Using Consultant Connect for COVID-19 Recovery
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 4,450 referrals in just 3 weeks. For more information, click here. You can also take a look at our FAQs for this service 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.
Thinking of investing in Dermatoscopes?
Many NHS areas have been approaching us for advice about purchasing Dermatoscopes, and the suitability for their GPs. Find out more.
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.
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.
We work with over 80 CCGs/Health Boards, 80 Hospitals, and thousands of GP practices. Find out how we help them:
Dr Holden had a visit from a patient with end-stage heart failure. The patient was adamant that he did not want to go into hospital, for fear of dying there.
Dr Richard Wright has been a GP for 25 years and currently works at Caterham Valley Medical Practice, in NHS Surrey Heartlands CCG.
Eight months after Consultant Connect Telephone Advice & Guidance was made available to his practice, Dr Griffin talks to us about what he thinks of the service and how using Consultant Connect has improved patient care.
Dr Angharad Triggs, is a GP at Penylan Surgery in Cardiff, where clinicians have had access to Telephone Advice & Guidance provided by Consultant Connect since June 2020.
For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals & mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.
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