Secondary Care – Customer Area

These pages have been created for NHS consultants, specialists and hospital teams who have access to Consultant Connect and would like to make the most of the service. If you would like to have access to Consultant Connect, please click here to contact us.

Sign In (to the Consultant Connect platform)

Click the button below to sign in to the Consultant Connect platform. If you have yet to sign up to the Consultant Connect service, watch our short “How to sign up” video, click the button below, and follow the simple steps to sign up. Once you have created your login you can use the same credentials to download and use the Consultant Connect App (available via the App Store or Google Play).

Getting started with the Consultant Connect App

This short guide will help you enjoy all the features of the Consultant Connect App. Click the button below to request a copy.

5 reasons to provide A&G via Consultant Connect

Find out what the benefits of providing Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect are and what feedback from consultants already doing so is…

Consultant case studies

In the case studies below, which are grouped by specialty teams, consultants and secondary care staff across the UK, share their experiences of using Consultant Connect…

Cardiology

“It’s definitely helping patient care and avoiding unnecessary admissions.” Read Dr Mo Sahebjalal’s case study.

 

“It is great fun, you get to think about clinical problems that you may not always appreciate, you talk to bright energetic GPs, it doesn’t take much of your time, what is not to like?” Read Dr Davey’s case study.

 

“Without this phone conversation it is likely that the referral would have been through the standard route and could have taken many months during which time she would have been at risk of stroke and may have died from her narrowed aortic valve.” Read Dr Guallar & Dr Davey’s case study.

 

“By speaking with the specialist directly in the presence of the patient, I felt that he was more involved directly in his care and decision process and felt comfortable that the advice we were giving was appropriate. From my point of view it felt like a more ‘connected’ approach without the divide between primary and secondary care.” Read Dr Ross & Dr Davey’s case study.

Dermatology

“Benefits include the ability to inform referral pathways and give fast feedback to GPs regarding advice and guidance. It’s a good teaching resource for trainees and dermatology registrars with case image bank and for training as this will now be included in the new Dermatology curriculum.” Read this short interview with Dr Mauri-Sole, an Associate Specialist and Clinical Lead for Dermatology.

Diabetes & Endocrinology

“I was speaking to one of my consultant colleagues (who previously didn’t want to be on the rota) and he told me how much he enjoys taking the calls, it gives him a ‘nice warm feeling at the end of the day’ that he’s actually supported some GPs and some patients.” Read this short interview with Dr Steve Jackson a Consultant and Chief Medical Information Officer.

 

“Give it a try, the benefit to the patient is only one of the values of the service. The passive education and knowledge sharing with the caller will hopefully become applicable to many more patients who present to them with similar clinical conditions.” Read Dr Varadarajan Baskar’s case study.

Elderly Care

“I think the service is a really good idea. Having a detailed conversation often allows us to divert an elderly patient away from an acute admission to a more appropriate setting for them, for example a home visit or an outpatient appointment.” Read Dr Barnes’ case study.

Emergency Medicine

“Junior Doctors working in the Emergency Department can speak to their senior consultant colleagues before admitting or discharging a patient. Dr Ronald writes that this prevents ‘inappropriate admissions and, importantly, inappropriate discharges.” By streamlining the process in this way, doctors at the hospital provide a “safer discharge process’ whilst also ensuring that NHS resources are correctly allocated to those who most need them. This improves patient care and reduces strain on the department.” Read Dr Julie Ronald’s case study.

 

“The ability to record the content of calls and access data (regarding call volumes and sources) has been a vital addition to our prof-to-prof service. Call records enable immediate ‘listen back’ which provides crucial clinical governance in reviewing decision making and also provides a valuable educational opportunity in training staff in remote clinical decision support. Logging call volumes enables accurate resource management and contributes to job planning.” Read our short interview with Dr Ron Cook.

Gastroenterology

“I really enjoy using Consultant Connect. I’m asked questions I can easily answer, helping improve patient care and the gratitude of colleagues boosts my mood. I take about 15 GP calls per week and in any case it is a pleasure to talk to caring intelligent doctors who just need simple advice to move care forward.” Read our short interview with Dr Shmueli.

Gynaecology

“It is very helpful to patients, GPs and us as secondary provider consultants. And in a very short time, patients get timely advice / treatments and avoid unnecessary hospital visits. It is not time consuming (for us) and it’s very easy to use and is educational to the GPs as well.” Read our short interview with Dr Akbar.

