Headline:

The easiest bit of the NHS long term plan

Monday saw the arrival of the NHS long term plan. As a vision, it’s undoubtedly positive and ambitious – giving the public access to their GP via “digital consultations” understandably got a lot of coverage, but the plan’s authors might have been right to feel miffed that a lot of other good ideas didn’t attract much comment at all.

Headline:

Reducing demand for 2WW dermatology referrals

Dermatology is one of the NHS’ biggest challenges. To quote this Guardian article written by a dermatologist“there is now a growing acceptance that in many parts of the UK it is all but impossible to see a consultant dermatologist in the NHS”: That was written 3 years ago and it’s likely the situation has worsened since then.

Headline:

Using out-of-area consultants to support Advice & Guidance

One of the biggest challenges for hospitals delivering an Advice & Guidance service is staffing it. Whether the requests come in from GPs by phone or in writing, most clinicians are expected to respond whilst also doing their day job. That is why we have created a National Consultant Network consisting of NHS specialty consultants who are able to answer calls or written requests for advice. 

Headline:

Consultant Connect cited in new NHS specialty handbooks

Earlier this week, NHS England published the second “wave” of handbooks. This time our data has been cited in both the dermatology and diabetes handbooks as proof that telephone advice & guidance works. We’re delighted to be included in the “rethinking referrals” part of both handbooks. Specifically, our data is used in the section that recommends implementing advice & guidance because “we know it works”.

Staffing Advice & Guidance lines a challenge? Find out about our National Network. 

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HSJ Article – Harnessing teledermatology to improve cancer care in Leeds

Harnessing teledermatology to improve cancer care in Leeds A feature created by HSJ in co-operation with the Leeds Cancer Programme Written by Claire Read, HSJ Cross-sector collaboration to ...

8 high-achieving NHS areas where communication is improving patient care

The 8 NHS areas described below have one thing in common – they have all made it radically quicker for clinicians, paramedics, nurses etc to communicate about patients using telephone and ...

Consultant Connect cited in new NHS specialty handbooks

Regular readers will know that the Elective Care Transformation Team at NHS England is busy producing a series of handbooks to help Trusts and commissioners to manage rising demand across certain

The easiest bit of the NHS long term plan

As a vision, the NHS long term plan is undoubtedly positive and ambitious - giving the public access to their GP via "digital consultations" understandably got a lot of coverage, but the plan's ...

Doncaster Project in the Press

The Doncaster Gazette has reported on our project in Doncaster. The project gives GPs immediate access to consultants in 13 specialties at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Review of 2018 at Consultant Connect

As 2018 draws to a close, some of our highlights from the past year include: Over a quarter of GPs can now access immediate Advice & Guidance, the launch our teledermatology app, the launch of ...

Using out-of-area consultants to support Advice & Guidance

One of the biggest challenges for hospitals delivering an Advice & Guidance service is staffing it. Whether the requests come in from GPs by phone or in writing, most clinicians are expected ...

Experts discussed ‘How to improve CAMHS’ our recent webinar

In our webinar on Monday 29 October 2018, experts shared their ideas about how to improve CAMHS. Speakers included: Dr Duncan Law, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud National ...

New project will help GPs in Milton Keynes treat adults with mental health problems

The first person someone with a mental health problem is likely to turn to for professional help is their GP, who is expected to deal with them in an appropriate manner and within the 10-minute ...

Experts discussed ‘Rise of the Superimprovers’ in our latest webinar

In this week’s webinar “Rise of the Superimprovers”, experts shared their ideas about how resilient healthcare providers keep improving despite year-round winter pressures. Speakers included: Dr ...

The Guardian Article – ‘Doctors on speed dial’

Doctors on speed dial: the cutting-edge tech transforming healthcare A feature created by The Guardian in co-operation with the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Bath and ...

Superimprovers continue to make progress despite pressure

We are always interested in reading articles about the challenges facing our healthcare system. However, we find that many seem to focus on ongoing winter pressures and associated number analysis

Reducing demand for 2WW dermatology referrals by up to 24%

Dermatology is one of the NHS's biggest challenges. To quote this Guardian article written by a dermatologist, "there is now a growing acceptance that in many parts of the UK it is all but ...

