In addition to maintaining progress on 2022/23 operational priorities and building on the significant successes in delivering the Elective Recovery plan, NHS England has recently set out the next steps for plans to rapidly increase capacity and resilience ahead of winter, building on the operational plans.
Consultant Connect can help your area meet the core objectives and support your area’s operational resilience strategy:
1. Enhanced Advice & Guidance in Elective and Urgent Care
Patients should only be treated in secondary care where there is a clear clinical need. Our proven telephone and photo messaging services ensure care can be kept in the community when it is safe to do so. It also means that when patients need to be seen more urgently, their care can be prioritised.
2. National Consultant Network for remote Advice & Guidance or Referral Triage
The backlog continues to stretch clinical capacity. Consultant Connect’s National Consultant Network (NCN) can provide extra NHS consultant-level support at the touch of a button, allowing remote triaging & validation of waiting lists. The NCN can also provide additional support and capacity to deliver Advice & Guidance without delay, keeping patient care safely in the community where possible. The service can be switched on/switched off – it’s that flexible.
3. Photo and/or Messaging Advice & Guidance
We can provide you with proven solutions around photos and images, supporting clinicians who are seeing patients with decision making and reducing the requirement to needlessly call patients back in. All photos and messages are also saved automatically to the patient record – for further efficiencies*.
*Note: Availability differs by locality/ NHS area
4. Virtual Clinics
Our telephone service also allows consultants/ clinicians to provide virtual clinics, automatically recording calls for medico-legal purposes and for patient notes – reducing the need for the patient to attend the hospital in person.
5. Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) / Safe Early Discharge
Rather than provide regular face-to-face follow-ups, we facilitate lines that allow patients to contact hospital teams when they have a concern – further freeing-up capacity for OPAs. Providing PIFU lines to patients on discharge can help expedite safe discharge – and help mitigate readmission.
6. Mental Health
The backlog has been felt across all areas of care, not just physical care services. Providing clinicians with better access to Mental Health advice can provide better care for patients in the community and help manage the demand on secondary care.
7. Connecting any healthcare professional with another for more integrated care
NHS areas are already using Consultant Connect for more integrated care by enabling access for different user groups (e.g. GPs, Community teams, Ambulance staff, Consultants, Nurses, Optometrists, Dentists and more).
Broadening advice tailored to the user helps clinicians make better decisions for their patients across the whole health and social care space.
As well as enabling specialty teams to provide Advice & Guidance to Primary Care clinicians, Consultant Connect can also facilitate communication between different specialty teams across a hospital. Like a pre-programmed phone directory, the Consultant Connect App can be set up to provide access for secondary care to make calls cross-hospital, enabling them to rapidly contact other specialists to discuss internal referrals, and improve patient flow and discharge.
8. Remote working
Because our system can connect to specialists/ clinicians wherever they are geographically, even when consultants/clinicians are working from home, they can still continue to help patients by offering advice to other clinicians.
Our state-of-the art virtual care devices, allow NHS specialists to be fully available in the care of patients without having to be physically at the bed side.