In practice: quick ways to respond to COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, the NHS has modernised faster and more profoundly than at any time in its history. The technologies it has adopted are being applied to the continued challenges we face. Below are 8 examples of how we are helping with the recovery of services in NHS areas. Our solutions are now covering 29 million patients and are fully IG-compliant and auditable. Some approaches can be rolled out in as little as 72 hours meaning they will make an impact this winter. Read how this area fast-tracked their project at the start of the pandemic. 

1. Enhanced Advice and Guidance 

…in Elective Care

 

“We had long felt the benefits of Consultant Connect, but with COVID-19 it has really come into its own! We rapidly increased the number of specialties available on the service to ensure that GPs could get as much support as possible from secondary care colleagues, and keep patients out of hospital wherever appropriate. The feedback that we have had from both Consultant teams and GPs has been overwhelmingly positive, with relationships between staff across the system being strengthened.“ Read more.

 

 

 

 

 

…in Urgent Care

 

“We quickly recognised that we would need to deliver separate streams of assessment and admission for non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 possible patients. This led to the rapid establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 Assessment Unit on our main hospital site and Consultant Connect were able at short notice to provide a COVID-19 Advice Line.” Read more.

2. National Consultant Network…

…for advice when there’s no local option

4 NHS areas have one thing in common – they’ve all made it radically quicker and easier for clinicians to get specialist advice despite the pandemic by using out-of-area NHS consultants. Read more.

 

 

3. National Consultant Network…

…for Referral Backlog Triage

The backlog in demand will stretch clinical capacity to breaking point. Consultant Connect can provide extra NHS consultant-level support. In one area NCN consultants have reviewed 3,000 referrals in just 3 weeks. For more information, click here.

Here’s some feedback from the National Consultant Network consultants doing this work:

“The opportunities for the NHS are shorter waiting lists at the hospitals – what’s not to like about that!”

“I think that sometimes GPs can be unsure of whether someone needs to be seen in a hospital clinic, but refer them on as a safety net. The cases like this, I have viewed, are especially suitable for A&G as re-assurance to the GP (and patient) can be given by an NHS consultant with a name attached.”

“A number of referrals were identified to be re-triaged into another department in the hospital, saving an unnecessary first outpatient appointment.”

4. Photo Messaging across multiple specialties

We can provide you with proven solutions around photos and images, supporting community-based clinicians who are seeing patients with decision making and reducing the requirement to needlessly call patients back in. Successful projects have been established in many specialties including:

Ophthalmology – “I have found the Consultant Connect App particularly helpful during the current Coronavirus situation where our usual referral pathways have been disrupted; enabling me to reduce unnecessary strain upon our hospital eye service.”  Read the case study.

Dermatology – “A patient’s skin lesion had become inflamed with brown pigmentation and she was concerned about the possibility that it was cancerous. I asked the patient if she would be happy to send photographs of the skin lesion for me to review.Read the case study.

Cardiology – “Often there may be subtle changes that we might flag as possibly significant but are uncertain without specialist review. The app allows specialists to review quickly and avoids unnecessary admissions being required.” Read the case study.

5. Safe Early Discharge

 

“The COVID Discharge Guidance (March 2020) advised the Acute Trusts to have a ‘safety net’ for patients being discharged. A discussion with Consultant Connect one day explaining what we required… resulted in the Discharge Advice Line (DAL) being operational the very next day!” Read more.

6. Mental Health

The backlog in demand is felt across all of care, not just physical care services. Providing clinicians with better access to Mental Health advice can help manage demand to secondary care referrals. This physical health advice project has achieved a referral avoidance rate of 65% in just 3 months since launch. Read more. 

Blog article: Supporting Mental Health patients during a Pandemic.

7. Community Users (incl. Care Homes)

Health and care workers supporting mental health patients, those in care homes and housebound or homeless patients have the support of a direct and rapid advice and guidance contact line. “Feedback so far has been very positive.” Read more.