About our webinar: How to improve the CAMHS crisis

Child Mental Health crisis has been at the top of the news headlines in recent years – we’ve all seen it. There have been a number of reports, surveys and articles on the topic of CAMHS, to ...

Piloting a new way of reducing unnecessary conveyances

Ambulances are in danger of being treated as a taxi service to A&E, the BBC has reported. This won’t come as a big surprise to some of the Trusts we have been speaking with recently. ...

Greenwich is tackling Mental Health using Consultant Connect

Adults and older adults with mental health issues in Greenwich, London could see significant improvements to their diagnosis, treatment and care experience when they go to see their GP from this ...

Consultant Connect wins the Barclays Award for Innovation 2018

Consultant Connect wins the Barclays Award for Innovation at The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards 2018.   The Barclays Award for Innovation, is part of the Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards. It ...

New Top Acute Trusts table

We’re very interested in league tables and statistics at Consultant Connect. Why? Because we like to look at the organisations occupying the top slots and then figure out what they’re

A Doctor Writes – Mental Health is a key part of my job

Dr David Griffiths is a practicing GP and the Medical Director of Consultant Connect. In his latest blog, Dr Griffiths writes about how Mental Health impacts his work as a GP.  Approximately 1 in

Experts discussed “Easing ‘year-round’ winter pressure” in our latest webinar

In our webinar last month, experts including the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and commissioning experts from the number 1 A&E Luton & Dunstable University Hospital

Why CAMHS keeps hitting the headlines

In this article, Jenny Welling-Palmer, our Mental Health lead, who has held strategic and operational roles in a number of large teaching hospitals, shares her thoughts. It is hard to get through

HSJ Article – Tackling the Four-Hour A&E Target

Tackling the Four-Hour A&E Target with a whole system approach A feature created by HSJ in co-operation with Luton & Dunstable University Hospital Written by Claire Read, HSJ Reliably ...

Consultant Connect – all the data from day one

The first Consultant Connect project launched on 29 June 2015 in North East Essex. Shortly after 9am, the first call was made to Diabetes & Endocrinology and answered by Dr Charles Bodmer, a ...

19 charities get a donation to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday

In the past 70 years, we have seen the NHS grow and go above and beyond to transform and improve the health and wellbeing of our nation. During this time, a number of NHS-related charities also ...

Easing winter pressure by keeping the elderly out of hospital

Last month, The Royal College of Emergency Medicine published its Winter Flow Report for 2017/18. Its President, Dr Tajek Hassan, commented: “This report bears out what we’ve seen elsewhere and ...

Consultant Connect shortlisted for the Barclays Award for Innovation

A quick piece of breaking news: Consultant Connect has been shortlisted for the Barclays Award for Innovation at The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards 2018. This year’s winners will be announced on ...

Consultant Connect in NHSE gastro handbook / case studies

NHS England’s Elective Care Transformation Programme exists to help manage rising patient demand as efficiently as possible. What is innovative about it is that it borrows an approach well ...

3 reasons for optimism despite “year-round” winter pressures

Nobody needs reminding that last winter put a strain on the NHS. But the story didn’t end there. The BMA warned back in April that the “new” winter crisis is the year-round ...

Consultant Connect featured on BBC Look North

Our PhotoSAF project in Leeds is attracting a lot of positive attention in the local press – you can read two of the articles reprinted in full below. In addition, take a look at the BBC ...

Why isn’t Advice and Guidance CQUIN mandated for Mental Health?

In this article, Jenny Welling-Palmer, who has held strategic and operational roles in a number of large teaching hospitals, shares her thoughts. The 2017–19 National CQUIN program is in full ...

A Doctor Writes – new PhotoSAF Sharing is making life simpler!

Dr David Griffiths is a practising GP and the Medical Director of Consultant Connect. Last November he wrote about how the difficulty of taking clinical photos securely and safely influenced the ...

