6 reasons why Telephone Advice & Guidance via Consultant Connect works

Published: 17th March 2023
Our service is unique for a multitude of reasons, including because Telephone Advice & Guidance calls are answered quickly.
Consultant Connect Advice & Guidance calls are answered quickly

Clinicians are no doubt inundated with new initiatives on a day-to-day basis, all aiming to improve work processes, but very few are serving their purposes. Consultant Connect is a fully supported service, not just another initiative.

The Consultant Connect service is the UK’s most widely used Advice & Guidance system, connecting healthcare professionals and patients across the NHS.

Our service is unique because:

1. Telephone Advice & Guidance calls are answered quickly

We know that if specialists don’t answer the phone, clinicians won’t make the calls. Existing lines such as ‘consultant of the week’ and ‘on-call consultant’ struggle to achieve an answer rate of 30%. We’re proud to say that, on average, 80% of calls for advice are answered the first time, and within 30 seconds.


2. Verbal conversations are quicker

Spoken conversations are the fastest form of communication. Many clinicians use Telephone Advice & Guidance whilst the patient is in the room, meaning advice can be relayed, and care episodes concluded at that moment.


3. Providing Advice & Guidance is easy for specialists

Our service is designed to fit in with specialists’ existing schedules, and so calls go through a rota of specialists who are potentially available. This means specialists can continue with their workload, and if they’re not able to answer the phone, the call will jump to the next specialist on the rota. Specialists don’t need to remain at their desks, as calls can be routed to any mobile device, without worrying about personal phone numbers being disclosed.


4. All Advice & Guidance calls are recorded

All calls are recorded for medico-legal purposes and can be accessed by ICBs/Health Boards and Trusts/Hospitals, as well as the specialist(s) and clinician(s) involved in the query. This can be very beneficial for identifying gaps in provision and training needs and informing strategic decisions.


5. Projects can be rolled out at pace

We can launch projects in a matter of weeks; issuing a launch plan and setting a realistic launch date based on how advanced discussions are with specialty teams. We’re happy to attend meetings to demonstrate the system, answer any questions and progress discussions. For areas with local specialist capacity challenges, our network of out-of-area NHS consultants can be easily switched on/switched off to provide short or long-term relief. They can act as backup for local specialists or answer all Advice & Guidance queries for specialties unavailable locally.


6. We care

As well as providing the system, we ensure that it is used. Our team of Account Managers deliver bespoke service demonstrations and Q&A sessions for both Primary and Secondary Care, as well as working with our Client Comms & Marketing team to curate continual communication and engagement work, making the service as successful as possible. We also provide regular reports and insights, reviewing and refining the project strategy and gathering feedback.


This is why, over the years, we’ve been shortlisted for numerous awards:

  • HSJ Value in Healthcare Award for Telehealth, and The Use of Information Technology to Drive Value in Clinical Services (2016).
  • HSJ Value in Healthcare Award for The Use of Information Technology to Drive Value in Clinical Services, and Emergency, Urgent and Trauma Care (2018).
  • Barclays Award for Innovation at The Oxford Trust Enterprise Awards (2018).
  • HSJ Value Award in Transformation and Acute Service Redesign Initiative (2020).
  • HSJ Partnership Award in Best Acute Sector Partnership (2021).
  • HSJ Partnership Award in Best Mental Health Partnership (2022).
  • HSJ Partnership Award in Best Elective Care Recovery Initiative (2023)
  • HSJ Partnership Award for HealthTech Partnership of the Year (2023).



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If you have any questions or would like to find out how our Advice & Guidance service can support your area, email hello@consultantconnect.org.uk, call us on 01865 261 467 or fill in the short form below:

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