Haematology

“It’s a good way for them to keep up their regular practice of clinical advice – in addition to the benefits it brings to patients and their local departments by helping to avoid unnecessary referrals.” Read Dr Kaur’s case study.

Mental Health

“I’ve really enjoyed having conversations with our local GPs. The GPs know their patients well, and having their experience of the patient, combined with the specialist consultant knowledge, has enabled opportunities for joint working. Having a conversation is so much richer than emails, and often so much quicker in sorting out complex issues.” Read our short interview with Dr Funnell.

Paediatrics

Talking to GPs directly we, as consultants, also get a lot more information and detail about what the concerns are from the parents or GPs themselves. This level of detail that we can get from a telephone conversation is often not communicated easily in great detail in emails or letters.” Read our short interview with Dr Bhatti.

Respiratory Medicine

Collaboratively, Dr Turner and the GP were able to start “similar management to a hospital setting via support from the community respiratory team”. Dr Turner adds: “I felt we offered patient centred care, whilst sharing perceived clinical risk”.

Read Dr Turner’s full case study.

Trauma & Orthopaedics

The consultant advised the GP to urgently refer the patient via the 2 week wait pathway to the local Musculoskeletal (MSK) tumour service. This meant the patient’s care was expedited and they got the right care faster.

Read Dr Arnaout’s full case study.

Urology

“I have found Consultant Connect really easy to use, it is intuitive and there was no training needed. It is an excellent tool. I highly recommend my colleagues, who haven’t used it yet, to give it a go.” Read our short interview with Dr Ajay, Clinical Lead for Urology.

 If you have any additional questions or need service support from us, please call us on 01865 261467 or email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Telephone Advice & Guidance work?

Consultant Connect routes Advice & Guidance calls from primary care clinicians to secondary care clinicians either through existing or new telephone numbers. Secondary care clinical teams can set a ‘rota’ consisting of one or several telephone numbers, anonymised to clinicians seeking Telephone Advice & Guidance.

Will my number be shared with Primary Care? How will I know a GP is calling me?

No. The numbers are held securely within the Consultant Connect system. Any calls made via Consultant Connect will always come from a single number meaning personal numbers are never disclosed to GPs. We recommend that you save this number to your phone contacts as ‘GP Consultant Connect Call’ or ‘Consultant Connect call’.

Do I have to take the calls?

No. In most cases, consultants will be taking calls during their normal work plan and it is up to each consultant as to whether they take or ignore a call. When answering a GP call via Consultant Connect, an automated message will prompt consultants to press “1” to speak to the GP. If consultants are unavailable when a GP calls, the system will automatically connect to the next person on the rota rather than sending the caller to voicemail.

How many calls will I take?

Experience to date is that GPs continue to adhere to established local pathways and use this service very wisely, being very much aware that they are contacting already busy Trust/Hospital teams. On average nationally, consultants are each taking around 2 or 3 calls per week, which average just under 4 minutes in duration.

Will I get called out-of-hours?

No. You will not get called outside of the clinical hours set by your clinical lead/director.

Will I have access to any patient records?

Not always, we ask GPs to assume that you will not have access to any patient records and that advice should be based entirely on the information that is provided to you via telephone/photo/message.

Who is responsible for the patient whose care is being discussed?

The GP remains responsible for deciding what treatment is to be provided following receipt of Advice & Guidance. They decide whether a referral or admission is appropriate for their patient or not. All calls are recorded for medico-legal purposes and can be accessed by your clinical lead.

Is the service free to GPs, consultants and other clinicians?

The service is paid for by your local NHS health care commissioning organisation, meaning there is no cost to users, other than the cost of a local telephone call if they are seeking Telephone Advice & Guidance. The Consultant Connect App can be downloaded for free from from Google Play or the App Store (simply search for ‘Consultant Connect’ on your app store).

How do I sign up?

If you are joining the Consultant Connect service to provide Telephone Advice & Guidance, you don’t need to sign up– it’s as simple as answering a telephone call. Often specialty managers will speak to your Account Manager at Consultant Connect and create a call answering rota (see question 2).

