Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most. For a brief overview of Consultant Connect services, please click here.  If you have any additional questions or need service support from us, please call us on 01865 261467 or email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk. Consultant Connect only works in the NHS.

  • How can the service be accessed?

The quickest way to access the service is via the free Consultant Connect App (download by searching ‘Consultant Connect’ on the App Store or Google Play). On the app, clinicians can make Telephone Advice & Guidance calls at the touch of a button as specialty access numbers are pre-programmed in.

The Consultant Connect App also comes with a safe clinical photography feature – PhotoSAF. Photos taken via the app are stored in an IG secure and GDPR compliant cloud and not on the phone. The photos are automatically sent to your NHS email address and can also be accessed via the secure Consultant Connect dashboard from a desktop computer by logging in using the same details you use for the app. In areas where sharing is enabled, photos and messages can also be sent within the app, directly to consultant teams for Advice & Guidance.

Telephone Advice & Guidance can also be accessed by calling your surgery’s unique Dial-In Number from any phone. Your unique Dial-In Number, the specialties available to call and their opening hours can be found on your Service Directory. If you do not have your Dial-In Number or Service Directory link, please contact the Consultant Connect team by email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk.

The time it takes a clinician to connect to a consultant for Telephone Advice & Guidance is just 27 seconds (UK average).

If you are a locum clinician, work within multiple organisations, or have recently changed practice, please email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk for us to provide you with the correct access.

 

  • Is the service free?

The service is paid for by your local NHS health care commissioning organisation, meaning there is no cost to users, other than the cost of a local telephone call if they are seeking Telephone Advice & Guidance. The Consultant Connect App can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google Play (just search ‘Consultant Connect’ on your app store).

 

  • I have forgotten my password, what should I do?

To reset your password, visit: consultantconnect.org.uk/service/password/forgot

 

  • Does the service replace other Advice & Guidance (A&G) routes?

No, this service aims to provide users with additional options for quicker and more efficient access to Advice & Guidance. Pre-existing routes such as email and local referral systems will continue to be available.

 

  • Which specialties can be accessed and during what hours of the day?

The specialties available and the hours of operation are agreed upon by the Acute/Mental Health Trust/Hospital Teams and your local NHS health care commissioning organisation. As well as the Consultant Connect App showing a full list of available specialties, each GP practice has a Service Directory that lists this information. The Consultant Connect App and Service Directory are updated whenever changes are made to the service, such as new specialties being added. Calls will only be routed to consultants during the agreed hours of operation. Calls will not be routed to consultants outside of these agreed hours and consultants are automatically excluded from rotas during any notified periods of holiday. Mobile numbers of those seeking and providing Advice & Guidance are never shared with users.

 

  • Who is responsible for the patient whose care is being discussed?

The clinician seeking the advice remains responsible for deciding what treatment is to be provided following receipt of the Advice & Guidance and whether a referral or admission is appropriate for their patient.

 

  • Why do users need to input the NHS number?

The NHS number is attached to the medico-legal call recordings and Photo/Message PDFs to assist subsequent retrieval by relevant GP practices and/or Hospital Teams should it be necessary as a patient identifier. If no NHS number is input by the GP, the recordings/PDFs can still be tracked by date/time reference.

 

  • Why is providing the outcome important?

Leaving an outcome allows your commissioning organisation to monitor the effectiveness of the service. The information also supports the addition of new specialties to the service.

 

  • Will consultants have access to any patient records?

Consultants are often away from their desks when they take a call. You should assume that the consultants will not have access to any patient records. Any advice given will be based entirely on the information that is provided by you to the consultants via telephone/photo/message.

 

  • Can I send messages for Advice & Guidance via the Consultant Connect App?

Yes, in areas where this feature has been enabled, clinicians can click on the ‘Messages’ button within the Consultant Connect App to write and send messages to consultants.

 

  • Can I only use Messaging Advice & Guidance via the Consultant Connect App?

While the Consultant Connect App is a secure and reliable way to send messages and share patient photos, you can also send messages and share photos sent by patients from your computer. Once logged in to the secure Consultant Connect dashboard https://consultantconnect.org.uk/service/login (using the same details you use to log into the app), you can upload images sent by patients (e.g., for Teledermatology*) or upload files (e.g., ECGs, Echo reports, scans, or x-rays) for consultant Advice & Guidance.

*Please see this step-by-step guide on Patient Initiated Teledermatology, or watch this 40 second video for more detail.

  • How do I transfer photos and messages from Consultant Connect to patient records?

Go to the Consultant Connect desktop platform and locate the photo(s) or message(s) you need. In the top right corner, you can download a PDF with notes or photos only to your desktop and then use the PDF or photo files as your attachment for the patient records.

 

  • Is there a limit on the size of an image I can send, for Advice & Guidance?

The Consultant Connect App can compress a standard phone image to 2MB whilst maintaining the high quality of pixels. This allows for the image to be zoomed in and reviewed. We would ask for no image to exceed a file size of 50MB.

 

  • Who should I call for help with the service?

For any service/ technical queries, please call the Consultant Connect Team on: 01865 261467 or email: hello@consultantconnect.org.uk.

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