ‘Best Secondary Care Project’ award winners. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) continue to have a brilliant local answer rate, with 77% of calls connecting to a UHL specialist first time in 31 seconds (average connection time).
The Adult Cardiology Telephone and Messaging lines available via Consultant Connect saw impressive results, with rapid response times, on average messages are responded to in just 12 minutes, the results speak for themselves: 74% of messages and 67% of calls result in an unnecessary hospital visit being avoided for the patient.
UHL have also adopted the use of Consultant Connect for taking and sharing IG-secure and GDPR-compliant dermatology images within the Trust, and a whopping 23,000 images have been taken in 2022. The photos can be accessed by relevant clinicians throughout the patient’s care, monitoring changes and supporting treatment and surgery.
Finally, the ICB have added GP practice bypass numbers (referred to locally as priority numbers) to Consultant Connect to improve two-way communication between secondary and primary care clinicians. Preventing the need to wait in automated patient queues, contacting the bypass number and being rapidly connected to practices saves valuable secondary care clinician time.
Marija Tofts, Account Manager for our project in Leicester, comments:
‘Secondary care teams at UHL have really embraced the Consultant Connect service – there’s been such fantastic collaboration and support from UHL in providing access to rapid A&G to their colleagues in Primary Care. This is reducing pressures on the Trust by saving unnecessary hospital appointments whilst supporting GPs to improve patient care and pathways faster.’
If you have any questions or would like more information on our projects, call us on 01865 261467 or email email@example.com.