Does GDPR mean you need to stop recording calls?

You’ve heard a lot about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the last few months. What you may not realise is that, until it comes into force and is tested, many of the effects

Video – Urgent Connect at the no.1 Trust for Emergency Care

“We are, at Luton and Dunstable, the top performing hospital in the country for the 4-hour emergency care indicator and one of the things that’s helped contribute to that is ...

Meet the consultants from our Northampton General Hospital project

Our project at Northampton General Hospital has been running for over 16 months and is having a really positive impact on patient care. GPs are able to choose from 9 specialties available locally

3 Things We’ve Learned In 3 Years

Last month was our third birthday. But it feels like we’re a lot older. Why? A lot’s happened in those three years. Since we started in March 2015, we have: Grown the number of ...

Piecing Together the NHS Integration Puzzle

In this article, our Mental Health Lead, Jenny Welling-Palmer, looks at how innovation can support integration. Transformation, integration and change are three words synonymous with the NHS. The

Luton CCG and Consultant Connect Finalists For 2 HSJ Awards

5 March 2018 We are delighted to announce that our urgent care project with Luton CCG, Luton & Dunstable University Hospital and Cambridgeshire Community Services has been shortlisted for 2 ...

A THIRD of GP consultations involve mental health – how does this impact practices?

One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, research suggests, with 90 per cent of those making primary care their first port of call for help. It is not ...

Yes, it WAS the worst winter ever

Back in September, we asked whether this winter was going to be the worst ever. The answer: yes, it was. How do we know? The four-hour waiting time standard for A&E. The four-hour A&E ...

5 Ways Clinicians Can Work Together To Improve Mental Healthcare

In this article, our Mental Health Lead, Jenny Welling-Palmer, looks at some simple ways that clinicians can work together to deliver improved Mental Healthcare. Mental health has long been the ...

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Project In The Press

“It’s an excellent system. Local GPs have contacted me with specific questions about patient care and this has helped avoid unnecessary referrals to hospital” The South Yorkshire Times has ...

Mental Health – Can Telephone Advice & Guidance Help?

In 2018, Consultant Connect is going to focus on Mental Health. Why? Because, whenever we speak with GPs, mental health is one of the areas they identify that they would like help with the most. ...

NHS England – Emergency Pressures Panel update

NHS England have published an operational update, which was widely reported in yesterday’s media. The full text of the update is below. The update authorises Trusts to delay any clinical ...

Working with the #1 Trust for A&E

When the BBC published the performance of 133 Trusts in October, Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust was ranked first for A&E. 98.6% of patients attending A&E at Luton and ...

Elective and urgent specialty benchmarks: May 2017 – October 2017

Today we are publishing our performance benchmarks for telephone Advice & Guidance for the 6 months ending 31st October 2017. The report covers elective and urgent specialties. You can read ...

Introducing PhotoSAF – take IG-secure photos on your mobile

PhotoSAF by Consultant Connect solves the problem of taking clinical photos safely on your mobile. Using the Consultant Connect app, clinicians can take photos that are immediately uploaded to a ...

A Doctor Writes – PhotoSAF makes clinical photography quick, easy and safe

Dr David Griffiths is a practising GP and the Medical Director of Consultant Connect. His frustration at how difficult it is to take clinical photos securely and safely influenced the decision to

In Praise Of Generalists

For those who don’t know him already, Dr Jonathan Griffiths is a GP and Chair of Vale Royal CCG. He’s also a blogger and our readers are recommended to have a look at his blog, ...

Why it’s not too late to tackle winter pressures

As headlines continue to warn that the NHS faces ‘the worst winter ever’ (for those new to our blog, see “Will this be the worst winter ever for the NHS”), you may be feeling that there are few ...

A Doctor Writes: “The Massive Benefits Of Reviewing Call Recordings”

Dr David Griffiths is a GP and the Medical Director at Consultant Connect. Among the by-products of a telephone Advice & Guidance system, like Consultant Connect, are recordings of the calls ...