8. Remote Working / Quarantined Clinicians

“Due to shielding requirements, some of the GPL team were unable to work from the office but have since March been able to work from home without many of our primary care colleagues being aware. The service has consequently been maintained throughout the pandemic without any interruption at all.” Read more.

Many consultants have been working from home to answer GP calls via the NCN since the pandemic started. We spoke to a cardiologist who described the experience as “fascinating and interesting.” Watch this short video about his experience.

WEBINAR RECORDING | If you’d like to find out how many of the above could work in your NHS area, you can listen to the recording of our webinar: Using Consultant Connect to deal with COVID-19; Your Questions Answered.

Alternatively, please call us on 01865 261467 or email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk.

 

In numbers

 

Used by over 75 CCG/Health Board areas

Used by over 80 Hospitals

Covering more than 29 million patients

Used by over 75 CCG/Health Board areas

Used by over 80 Hospitals

Over £42 million NHS savings to date

Covering more than 29 million patients

Case studies

We work with over 75 CCGs/Health Boards, 80 Hospitals, and thousands of GP practices. Find out how we help them:

5 minutes with a Paramedic

5 minutes with a Paramedic

Sion Breese, Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust Paramedic and Development Clinical Team Leader, shares his experience of using Consultant Connect App.

NHS Area Case Study: Enfield – project update & expansion plans

NHS Area Case Study: Enfield – project update & expansion plans

Six months ago, Consultant Connect launched in Enfield, NHS North Central London CCG to support key services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We caught up with Senior Programme ...

GP case study: Dermatology

GP case study: Dermatology

Dr Andreas Photiou has been a GP for 10 years and works at Wood End Health Centre, NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG. Before Consultant Connect was introduced to this area in 2016, ...

5 minutes with a Gynaecologist

5 minutes with a Gynaecologist

Dr Akbar talks to us about her personal experience of answering A&G calls through the Consultant Connect service.

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.

Recent tweets

Contact us

Permissions

Terms & Conditions

You can view our Terms & Conditions here.

 

Most Read Articles

 

COVID-19 Response: 8 ways we can help

In response to COVID-19, the NHS has modernised faster and more profoundly than at any time in its history. The technologies it has adopted are being applied to the continued challenges we face. Find out how we are helping with the recovery of services in NHS areas. Our solutions are now covering 29 million patients and are fully IG-compliant and auditable. Some approaches can be rolled out in as little as 72 hours...

Read more

 

SE London Enhanced A&G project "comes into its own" during COVID-19

 

What's the impact, one year on, of using Consultant Connect with e-RS for South East London CCGs? In this article, we take a look at how our project in South East London CCG has expanded since we first wrote about it on this blog this time last year. Plus David Reith, Associated Director for Planned Care Improvement at South East London CCG shares his feedback...

Read more

 

Digital Health: Consultant Connect data reveals usage has soared during COVID-19

Digital Health News has reported on our latest performance benchmark data. Our data has revealed the usage of our products soared by as much as 380% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Read more

 

NHS Area Case Study: Enfield - project update & expansion plans

 

Six months ago, Consultant Connect launched in Enfield, NHS North Central London CCG to support key services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We caught up with Senior Programme Manager, Stephen Wells from Enfield Borough Directorate to discuss how the project has been performing since launch...

Read more

 

Local NHS Gains National Recognition for Improving Skin Cancer Diagnosis

 

Our partnership Tele-Skin Two Week Wait Pathway project with County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and local partner CCGs gained national recognition for improving skin care diagnosis...

Read more

 

NHS Areas where Ambulance staff use Phone A&G to improve patient care

 

Paramedic, CSD and Operation teams within Ambulance Trusts across the UK are using the rapid Consultant Connect Telephone A&G service to contact clinicians for advice on patient related queries. The following examples show how four NHS areas are using the service in different ways to meet their bespoke local needs...

Read more