Consultant Connect, all the data including COVID-19 impact

Published: 3rd August 2021
What are the top NHS specialties for Advice & Guidance? What is the impact of COVID-19? Our new benchmarking report answers this and much more.

After the most extraordinary 18 months in living memory, we are pleased to release the aggregated data from Consultant Connect from June 2015 – June 2021 inclusive. 

Every phone call, message, and photo taken over 6 years, the data is the most complete record of the impact of “Enhanced” Advice and Guidance on the NHS. So what was COVID’s impact?

Well, some things have not changed. The effectiveness of a GP speaking to a specialist for advice on a patient has remained consistent for a number of years: 66% of calls result in a patient avoiding the need to wait for a hospital visit. Similarly, photos of skin continue to help dermatologists diagnose patients and advise their GPs on the right care immediately: over 72% of photo-messages avoid an unnecessary trip to hospital.

In short, we have seen at least five years’ worth of usage growth in just 18 months.

Firstly, telephone advice and guidance usage has comfortably more than doubled across the board as GPs have looked for ways to get patients the care they need without sending them to overstretched local hospitals. Secondly, tele-dermatology has finally come of age. Usage has exploded more than tenfold since 2019, with both GPs and patients taking photos for review by consultants on the Consultant Connect platform. 

The most enduring stories we hear, though, are the ones about patients who would no longer be here were it not for a conversation between a GP and a hospital consultant. Tales of hidden heart attacks, type 1 diabetes and cancer diagnoses always quicken the pulse and give pride to clinicians who have the ultimate impact on a patient’s life. Data can tell you a lot, but not as much as a good story.

The revolution has happened and there’s no going back. Over half the population of the UK is now covered by a Consultant Connect service.

Webinar recording: ‘Using NHS Advice & Guidance Data to Plan Ahead’ – find out how you can use our usage data to plan ahead and meet new care demands. For the recording and related materials, click here.


Click here to read and download a  PDF of the full report or view the full report by clicking through the slideshow below:

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.