Using Consultant Connect to prepare for this winter

Published: 2nd September 2020
We face an uncertain NHS winter. The spectre of COVID plus a seasonal flu outbreak is a unique challenge.

Nearly all commissioners and Trusts seem, correctly, to be adopting a “plan for the worst, hope for the best” approach this winter. In many areas Consultant Connect will form a critical part of the response to this challenge. Our service now covers over 27 million patients across England, Scotland and Wales.

If your area is already using our service, take a look at the below to find out what we can do for you this winter. If you aren’t yet using us, it’s not too late! We can roll out COVID / urgent care projects in under three weeks.

COVID / winter reference articles


Recent webinar recordings and related materials available
What to Expect from a Consultant Connect Rollout
  • Proven Launch Plan – our experience in rolling out our service in over 75 CCG/Health Board/STP areas to date, covering a patient population of over 27 million, means you can rely on us to get the project live in the minimum time possible. Our quickest launch was 72 hours in Swansea Bay this year, a more typical rollout is 4 – 6 weeks.
  • Clinician Engagement Plan – with CCG and Trust agreement, we handle engagement with the GPs who will be making the calls and the clinical teams at the Trust who will be answering them. Our program of meetings and communications has successfully on-boarded over 3,500 GP practices and over 6,000 consultants across the UK.
  • Comprehensive Information Governance Pack – covering all IG requirements to ensure a smooth implementation.


Evidence that it works

Benchmarking data of all our projects to date shows:

  • Over 500,000 calls have been made and photos have been taken across the country in 40 Elective Care and Urgent Care specialties since the first call was placed in June 2015.
  • 66% of calls to elective care teams result in the patient avoiding an unnecessary hospital visit.
  • Telephone Advice & Guidance to urgent care teams is also highly effective with over 60% of calls resulting in the patient avoiding an immediate admission.
  • Over 70% of photo messages shared with Dermatology using the Consultant Connect App result in the patient avoiding a hospital visit.
  • Over 30% of 2WW dermatology referrals are discharged before appointment where the referring clinician includes a Consultant Connect image.


Long-Term Benefits

  • Right Care, First Time. Patients benefit profoundly when clinicians use immediate Advice & Guidance. When their GP talks to a consultant or specialty nurse, it often allows them to decide a care plan for the patient immediately without them having to attend hospital. If a referral or admission is necessary, a call can ensure that the patient is sent to the right place, first time (often filling gaps in clinics, so expediting care). Read our Patient Experiences.
  • Using clinical information to deliver insights. Among the by-products of a Telephone Advice & Guidance system are recordings of the calls that have been made. Reviewing these recordings and acting upon the information they contain can have a massive benefit for all concerned. Many insights that are not captured by other methods can be revealed and these could be used to improve ways of working and patient care. Many of our customers use this feature to inform strategic decisions. Read this blog post – The Massive Benefits of Reviewing Call Recordings.
  • Relationship building & Continued Learning. Consultants and GPs using the system also report that the service enables them to build better relationships between primary and secondary care. GPs also find their medical knowledge is extended which benefits their professional development and patient care.


If you would like to discuss launching a Consultant Connect project in your area for an immediate impact this winter, please contact us on 01865 261467 or by email on


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For more information about how we work with commissioners, hospitals & mental health trusts to improve patient care, please get in touch.

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