Manage Local Demand using the National Consultant Network (NCN)

Advice & Guidance:

Supporting Local Services

One of the biggest challenges for hospitals delivering an Advice & Guidance service is staffing it – particularly during peak times. The good news is that there’s now a way you can “switch on / switch off” additional NHS consultant resources. The service is extremely flexible and is being used very effectively across the U.K.

74% of calls to the NCN have avoided an unnecessary admission or referral.

Elective Care

The NCN for Elective Care operates

Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm

Sat-Sun, 9am-5pm

The below specialties operate Mon-Sun, 8am-10pm

  • Cardiology

  • COVID-19 Line

  • Gastroenterology

  • General Medicine

  • Elderly Care

  • Paediatrics

  • Respiratory Medicine

The NCN for Elective Care comprises NHS consultants who are able to answer calls or written requests for advice. These consultants are able to:

  • Support your local consultants, acting as a back up when they can’t respond to requests; and/or
  • Provide specialties that are not available locally, e.g. neurology, dermatology etc; or
  • Answer all Phone Advice & Guidance calls from GPs – leaving local consultants free to help the patients they need to see.

Specialties include:

  • Cardiology (and ECG/Echo image analysis)
  • COVID-19 Line
  • Dermatology (and image review)
  • Diabetes and Endocrinology (and podiatry image review)
  • Elderly Care
  • E.N.T (and image review)
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Medicine
  • Gynaecology
  • Haematology (and image review)
  • Neurology
  • Ophthalmology (and image review)
  • Paediatrics
  • Renal Medicine
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Rheumatology
  • Stroke Medicine (messaging only)
  • Trauma & Orthopaedics (and image review)
  • Urology

Mental Health

The NCN for Mental Health operates

Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.

The NCN for Mental Health comprises fully trained and accredited NHS Psychiatrists, Pharmacists and Nurse Prescribers that will answer medication/prescribing Advice & Guidance calls.


Medication advice lines:

Our medication advice lines cover all age groups and support with:

  • Medication reviews
  • Potential interactions between drugs and side effects
  • Supporting primary care prescribing
  • Confirming NICE guidance

Referral Backlog Triage for the NHS:

Prioritise Waiting Lists

Recent example: 3,450 referral triages completed within 3 weeks

As part of the ongoing recovery work in the NHS, Consultant Connect triages referrals for trusts needing additional temporary capacity. It’s a switch on/switch off service. The service uses the expertise of the NHS consultants from our National Consultant Network (NCN) and is available to work through backlogs in bulk or back-up local clinicians (for backlogs and/or new referrals as they come in).

 It’s the same network of consultants we launched over 2 years ago, which currently supports more than 50 NHS trusts with their capacity to deliver Advice & Guidance.

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