Adults and older adults with mental health issues in Greenwich, London could see significant improvements to their diagnosis, treatment and care experience when they go to see their GP from this month. Greenwich CCG and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust have just launched a new Mental Health Phone Advice & Guidance service to their GPs.
In total 45 GP practices covering a patient population of 294,167 will be participating in this initial roll out.
“After careful research, we decided that the introduction of a phone advice & guidance service from Consultant Connect, would be the right solution to support our plans for improving mental health support locally.” Iain Dimond, Acting Deputy Chief Executive/ Director of Service Delivery, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.
Both the CCG and Trust recognised their GPs needed more support for mental health patients (a third of all GP consultations involve mental health) but wanted a quick way of tackling this without involving great expense and time-consuming training.
Because GPs can speak to a specialist whilst the patient is still with them (calls are answered in under a minute), it’s expected that the number of unnecessary referrals will reduce, and the efficiency of service for patients needing more specialist treatment and care will be increased.
The initial roll out of the service for adults and older adults patients could be introduced more widely and extended to include child and teenage mental health. Ultimately, the service could the rolled out across the whole of south London in just a few weeks.
“The benefits for patients and clinicians are potentially huge. We can see that there are multiple ways that this service will make a real difference locally.” Irene Grayson, Associate Director Primary Care Commissioning, Greenwich CCG.
This new service compliments Greenwich’s Phone Advice & Guidance service for Elective Care, also delivered by Consultant Connect.
“Thousands of patients benefit every month through GPs using Consultant Connect to talk with local hospital clinicians immediately. In most cases the GP is able to keep the care of the patient in the community, avoiding the stress and inconvenience of a trip to hospital. This also saves the NHS money: we estimate that our service has saved the NHS over £10 million to date, and that’s just the beginning!” Jonathan Patrick, CEO at Consultant Connect.
If you are interested in finding out how our service can help Mental healthcare provision in your area, please contact us on 01865 261 467, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Mental Health Advice & Guidance webpage.