National Consultant Network | Impact and Testimonials

Published: 13th September 2022
Our latest Enhanced Advice & Guidance Performance Benchmarks report highlights just how embedded the National Consultant Network is in the NHS and how it is increasingly being used to support local teams across the UK.
National Consultant Network | Impact and Testimonials - Consultant Connect

In this short article, we highlight the impressive growth in usage of the National Consultant Network (NCN), over the years, along with some feedback from clinicians using the service. Most of our projects now use the NCN. Why? Because it’s so flexible. The service can be rapidly switched on/switched off to provide short or long-term relief to local clinicians.

The NCN comprises out-of-area NHS consultants who can answer pre-referral advice and guidance calls and/or review photo and message requests. They can:

  • Support local consultants, acting as back up when they can’t respond to requests;
  • Provide specialties that are not available locally
  • Answer all Advice & Guidance queries from Primary Care

Calls and messages to the NCN have seen an impressive growth over the last 3 years:

Read the complete Enhanced Advice & Guidance Performance benchmarks report here.

NCN In Practice | Testimonials

We’ve used a selection of our case studies to highlight how the NCN plays a significant part in supporting clinicians and patients across the country…

“I saw a patient who had had a stroke and was taking Apixaban and Statin. They recently had their bloods taken, and their liver function test (LFT) was grossly abnormal, which was a new finding. I sent a message to a haematology NCN consultant, who reassured me that the patient could be managed locally and that a referral was unnecessary. This was excellent for the patient as they didn’t need to travel to the hospital and wait to speak to a clinician in Secondary Care.” Read the case study.

Dr Ilanthirayan


“We as consultants have a duty to support GPs who are under a lot of pressure to process a large number of referrals. This Advice & Guidance service can save patient’s time, avoid stress and complications. We can also save NHS resources by directing the GP to the most appropriate next step in the patient’s management.” Read the case study.

Dr Arnaout

NCN Trauma & Orthopaedics consultant

“I use the Consultant Connect App to get consultant advice within minutes, with the patient sitting in front of me and without having to negotiate busy hospital switchboards, which has been a real positive development. I have spoken with both consultants working in our local hospital and out-of-area NHS consultants for advice. I’d definitely recommend colleagues to use Consultant Connect. It is extremely easy to use, and it took no time to set up the free app on my phone. It’s quick, easy and convenient.” Read the case study.

Dr Griffin


“I give the same advice because a thyroid in Leicester is the same as a thyroid in Kent, but that’s where the discussion is useful, because sometimes GPs cannot do in areas outside of Leicester what they can do in Leicester, and vice-versa – for example, imaging requests. So, it’s great because you can have a conversation about it… if the GP says, I don’t think I can do that, then you can suggest an alternative way of managing that patient.” Read the case study.

Dr Jackson

NCN Diabetes and Endocrinology consultant

“I can speak to a specialist within minutes when I have a pressing question. The service enables me to get immediate input from a specialist for specific or unusual conditions. When local specialty teams are not available, out-of-area NHS consultants on the National Consultant Network (NCN) are able to provide helpful advice and input supporting my decision making.” Read the case study.

Dr Chmielewska


“I was able to help with the management of Pericarditis and at the same time advise appropriate evaluation to be certain that cocaine had not damaged this patient’s heart.” Read the case study.

Dr Davey

NCN Cardiology consultant

If you have any questions, or would like more information about how the NCN could support your NHS area, email or call us on 01865 261 467.

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