ACTUAL numbers from an ACTUAL project

We get asked quite a lot about how Consultant Connect works in real life. We regularly publish benchmarks (Specialty Benchmarking 1704 Apr 170606a), which summarise how all our projects across ...

Will This Be The Worst Winter Ever For The NHS?

Autumn has arrived a bit earlier than last year, and with it have come warnings that the NHS faces the worst winter in its history. Headlines include “Overburdened NHS faces ‘winter ...

Better Patient Care and Over £1m Savings Get Consultant Connect In The News

We are delighted to report that Consultant Connect has hit the headlines in three regional publications this week. The Bath Echo, Harrow Times and Pharmacy Choice wrote about our projects in ...

GPs referrals to be vetted by panels to reduce hospital demand

As demand for hospital services rise, reducing unnecessary primary care referrals remains a real challenge for Trusts and CCGs. New NHS England guidelines designed to address this challenge hit ...

Patient Connect – Improving Access for Motor Neurone Disease Patients in Nottingham

We’re very pleased to announce that our first Patient Connect project will launch in Nottingham on 1st September. The service, being hosted by Nottingham University Hospitals, will allow patients

A Doctor Writes: “Wonderful Work in Sunderland”

Dr David Griffiths is a GP and the Medical Director at Consultant Connect. In this article he reflects on the inspirational nature of Sunderland’s Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) project, ...

Advice & Guidance CQUIN at-a-glance

As the Q1 deadline approaches for the CQUIN, we’ve published this handy one page summary. You can download a PDF by clicking CQUIN At-A-Glance 2017 It’s not too late if you want us to

The 3 Things That Mean GPs Will Use Advice & Guidance

One of our customers is a CCG that has been piloting four specialties on Consultant Connect for the last six months. Interestingly, though, they are one of three CCGs that feed into the local ...

Clinical User Survey Feedback: Nov 16 – Apr 17

Since our first project launched in June 2015, we have surveyed users across all our projects regularly. Although we ask all sorts of questions about the service, we’re really looking to ...

NHS Report: Consultant Connect Reduces Unplanned Admissions

‘Between October and December 2016, following the introduction of Consultant Connect, the hospital believes approximately 175 patients, at a conservative estimate, avoided admission. “This ...

New – Benchmarks for Urgent Care, Nov 16 – Apr 17

We have updated the Telephone Advice & Guidance benchmarking document published last week. It now includes the following analysis of urgent care specialties: You can download the updated ...

Keeping Communication Channels Open

This hasn’t been the easiest of weeks for our NHS colleagues. We heard that the NHS had fallen victim to a cyberattack fairly early on Friday, but the scale of the problem wasn’t ...

Cyber-attack – Press Release

Consultant Connect offers service for free to help NHS Trusts affected by cyber-attack  OXFORD, 15 May 2017 – The CEO of Consultant Connect, a telephone advice and guidance service covering 10 ...

New – Benchmarks for Elective Specialties, Nov 16 – Apr 17

Today we are publishing our performance benchmarks for telephone Advice & Guidance for the 6 months ending 30th April 2017. The report covers elective specialties. You can download a pdf of ...

Advice & Guidance for Learning and CPD

A couple of decades ago, specialist consultants and GPs would have sat together for ongoing training, building relationships and having the opportunity to share experiences. Unfortunately, these ...

Consultant Connect on 1 Page

A prospective customer recently asked if we had a 1-page overview of Consultant Connect – we didn’t, but we do now! The 1-pager covers both elective and urgent care. You can download ...

Five Year Forward View – Media Round Up

Last week, NHS England published an update to the Five Year Forward View. In terms of elective care, the following was of interest: GP referral growth has slowed to a modest 1.6% year-to-date NHS

e-Referrals Service: The Tripwire Hidden In CQUIN?

Most people know the NHS e-Referrals Service as a way of booking patients into first hospital or clinic appointments. But it also offers a written Advice & Guidance service, provided that ...

The 3 Things Patients Get Out Of Telephone Advice & Guidance

As all of our customers are CCG Commissioners and NHS Trusts, we get very used to talking about the “value” Consultant Connect provides in terms of reduced waiting lists, managing ...

