Consultant Connect In Mental Health

Published: 26th May 2021
We provide services in Mental Health, two ways we are doing so is better connecting Mental Health Inpatients with physical care and linking Primary Care clinicians to Mental Health specialists at South London and Maudsley (SLaM). Read more about these services and their current performance in this article.
Consultant Connect In Mental Health - Consultant Connect

Connecting Mental Health Inpatients to Physical Care

South London and Maudsley (SLaM) currently is running a project called Integrated Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems. This project is all about improving the Physical Health of Mental Health service users. The project started in 2019 and it began with conversations with clinicians, about the barriers faced in providing timely physical healthcare for their Mental Health inpatients.

One of the clear barriers presented was the ability to directly contact local colleagues, despite the physical nearness in location. To counter this, SLaM launched Consultant Connect services, to connect Mental Health wards to Physical Care clinicians.

Performance, 11 months on*…

  • > 660 calls placed
  • 81 services available
  • 61% of calls result in an unnecessary referral avoided
  • 16% of calls resulted in a referral, ensuring patients receive the right care, first time

*All data correct as of May 2021

Connecting Primary Care to Mental Health Specialists

Mental Health specialists at SLaM answer calls from Primary Care clinicians in Lambeth (as of July 2020) and Lewisham (since November 2020), via Consultant Connect’s Telephone Advice & Guidance service. The available Advice & Guidance lines are Older Adult Mental Health, Working Age Adult Mental Health, and Adult ADHD and Autism.

The direct conversations on the phone allow for rich discussions and usually are much more efficient in managing the relevant patient’s care plan, especially if the condition is complex. The service also helps to free up the Mental Health specialists’ time, as usually the patients would be referred to them. But with the Consultant Connect service, the patients receive the advice (via their Primary Care clinician) on the same day, and sometimes they may not even need to be referred.

Performance so far*…

  • 250 calls have been placed
  • 55% of calls have resulted in an unnecessary referral being avoided

*All data correct as of May 2021

We are delighted to announce that Kings Health Partners and Consultant Connect have been shortlisted for Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2022. For more information, click here.

Watch our webinar recording to hear from SLaM experts

If you missed our ‘Consultant Connect in Mental Health’ webinar featuring speakers from SLaM, click here to listen to the recording.

“SLaM clinicians have described Consultant Connect to me as ‘fantastic!’. People living with Serious Mental Illnesses experience a significantly reduced life-expectancy complicated by, and as a result of, their physical health co-morbidities. Consultant Connect helps SLaM clinicians to improve our efforts of redressing that imbalance by, providing quick and easy access to Consultant experts; we can seize the opportunities we spend with people, to help them access care and treatment they might otherwise miss out on or be delayed in receiving. Making every contact count is so important and, we hope to expand the service to our community services soon because it has been so useful for our inpatient colleagues.”  Raymond McGrath, Lead Nurse at SLaM

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