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

Published: 19th July 2017

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 with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) to have immediate telephone access to members of the Hospital MND team.

The project lead at NUH, Professor Adrian Wills, is excited at the improvement in patient care that he feels will flow from the system. “We already use Consultant Connect to speak directly with GPs and I’ve been impressed both in terms of outcomes and the ease of use of the technology. To me it seemed an obvious step to adapt it for patients. Giving patients immediate telephone access to clinicians sets a new standard for us in terms of patient care”.

“There are a number of reasons why I think MND patients in particular are a good choice for piloting this approach. For a start, their needs can be very complex. When they access community services, such as GP practices, it can be difficult for non-specialists to know what to do. This system will allow a much more effective portal of communication for patients, their carers and community team members”.

“Secondly, it can be difficult for patients to get rapid advice direct from hospital clinicians by going through the hospital switchboard. By having a direct line through to the MND Team I expect patients to be dealt with much more quickly and navigated to the right services for them, first time”. 

“Finally, this is a cohort of patients dealing bravely with a very difficult condition. We know them and don’t want them to try and put up with circumstances or symptoms that we can help with. We want to avoid unnecessary hospital attendances. This system will help us to do more for our patients without disrupting our daily workload”.

Jonathan Patrick, one of the directors at Consultant Connect, said that the company was pleased to be offering a service direct to patients. “We’ve always recognised that there are some groups of patients and clinicians that will benefit from being in closer contact with each other but that handing out personal mobile phone numbers isn’t always a good option”. 

“The Patient Connect system allows clinicians to receive calls when they are available to take them, but not when they are off duty or on holiday, for example. It also gives patients a much better chance of the phone being answered, as each call routes to groups of clinicians who are available. Finally, as with Consultant Connect, all calls are tracked and recorded, giving clinicians incredibly useful data on how the service is used”.

“MND is an extremely challenging condition and we’re delighted to be able to improve patient access to clinicians. We are grateful to be working with Professor Wills and the NUH neurology team and look forward to publishing data from the pilot”.

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