The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) has undergone significant change in the last couple of years and today every aspect of their service is supported by technology.
Chief Executive Jason Killens said:
“We’ve had long-held ambitions to make progress within the digital arena, and the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as a catalyst for some of this work, which has been a silver lining through a really tough period. Now it’s about building on this work and making things even more streamlined for our staff, volunteers and most importantly, our patients.”
Consultant Connect is one of the new technology-based services which WAST is evaluating. The Consultant Connect service was introduced to WAST earlier this year and supports paramedics to rapidly access Advice and Guidance from specialists and streaming lines.
This blog article looks at the Consultant Connect service in more detail and shares data on the performance of the service to date.
Consultant Connect: About the service
Before Consultant Connect was rolled out to WAST, across all seven health board areas, it was a priority for Consultant Connect and the project leads to scope a high-level structure of how the Consultant Connect services would be best be set up for WAST users. This is because some WAST staff are a very mobile workforce and move across multiple health board footprints, so it needed to work consistently across all of them.
- Consultant Connect services consolidates WAST’s most frequently used telephone lines into the Consultant Connect App. These include Pre-Alerts, Clinical advice, Referrals – both pan-Wales and HB area specific.
- Consolidating all the existing numbers into the Consultant Connect App, effectively meant the WAST users had all their most useful access numbers in their pocket.
- By pre-programming these access numbers into the app, WAST staff no longer needed to save individual numbers into their phones or keep paper versions of telephone directory of services within their vehicles.
- By using the Consultant Connect App, WAST are able to monitor the usage of lines, meaning they can identify trends or any issues that need to be addressed.
- By being able to identify lines which are very popular in specific HB areas, WAST are able to consider replicating services in other areas. Additionally, WAST is able to spot any day-to-day or repeat issues that arise, and address these quickly, supported by the respective Clinical Leads. This helps to identify issues to try and maintain very high connection rates.
Any updates to Advice & Guidance (A&G) lines, for example COVID lines, are reflected quickly in real-time on the Consultant Connect App, when added by the team.
Consultant Connect: Additional support
Communications are collaborative and multi-channel. Consultant Connect work with both the WAST communications team and the Clinical Leads. The communication channels include:
- Emails and texts created and sent by Consultant Connect.
- Social media assets – copy and imagery created by Consultant Connect for WAST to share on their closed Facebook group and personal Twitter accounts.
- Webinars for HB areas – for example we did a Wider Consultant Connect Ambulance Webinar, which included guest speakers Brendan Lloyd and Paula Jeffery.
- QR Code Posters for ambulance stations.
- Case studies sharing positive news.
- Internal literature, for Siren & Intranet pages.
- TV interviews: ITV Wales and S4C.
- Regular project meetings with Clinical Leads on call activity and new lines etc.
Performance to date*
- Calls since launch – 6661
- Average connection rate – 87%
- Average connection time of 9 seconds
* 7th December
Please note, new bespoke ‘outcomes’ have now launched for WAST. We updated our usual outcomes to reflect the needs of a busy ambulance service, to ensure the outcome measures are relevant to WAST users.
New WAST call outcomes:
- Conveyed with pre-alert
- Not Conveyed
- ROLE (recognition of life extinct)
- Matt Kenyon’s (Paramedic in Powys) experience of using Consultant Connect.
- 5 minutes with a… WAST Paramedic, Sion Breese
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how Enhanced Advice & Guidance could benefit patients in your area, please call us on 01865 261467 or email firstname.lastname@example.org