“Tell Us About A Call” – How GPs Use Consultant Connect

Out of all the data we generate at Consultant Connect, feedback from clinicians using the service is arguably the most valuable. The thousands of survey responses we have received from ...

NHS Digital on Advice & Guidance – the Good and the Bad

NHS Digital has published an overview of Advice & Guidance as offered through the NHS e-Referral service. The e-Referral service is an email-based Advice & Guidance system offered by the ...

Who Pays For Advice & Guidance?

In England, the most common question we get asked after “how much does it cost?” is “who normally pays for it?”. This is a good question. Telephone Advice & Guidance ...

Urgent Connect Pilot Reduces Unplanned Admissions – Data

In mid October we launched a pilot of Urgent Connect in the North of England. Urgent Connect is the urgent care application of Consultant Connect, making it easy for GPs to speak with urgent care

Using An App To Reduce Unnecessary Hospital Attendances

In late November we started live testing the Consultant Connect iPhone app in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES). The app makes it quicker and easier for GPs to speak with specialty ...

3 Low-Cost Ways To Manage Referrals

New week, new NHS crisis. Despite the current crush in hospitals, NHS areas using Referral Management Centres to limit unnecessary referrals have been accused of getting “between the GP and

Call For Pilot Areas – “Patient Connect” For Patients With Long Term Conditions

We have recently been contacted by a Trust, which asked whether we could assist them in setting up a telephone line for a group of patients that suffer from a long term condition. The clinical ...

Keeping The Frail Elderly Out Of Hospital

Despite government claims that this winter is no worse than any other for the NHS, it certainly seems to be. Wednesday’s Guardian reported that more than 20 hospitals had declared a black ...

How We Can Help You Hit The CQUIN Milestones

The Advice & Guidance indicator for the CQUIN is a significant opportunity for Acute Trusts to access a large sum of money. In exchange for implementing a simple service that requires ...

How do I choose which specialties to include?

How many specialties does a typical hospital offer? I’m looking at the lists of specialties offered by three different Acute Trusts as I write this: one offers 51 specialties, one offers 53

The Consultant Connect App – Local Advice & Guidance Via Your Smartphone

A couple of days ago we launched a live trial of the new Consultant Connect app with a handful of surgeries. It’s a small but important milestone: for the first time, a GP can reach a local ...

Report: Primary Care Today and Tomorrow

Deloitte has just published a report entitled “primary care today and tomorrow: adapting to survive”. You can access a copy of the report by clicking ...

Final CQUIN 2017-19: how achievable is the Advice & Guidance element?

NHS England published its final version of the CQUIN 2017-19 on Friday. Why is this big news? For those that aren’t familiar with it, CQUIN (which stands for commissioning for quality and ...

A Doctor Writes – Using Improved Communication to Redesign Services

As part of our recently released benchmarking work, our Clinical Lead, Dr David Griffiths, spoke with 6 consultants from 6 different specialties in 6 different Trusts about their experiences ...

Telephone Advice and Guidance – Performance Benchmarks 2016

Since our first project launched in NE Essex in June 2015, Consultant Connect has grown quickly. Our Advice & Guidance platform is now operating in 24 CCG areas and covers more than 8 million

You can still act to tackle this year’s winter pressures

A common theme of this blog is the impact a telephone Advice & Guidance system can have on avoiding unnecessary hospital visits. This applies to both unplanned care and elective care. Our ...

Consultant Connect cited in NHS CQUIN 2017 – 2019 engagement draft

NHS England has published its NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance 2017 – 2019. As part of this it also published a draft of the proposed CQUIN arrangements for the same ...

5 steps to make your clinician hotlines work

Every hospital has clinician hotlines. Not every hospital has hotlines that work well. We know this because clinicians (both GPs and consultants) tell us this a lot and because, since we started ...

A Doctor Writes – What Our Feedback Tells Us

In this blog, our clinical Lead, Dr David Griffiths, looks at what our regular user surveys can teach us. I have been looking at the feedback from Consultant Connect’s recent surveys of clinical ...