The free Consultant Connect App is highly useful for secondary care clinicians. Your Consultant Connect Account Manager can set your access to enable you and your colleagues to make phone calls:

  • Across your hospital

  • To other healthcare professionals

  • To GP practices

  • Via bypass numbers to call back GP practices avoiding queues at practice switchboards.

We can also set up hospital-specific solutions, such as Multidisciplinary Footcare Teams (MDFTs), Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU), and more.
The app is like your pre-programmed phone directory. All calls are recorded for medico-legal reasons. You’ll also be able to take safe clinical photos via the app using the PhotoSAF feature. If enabled, you will be able to take IG secure and GDPR compliant photos and type messages to share with specialty teams via the app.

You can download the free Consultant Connect App from the App Store or Google Play, simply search ‘Consultant Connect’ on your app store. Follow the simple steps to sign up, when asked for your organisation, please include the hospital you are based at.

I have forgotten my password, what should I do?

To reset your password, visit: consultantconnect.org.uk/service/password/forgot

I don’t have Photo or Message options on the app – can you set this up?

Please email the team at hello@consultantconnect.org.uk or give us a call on 01865 261 467 so that we make sure you have the right access.

Are the patient photos automatically saved to the patient record?

No. They are sent to the clinician via email as a PDF summary and can be downloaded via the secure Consultant Connect dashboard (consultantconnect.org.uk/service/login) by a medical secretary or admin staff.

Does this service replace other Advice & Guidance routes?

No, this service aims to provide users with additional options for quicker and more efficient access to Advice & Guidance. Pre-existing routes of Advice & Guidance such as email and e-RS will continue to be available.

Can existing Trust/Hospital helplines be included?

Yes, existing lines can simply be integrated into the system and positioned as the priority number on the call rota (there is no change for the teams who answer the helplines). Consultant Connect acts as a pre-programmed phone directory, by using the service to integrate existing helplines, insightful data on these lines can be collected and downloaded by teams (call recordings, outcomes, activity volumes).

Who should I call for help with the service?

For any service/ technical queries, please call the Consultant Connect team on: 01865 261467 or email: hello@consultantconnect.org.uk.

Contact us

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

Join a webinar

Listen to health experts from the comfort of your desk as we bring the experts to you in our series of online webinars.

Join our mailing list

Join our mailing list and we'll keep you informed of our latest blogs, project news, and upcoming webinar dates and topics.

Recent tweets

Contact us

Permissions

Terms & Conditions

You can view our Terms & Conditions here.

 

Most Read Articles

 

FAQs - Referral Backlog Triage for the NHS

We are now triaging waiting lists for Trusts with backlogs of referrals that have built up due to COVID-19. The service uses our National Consultant Network (NCN). It’s the same network we launched 2 years ago which currently supports more than 50 NHS trusts with their capacity to deliver Advice & Guidance. In this article we share answers to the questions we’ve been asked the most since we launched this service.

Read more

 

SE London Enhanced A&G project "comes into its own" during COVID-19

 

What's the impact, one year on, of using Consultant Connect with e-RS for South East London CCGs? In this article, we take a look at how our project in South East London CCG has expanded since we first wrote about it on this blog this time last year. Plus David Reith, Associated Director for Planned Care Improvement at South East London CCG shares his feedback...

Read more

 

In Practice: quick ways to respond to COVID-19

 With wave 2 upon us we share examples of how we are using IG secure tech to help NHS areas with their response. Some approaches can be rolled out in as little as 72 hours meaning they will make an impact this winter.

Read more

 

Avoiding Hospital for the Elderly this Winter

 

The coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on older people, most deaths in the UK occur in the over-65s, affecting more men than women. But even before the pandemic, whilst life expectancy has increased, healthy life expectancy has not. In this blog article, we discuss the challenges in the current COVID-19 pandemic and how Consultant Connect is being used across the UK.

Read more

 

NHS Area Case Study: Enfield - project update & expansion plans

 

Six months ago, Consultant Connect launched in Enfield, NHS North Central London CCG to support key services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We caught up with Senior Programme Manager, Stephen Wells from Enfield Borough Directorate to discuss how the project has been performing since launch...

Read more

 

Supporting your health care teams with rapid Advice & Guidance

 

Consultant Connect is simply a smart communications tool which can be configured in many ways to improve communications between any health care professionals. In this article we highlight examples of other ways we are already working with NHS areas to provide rapid and reliable communication.

Read more