How Messaging is being used across the NHS

Published: 25th February 2022
Patient safety is enhanced when NHS staff can quickly communicate confidential patient information between teams. Fully encrypted instant messaging services are becoming a vital part of the NHS toolkit. In fact, 50% of Advice & Guidance messages sent via Consultant Connect have resulted in patients avoiding an unnecessary trip to hospital.
How Messaging is being used across the NHS - Consultant Connect

Primary and secondary care teams across the NHS have embraced Consultant Connect’s IG secure Messaging feature via the Consultant Connect App or desktop platform to improve communication, make things easier for staff, and, most importantly, improve the patient’s experience.

Impact to date:
  • 56 NHS areas covered
  • 50% of messages have resulted in patients avoiding an unnecessary trip to hospital
  • Over 34,000 messages have been sent for advice
  • 75% of messages are responded to by specialists within 24 hours

Data correct as of February 2022.

Below are examples of some of the different ways bespoke local needs can be met using the Messaging service:

You can find out more about the examples in the article below or click the titles below to view:

CRIS Team 

The Community Rapid Intervention Services (CRIS) team use the service for sending internal messages to Acute consultants.


Community Dental Therapists send messages to Community Dental consultants.

Podiatry – Vascular Surgery

Podiatry teams use the Messaging service to contact Vascular Surgery. The Vascular Surgery team also use the Messaging service to access photos of patients taken by one another.


Dermatologists often use the service in the following ways:


  • To discuss Dermatology cases, for example, Dermatology and Plastic Surgery have a Messaging group for pre-and post-surgery.
  • To triage cases – senior team members can review the photos taken by junior doctors during the original appointment and ensure advice/medication is correct. This adds safety, reduces workloads and
    is an educational tool. The cases are also exported to the patient record and tracked over time, which is helpful should the condition worsen, for example.

Local Secondary Care to out-of-area Dermatologists

Where local Dermatology provision is limited, Secondary Care teams use the service to contact out-of-area NHS Dermatologists from the National Consultant Network (NCN). Using Messaging to contact NCN consultants allows clinicians to get rapid advice, reduce unnecessary referrals or avoid local nurses having to travel considerable distances between hospital sites.

Diabetic Podiatry MDT

The service can be used for Diabetic Podiatry MDT. The MDT includes 5 sub-specialties:

1. Community foot team
2. Diabetic Podiatry
3. Diabetes inpatient team
4. OPAT team
5. Diabetes MDFT (Vascular & Orthopaedics)

Members of the MDT can start messages based on their patient’s case and share them within the designated sub-specialties. They can also include photos with their messages to aid team discussion. Cases discussed within the teams are often used as case studies and for internal knowledge sharing and training.

These projects have one thing in common – rapid communication tools are resulting in greater efficiency and a much better outcome for everyone involved.

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