FAQs for GPs and consultants

Whenever we deliver a new telephone Advice & Guidance project in an area we spend a lot of time communicating with the GPs and consultants who will be using Consultant Connect. Part of these ...

A Doctor Writes – The Digital Future of the NHS

In the third of his blogs, our Clinical Lead, David Griffiths, reflects on the newly published Wachter Report on using IT to improve healthcare. The Wachter Report on using IT to improve ...

Article in Healthcare Manager Magazine

The following article in Healthcare Manager magazine tells the story of our project with Stockport Together from the perspective of the CCG management’s contribution. You can download a pdf

NHS England article – Connecting Professionals

NHS England recently published an article by a GP involved in the Consultant Connect project at Stockport Together. The article is reproduced below, but you can access the original on the NHS ...

What consultants and GPs think of Consultant Connect – survey results

GPs are extremely busy. Hospital consultants are extremely busy. So, how do they feel about taking time out of their day to speak with each other about patients? What are they using it for? When ...

Urgent Care Pilots – Results after 8 months

Urgent Connect is the urgent care application of Consultant Connect. Unlike its sibling, which aims to reduce unnecessary elective referrals, Urgent Connect is focused on helping patients avoid ...

Mental Health Pilot – Initial Results

At the beginning of February we launched our first Mental Health pilot with a Mental Health Foundation Trust. The pilot was set up specifically to deal with Adult Mental Health (so excluded ...

Consultant and GP radio interview

Imagine FM, an independent radio station serving South Manchester and Cheshire, recently broadcast an interview with clinicians using Consultant Connect in Stockport. Both interviews (4 – 5

A Doctor Writes – Getting The Most Out Of Advice & Guidance

This is the second blog from our Clinical Lead, Dr David Griffiths As a GP with an interest in how services run effectively, I have enjoyed thinking about the different ways in which the ...

Consultant Connect Appoints Clinical Lead

Consultant Connect is pleased to announce that it has appointed Oxford-based GP and respected NHS improvement specialist, David Griffiths, as Clinical Lead at the company. David’s role will

A Doctor Writes – Thoughts From Our New Clinical Lead

Dr David Griffiths is our new Clinical Lead. His career combines part time GP work in Oxford with participating in large scale NHS improvement projects. In this first blog he gives his initial ...

A Step Backwards to Move Forward – NHS Five Year Plan Conference Article

The following article was written as part of our contribution to a conference on the NHS Five Year Forward View being held at the Royal National Hotel in London on May 26th. You can access the ...

Consultant Connect In Numbers – May 2016 Update

  You can download a pdf of this document here: ConCon in numbers May 16 Please get in touch if you have any questions by emailing info@www.consultantconnect.org.uk or calling 01865 261451.

Frequently Asked Questions Part 2 – Hospital Trusts

Part 2 in our series of FAQS covers the questions most commonly asked by Hospital Trusts – you can see part 1 here: Frequently Asked Questions Part 1 – CCGs Will Consultant Connect lead to ...

Press Release published by Stockport Together

DOCTORS CONNECT TO SPEED UP CARE An innovative system that connects busy hospital consultants and GPs is speeding up patient treatment and reducing hospital appointments in Stockport. GPs can ...

What if the GPs don’t use it?

The history of innovation is littered with products that may have been great but which, through lack of use or impact or luck, were ultimately ditched. And it wasn’t always the best ...

Frequently Asked Questions Part 1 – CCGs

If your area is thinking of implementing a telephone Advice & Guidance system to cut down on unnecessary patient referrals / admissions, there tend to be 4 key stakeholder groups that need ...

Consultant Connect shortlisted in 2 categories for the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards

A quick piece of breaking news: Consultant Connect has been shortlisted in 2 categories for the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards. The categories are: Telehealth The use of Information Technology to

Consultant Connect – Area Results After 7 Months

We recently completed a review of Consultant Connect’s performance over 7 months in a Southern CCG area. The following is a snapshot of the results: Number of specialties on the system: 5 ...

