3 months on: physical health advice for mental health inpatients

Published: 7th October 2020
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) launched a physical health advice pilot in June, providing physical health advice for inpatient wards. We take a look at the project three months on.

In June we launched the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM)  physical health advice pilot. The aim of the project – to improve support for physical health issues in mental health inpatient settings – is achieved by enabling SLaM clinicians to receive immediate Advice & Guidance from physical health consultants at Guy’s and St Thomas’.

We spoke to the Project Manager at SLaM, Elliann Fairbairn and she explained the need for the pilot, when it started back in June:

“We worked with Consultant Connect to roll out their platform to inpatient wards at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust because many of our patients have multiple complex physical health conditions on top of their mental ill health. This means our clinicians need to be able to support diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease (among other conditions) as well as supporting patients’ mental health. Connecting our clinicians to specialists in the acute hospitals means they can get quick advice and, potentially, avoid a hospital admission. This is important because acute hospital are difficult settings to manage patients in mental health crisis but, as we head into our second wave of COVID, it could put them at an increased infection risk.”


3 months since the project launched… 

To help with the rollout of the service, Elliann told us that:

“…we also worked with our Trust IT and comms departments to have the Consultant Connect App pre-downloaded onto ward iPads so that clinicians, in need of advice, wouldn’t have to wait for download time to access the service.”


  • Since the launch in June, over 100 calls have been placed achieving a referral avoidance rate of 65%.
  • Additionally, 20% of the calls resulted in a referral being made, ensuring patients received the correct care the first time.




If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please email: hello@consultantconnect.org.uk or call us: 01865 261 467.

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