“Tell Us About A Call” – How GPs Use Consultant Connect

Published: 22nd March 2017

Out of all the data we generate at Consultant Connect, feedback from clinicians using the service is arguably the most valuable. The thousands of survey responses we have received from consultants and GPs have given us some incredible insights into how Advice & Guidance is used in real life.

The most interesting comments come from a question that we have been asking since our first ever user survey – “tell us about a call”. The answers we get to this question often include fascinating detail of how patients are benefitting from immediate advice from local hospital consultants. As one GP recently pointed out, “sometimes all a GP needs is a bit of extra information and guidance from a specialist, the impact of this on the patient can be profound”. We set out some verbatim responses from GPs below.

  • “Patient with parkinsons, not seen neurologist, not improving on treatment, new diagnosis lung cancer, oncologist wanted to improve the parkinsons before deciding re chemo etc, I was able to get instant advice re medication changes”
  • “Consultant urologist arranged admission straight to SAU the following day for Ix of blocked stent and thus avoided the need for medical admission for critical renal function deterioration. Very useful”
  • “I spoke to a renal consultant which was very helpful in highlighting the possible effect of a particular antibiotic on a patient’s renal function and so helped with the ongoing management plan”
  • “I phoned the renal consultant about a lady with a raised potassium – he looked at her recent results and advised prescription of bicarbonate, which has really helped stabilise her potassium at normal levels.”
  • “Abnormal finding on a pelvic USS, does it need urgent referral? Got immediate advice, reassurance for patient and appropriate referral made”
  • “Advice from gynae case with PMB from a ring erosion. The consultant I spoke to gave me the confidence not to use the 2 week rule. The outcome was good for the patient”
  • “I used it to contact a gynaecologist to discuss the management of a patient with severe menorrhagia, unresponsive to all treatments in GP – I was concerned that the patient was likely to need admission if the bleeding continued at such a brisk rate. The consultant was extremely helpful, giving me several specific acute treatment options and advised referral to outpatients, taking the patients details so that she could look out for her. The patient was grateful for consultant advice which helped to reassure both the patient and myself, and very likely prevented an admission.”
  • “I had a haematology patient on chemotherapy who presented with an infection. I was able to quickly get through to his consultant who knew the patient and arranged to see him immediately on the haematology ward.”
  • “Deciding about hospital admission for an elderly frail patient with haemetemesis,who normally would have refused to go to hospital”
  • “Discussed elderly (89yo) patient with mildly abnormal LFT and FBC and agreed management plan that meant could be managed in community and therefore avoided hospital trips and reassured me that not mis-managing patient”
  • “Clear treatment outline pending urgent out-patient appointment for an elderly patient with raised inflammatory markers and vague symptoms”
  • “The consultant confirmed my management strategy was correct and a community echo was arranged by me.”
  • “Patient with critically ischaemic legs – too urgent for normal referral process, but not appropriate for immediate admission. Consultant arranged urgent assessment in outpatients within days”
  • “Visit to oedematous bed bound patient with possible nephrotic syndrome. Case discussed and pragmatic plan and no admission”
  • “I was able to chat through my ENT case and come up with a management plan immediately. I felt more confident in my assessment and management of the patient and they didn’t have to wait months for an OPA”
  • “Discussed a patient who had raised catecholamines, advised to refer non-urgent to endocrinology clinic”
  • “1 year old unable to bear weight after a viral illness but otherwise well with no joint problems with passive movement. I was advised this was likely to be a transient synovitis, to use NSAIDs for 1 week and that an USS would be offered if no improvement.” 
  • “I had a patient with a suspected ruptured AAA, spoke to vascular consultant directly, and theatre was ready for him when he was bluelighted in” 
  • “Arranged an urgent neurology OP apt and scan for a patient avoiding acute admission or inappropriately long OP wait Arranged same day investigation and discharge for medical patients rather than formal admission” 
  • “Spoke to rheumatologist re pt with multiple lumbar fractures, weight loss and abnormal bloods. He advised which investigations to request next” 
  • “Unwell lady with chest infection – high blood sugar came back next day with ketones – managed to keep her out of hospital spoke to consultant who arranged diabetic nurses to see her at hospital and start her on insulin. Was not a known diabetic” 
  • “Has helped with discussion of complex elderly patient in planning relevant investigations and not over-investigating.”
  •  “Able to discuss a new diagnosis of T1DM with the endocrine consultant and arrange appropriate initial assessment/treatment”

If you would like to discuss how a telephone Advice & Guidance service could benefit patients in your area, please contact us on 01865 261467 or info@www.consultantconnect.org.uk to arrange a telephone meeting and demonstration.

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