Immediate Telephone Advice & Guidance for Elective Care and Urgent Care in the NHS

In numbers

66%

avoid hospital visit in Elective Care

30-40%

avoid hospital visit in Urgent Care

30-40%

signposted direct to clinic/OP in Urgent Care

30%

avoid conveyance when Paramedics call ED

  • Easy to set-up & use with benefits from day one – no hardware or training required. 
  • Reduces referrals & admissions for whole-system efficiencies – patients receive the right care first time. Unnecessary, time-consuming, and costly referrals are avoided.
  • Enjoy world-class support – technology is useless if not used. Our team handles set-up, communication and on-going engagement with GPs, specialists and other stakeholders. 

Why is it so helpful for GPs and their patients?

Why is it so helpful for Commissioners?

Staffing Advice & Guidance lines a challenge? Find out about our National Network.

Find out how our Mental Health Phone Advice & Guidance service can help support the right mental health referrals at the right time.

Phone Advice & Guidance

The UK’s only immediate Advice & Guidance service

  • Easy to set-up & use with benefits from day one – no hardware or training required. 
  • Because technology is useless if not used, our team handles set-up, communication and on-going engagement with GPs and specialists.
  • Used in Elective, Urgent, and Mental Health.
  • Reducing referrals & admissions for whole-system efficiencies – patients receive the right care first time. Unnecessary, time-consuming, and costly referrals are avoided.

Staffing Advice & Guidance lines a challenge? Find out about our National Network.

How it works

GP has a patient that may need a referral

  • GP calls the Phone Advice & Guidance service using their unique local Dial-In Number or the Consultant Connect App. They choose a specialty (eg “press 1 for Cardiology”), and input the patient’s NHS number.
  • The call loops through a “rota” of available local specialists and the GP is put through to the first available specialist.
  • The UK average time it takes to connect a GP to a specialist this way is only 27 seconds. This means that GPs can use the service while the patient is still with them.

1

GP has a patient that may need a referral

  • GP calls the Phone Advice & Guidance service using their unique local Dial-In Number or the Consultant Connect App.
  • They choose a specialty (eg “press 1 for Cardiology”), and input the patient’s NHS number.
  • The call loops through a “rota” of available local specialists and the GP is put through to the first available.

The UK average time it takes to connect a GP to a specialist this way is only 35 seconds. This means that GPs can use the service while the patient is still with them.

Clinical conversation with specialist

The GP speaks with the specialist, who offers immediate Advice & Guidance, and helps decide the appropriate course of action for the patient. Conversations are usually around 3-4 minutes in duration. This means that:

  • Patients get quicker specialist advice and only attend hospital if it’s necessary.
  • Specialists and hospitals see a reduction in unnecessary referrals, reducing workload.

2

Clinical conversation with specialist

The GP speaks with the specialist, who offers immediate Advice & Guidance, and helps decide the appropriate course of action for the patient. Conversations are usually around 3-4 minutes in duration. This means that:

  • Patients get quicker specialist advice and only attend hospital if it’s necessary.
  • Specialists and hospitals see a reduction in unnecessary referrals, reducing workload.

Outcome is recorded

  • At the end of the call, the GP and the specialist record the call outcome (for example “referral made” or “referral avoided”).
  • Commissioners and hospitals can use the data our service collects to monitor Advice & Guidance, identify training needs and improve local service provision.
  • A recording of the call is safely stored as a fully encrypted audio file accessible to the relevant GP practice and hospital team.

3

Outcome is recorded

At the end of the call:

  • The GP and the specialist record the call outcome (for example “referral made” or “referral avoided”).
  • Commissioners and hospitals can use the data our service collects to monitor Advice & Guidance, identify training needs and improve local service provision.
  • A recording of the call is safely stored as a fully encrypted audio file accessible to the relevant GP practice and hospital team.

 

Everything you need to know – in a few minutes…

Specialists explain how immediate phone advice helps patients
Clinicians explain why immediate phone advice works for them
Phone A&G in action – Elective Care
Phone A&G in action – Urgent Care

Consultant Connect in NHSE handbooks

Did you know Consultant Connect has been included in the NHS England’s Elective Care Transformation Team handbooks for gastro, dermatology and diabetes handbooks? Proof that advice & guidance works!

Phone Advice & Guidance Case Studies

GP case study: Dermatology

GP case study: Dermatology

Dr Alice Overbury describes how she uses Photo Advice & Guidance for Teledermatology on the Consultant Connect App.

GP and Consultant case study: Cardiology

GP and Consultant case study: Cardiology

Dr Patrick Davey is a Consultant Cardiologist on the National Consultant Network. He answers calls from GPs around the country such as Dr Andrew Ross - a GP in Lambeth.

GP and Consultant case study: Cardiology

GP and Consultant case study: Cardiology

Dr Patrick Davey, a consultant on the National Consultant Network, answers GP Phone Advice & Guidance calls from around the UK. This includes calls from Southwark GPs.

Advice from emergency consultants one phone call away

Advice from emergency consultants one phone call away

This feature, created by HSJ in co-operation with NHS Tayside Health Board, explains why the Scottish Health Board rolled out a system that provides GPs and paramedics with immediate advice and ...

 

What our customers say:

 

Physical Care

"The service has built really good relationships between GPs and consultants, improved communication and improved patient care. It’s efficient, simple to use and quick to set up."

Pam Green, Director of Transformation & Strategy, North East Essex

Mental Health

"The benefits for patients and clinicians are potentially huge. We can see that there are multiple ways that this service will make a real difference locally."

Irene Grayson, Associate Director Primary Care Commissioning, NHS Greenwich CCG

Physical Care

''The service has built really good relationships between GPs and consultants, improved communication and improved patient care. It’s efficient, simple to use and quick to set up.''

Pam Green, Director of Transformation & Strategy, NHS North East Essex CCG

Urgent Care

"We are, at Luton and Dunstable, the top performing hospital in the country for the 4-hour emergency care indicator and one of the things that’s helped contribute to that is Consultant Connect."

David Kirby, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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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