Consultant Connect early results: c. 80% of calls result in a referral being avoided

Published: 22nd July 2015

It’s still early days, but we now have sufficient data to be able to share some first-look results for Consultant Connect in an area of Essex.

The headline is that, to date, about 80% of calls to 3 specialties have resulted in a referral being avoided. During these calls, GPs who were unsure about referring a patient have accessed Advice & Guidance from a local hospital consultant and have then decided not to refer the patient to secondary care. Avoiding unnecessary referrals like these allows consultants to focus their efforts on the patients where a referral is necessary.

This success in avoiding these outpatient referrals is down to a few things:

Firstly, the ease of getting through to a consultant. Call pickup rates have been above 90% since the start of the initiative, meaning that a GP has a better than 9 in 10 chance of their call being answered by a local consultant.

Secondly, the waiting time to get through to a consultant is typically around a minute, meaning  GPs can call whilst the patient is with them and have the opportunity to conclude the patient episode there and then.

Finally, the specialties that have been chosen for Consultant Connect in Essex are well suited to the Consultant Connect approach. Consultants are able to understand the patient’s condition over the phone and then advise accordingly. To quote an Endocrinology consultant using Consultant Connect, the system is “simple and effective”.

If you would like to understand how Consultant Connect could work to reduce pressure on secondary care in your area, please get in touch by email to or by phone on 01865 261467 and we will be pleased to discuss and demonstrate the system to you.

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