Urgent Connect Pilot – Area Results After 4 Months

Urgent Connect is the urgent care application of Consultant Connect. Unlike its sibling, which aims to reduce unnecessary elective referrals, Urgent Connect is focused on helping patients avoid ...

Does Advice & Guidance work better in the North or the South?

One of the benefits of running a lot of telephone Advice & Guidance projects spread across the country is that we get to compare how different areas perform with respect to one another. And, ...

CCG analysis finds Consultant Connect responsible for 6% dip in referrals

We’ve been asked a few times whether the results we are gathering from our customers using Consultant Connect are reflected in those customers’ referral / admissions data. As Consultant Connect ...

What patients think of telephone Advice & Guidance

As many of you no doubt know, it’s quite difficult to get feedback from patients on specific things GPs or hospitals are doing to improve patient care. The prevailing wisdom is that, if a ...

Is email Advice & Guidance a waste of time?

This week, one of our customers shared some data from their CCG on written Advice & Guidance. It was as follows: WRITTEN ADVICE AND GUIDANCE (mainly email, including Choose & Book) Number

Mental Health Pilot – Overview, Register Your Interest

Consultant Connect has been successful in a short space of time at reducing both planned care referrals and urgent care admissions. Feedback from consultant and GP users has indicated that the ...

Consultant Connect In Numbers

Would you like to know how much impact a telephone Advice & Guidance service for GPs could have in your area? On one page? In bullet points? If so, Consultant Connect In Numbers is for you. ...

The Consultant Connect way v. other phone Advice & Guidance approaches

We get asked quite often about how Consultant Connect compares with baton telephones or Consultant of the Week approaches – here is a brief overview.

Is phone advice safe? What can a call cover?

Is phone advice safe? “Can you give advice on a patient if you don’t have their notes?” is a question we get asked a lot by both GPs and consultants. It is the classic tension ...

Urgent Connect – helping with winter pressures and resilience planning

We are pleased to announce that we have just launched the first of a number of Urgent Connect sites that will be live before the end of the year. Unlike Consultant Connect, which aims to avoid ...

Repairing “frayed and broken” relationships between primary and secondary care

The spotlight of national news fell on General Practice yesterday, as Jeremy Hunt promised to get to grips with unnecessary bureaucracy in Primary Care. This was just one of the recommendations ...

Making unloved hospital hotlines loved

We speak with a lot of areas across the UK about their current Advice and Guidance arrangements for GPs. For example, every area has a written system – ranging from printed letters ...

Keeping patients out of hospital – a Cardiologist speaks

One of the things we measure at Consultant Connect is how successful a clinical specialty is at keeping patients out of hospital. For example, our experience of Cardiology is that approximately ...

Can you incentivise referral reductions AND keep patients safe?

The Primary Care bible, Pulse, today led with an article about GP practices being offered “ethically questionable” incentive payments to reduce hospital referrals. Pulse’s ...

The 3 characteristics of successful referral avoiders

One of the things we do at Consultant Connect is record the outcomes of calls. The GP who dials in and the consultant that answers are both asked, at the end of the call, to press a number on ...

Keeping the elderly out of hospital: a consultant comments

When a patient is approaching the end of their life, the decisions GPs make have a disproportionately large impact. A decision to admit a patient to hospital may lead to them dying there, a ...

Better than private – when GPs work well with consultants

When you are asked to quantify how well a project or initiative has worked, the simplest answer is probably related to money. Return on investment, profitability, cash flow, return on capital – ...

Consultant Connect early results: c. 80% of calls result in a referral being avoided

It’s still early days, but we now have sufficient data to be able to share some first-look results for Consultant Connect in an area of Essex. The headline is that, to date, about 80% of ...

The Cost of a Referral

In our world we often think of the costs of a referral in purely financial terms: it is the £180 or so cost set down in the national tariff for faced-to-face consultations (or £23 for non-face to

Why Four Avoided Referrals Are Exciting

Yesterday we helped four people avoid a referral to hospital in an area in Essex. This is a small number, not even a flea bite on the rump of the elephant that is referral numbers in this part of

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