Why it’s not too late to tackle winter pressures

Published: 16th October 2019
The five-year funding plan and Long Term Plan have reintroduced some strategic direction and much-needed resource to certain parts of the NHS. There’s no doubt that in the long run these will help ease “year-round” winter pressures, but what can be done in the meantime that will have an immediate impact on this coming winter?

The five-year funding plan and Long Term Plan have reintroduced some strategic direction and much-needed resource to certain parts of the NHS. There’s no doubt that in the long run these will help ease “year-round” winter pressures, but what can be done in the meantime that will have an immediate impact on this coming winter?

Consultant Connect’s Enhanced Advice & Guidance service has been proven to reduce unplanned admissions. It’s better for patients, who get instant reassurance, avoidance of stress or worry and the right care, faster. Read this blog post – 3 things patients get out of Enhanced Advice & Guidance.

You might want to book your free place on our upcoming free webinar: Quick Fixes for Winter, on 13th November 2019 1-2pm. If you can’t make it, we encourage you to still register so that you’ll automatically get a recording: Book your place on this free webinar

Consultant Connect can be implemented in as little as a month and the impact is immediate – meaning it can make a difference this winter. Here are some top tips:

Launch Your Project Quickly

 

Proven Launch Plan – our experience in rolling out our service in over 60 CCG/Health Board/STP areas to date, covering a patient population of over 19 million, means you can rely on us to get the project live in the minimum time possible.

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 2,900 GP practices and over 2,900 consultants across the UK.

Comprehensive Information Governance Pack – covering all IG requirements to ensure a smooth implementation.

 
Evidence For The Approach

Benchmarking data of all our projects to date shows:

  • Over 250,000 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 62% of calls to Acute Medicine and 76% of calls to Navigation Advice, resulting in the patient avoiding an immediate admission.
  • 82% of photo messages shared to Dermatology and a further 28% of photos taken via Consultant Connect and attached to e-RS 2WW referral result in the patient avoiding a hospital visit.

Feedback suggests that giving GPs access to rapid Advice & Guidance from a consultant can allow for better care without a stressful trip to A&E. In addition, in the case of the elderly, it could even be a life-saver. Where Frailty/Care of the Elderly lines are added, 64% of calls result in the patient avoiding hospital. Read this blog post – Avoiding Hospital for the Elderly this Winter.

You can access our four-year benchmark data in full here.

 
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. Hear from a GP in this short video

More information and getting started

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 hello@onsultantconnect.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.

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