2023 marks the 58th International Nurses Day, and we’re taking the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution nurses make to the NHS.
At Consultant Connect, we support all roles within healthcare and recognise that telemedicine solutions cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach.
Below are a handful of examples of how our services have been tailored for nurses up and down the UK to support and improve their ways of working.
Read on below or click the titles below to quickly navigate:
Nurses providing Advice & Guidance (A&G)
GP Liaison Line in Bedfordshire Luton and Milton Keynes ICB
In Bedfordshire, a GP Liaison Line was set up 7 years ago to tackle the lack of accuracy in patient pathway management. Before the service was introduced, GPs had to call via the hospital switchboard, which could take upwards of 30 minutes, and call details were not logged, so who, how and why someone had called was not always recorded.
The line, which is now believed to be the only nurse-led service of its kind in the country, is used for rapid queries, and since its launch, the number of nurses providing the service has more than doubled.
The line’s success is attributed to the fact that it:
- Sits alongside existing A&G.
- Offers onward referrals.
- Creates a system for effective communication management.
‘The GP Liaison service frees up everyone’s time: Primary Care clinicians because they’re not waiting on the line via switchboard, Secondary Care specialists because they are receiving only appropriate referrals, and patients because they are receiving answers and care quickly.’ – Sally Shaw, Service Manager and Lead Nurse at Cambridgeshire Community Service NHS Trust.
‘This line has provided a vital service to support both Luton and Bedfordshire for many years now, and it has grown from strength to strength over time. It is fast and consistent, supporting collaborative working and continuously contributing towards the avoidance of unnecessary referrals and admissions.’ – Laura Cook, Account Executive, Consultant Connect.
Lymphoedema Line in Wales
In 2021, a Lymphoedema Telephone A&G line was launched across Wales, answered by national clinical leads for queries requiring a rapid response.
A Messaging line was then added in 2022, allowing clinicians to attach photos to support a more efficient diagnosis and treatment.
The service was established as a quicker and more effective method of contact, rather than the more conventional route, such as the local lymphoedema services clinic line. This is because the latter types of lines are utilised by both patients and clinicians and become overwhelmed with calls.
‘The Lymphoedema service via Consultant Connect lets a team spread across Wales provide rapid support to colleagues wherever they are. By dispersing the service across each health board lead, the team can feel confident that a colleague can answer if they don’t have capacity. The person requesting support can be assured they will get a quick answer to their query.’ – Patrick Keys, Account Manager, Consultant Connect.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Line in Staffordshire
The IBD line has been connecting Primary Care clinicians with IBD specialist nurses since 2021. The aim of implementing this service was to provide GPs with specialist nurse advice for the management of flare-ups of IBD, in turn keeping patients outside of acute settings.
Since its introduction, the line now also functions as a patient management tool for long-term diagnoses, as opposed to same-day advice, allowing for more effective patient care.
OPAT Line in Glasgow and Greater Clyde Health Board
A year ago, the Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) Line was launched, allowing GPs in the local area to contact nurses regarding patients requiring intravenous antibiotics and complex oral antibiotic treatments that need close monitoring. The introduction of this line means that only patients appropriate for this pathway are referred, and other patients are directed down more suitable avenues.
‘This pathway via Consultant Connect allows Primary Care clinicians to call first to check whether a referral is appropriate or if there is a better-suited alternative pathway. This, in turn, supports patient care, enabling the right care in the right setting.’ – Lowri Howard, Account Manager, Consultant Connect.
Nurses answering patient queries
Rheumatology Line in South Warwickshire University Foundation Trust (SWFT)
A hybrid Patient-Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) cross Patient Connect Rheumatology Line was launched two years ago. In the morning, patients can leave a voicemail with a description of their query. Subsequently, in the afternoon, the clinical nurse specialists would contact the patient, either to resolve the issue or to book a follow-up appointment.
Since 2021, the line has been extremely well used and is now an example for other rheumatology teams across the country.
‘The Rheumatology Line at SWFT is a great example of how our Patient Connect and PIFU solutions can work in tandem to support delivering patient care. It enables the rheumatology team to create a worklist to call patients back and track volumes and outcomes.’ – Lowri Howard, Account Manager, Consultant Connect.
Nurses requesting A&G
Perinatal Mental Health Line in Hywel Dda Health Board
Launched just six months ago, the Perinatal Mental Health A&G line aimed to reduce the number of inappropriate referrals the service received, while screening referrals made and signposting patients to more appropriate avenues as needed. Nurses were initially manually creating reports, so the Consultant Connect service automated the process, freeing the nurses’ time to focus on the clinical aspects.
The line has become so popular that the team hopes to expand the service’s availability to include social workers in due course.
‘The Perinatal Mental Health Line in Hywel Dda provides a great service, not only to GPs but also by providing amazing support to midwives and health visitors as they work in the community, allowing them to assist patients that may otherwise go untreated.’ – Bronwen Dunning, Account Manager, Consultant Connect.