When Consultant Connect first started providing NHS Advice & Guidance (A&G) it was just GPs that used the service to speak to specialists. Now, Consultant Connect provide A&G to a wider range of medics and community healthcare providers such as; Paramedics, Nurses, Pharmacists, Nurse Prescribers, Tissue Viability Nurses, Care Home clinicians, Optometrists, and Mental Health clinicians.
It’s often still very difficult in the NHS to speak directly to the right person when timely advice is really needed – especially if a patient’s needs are complex or urgent.
Consultant Connect lines offer a wide range of clinicians to talk to, not just elective and urgent care. Plus, we help support the integration of community services. Providing direct communication links makes patients feel that care providers are working together rather than providing ‘siloed’ care.
We find that many areas also want to give users Telephone A&G and Photo A&G together, so they have as many tools as possible. All our projects exist alongside e-RS A&G, giving clinicians the additional option of written advice.
Case examples: wider access work in practice
Eleanor, an Optometrist, used the Consultant Connect App to make a Telephone Advice & Guidance call to a hospital optometrist during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The patient she was treating “was suffering with chronic eyelid dermatitis”. Eleanor’s call was answered within seconds and the optometrist “provided a clear treatment regime” to relay to her patient. Read the case study.
Welsh Paramedic, Matt Kenyon, used Telephone Advice & Guidance for a patient who had inhaled hazardous gases. Matt and the fire crew (who were at the scene) hadn’t heard of the gases inhaled or know its effects. Matt called a specialist and he was “connected straight away using the Consultant Connect App”. The specialist agreed a suitable plan of action for the patient with Matt, the fire crew were able to clear the scene quickly and an unnecessary hospital admission was avoided. Read the case study.
Sally Shaw, a Service Manager and Lead Nurse at NHS Luton CCG talks about how her team are continuing to significantly improve care despite the pandemic. The rapid Telephone Advice & Guidance service provided by Consultant Connect is believed to be the only nurse-led service of its kind in the country and handles over 600 referrals a month covering four Clinical Commissioning Groups. Read ‘5 minutes with a Service Manager & Lead Nurse’.
Raymond McGrath, Lead Nurse at South London & Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust enjoys using Telephone Advice & Guidance to discuss mental health patient’s physical health needs:
“SLaM clinicians have described Consultant Connect to me as ‘fantastic!’. People living with Serious Mental Illnesses experience a significantly reduced life-expectancy complicated by, and as a result of, their physical health co-morbidities.
Consultant Connect helps SLaM clinicians to improve our efforts of redressing that imbalance by, providing quick and easy access to Consultant experts; we can seize the opportunities we spend with people, to help them access care and treatment they might otherwise miss out on or be delayed in receiving.
Making every contact count is so important and, we hope to expand the service to our community services soon because it has been so useful for our inpatient colleagues.” Read more about how SLaM use Telephone A&G for physical health advice for mental health patients here.