Consultant Connect – caring for you in your community

GPs are using an innovative advice and guidance service to ensure Doncaster patients get the very best care, avoiding stressful and costly hospital visits.

The service gives GPs the ability to quickly speak (within 35 seconds on average) to a local specialist, often with the patient still in the room. This allows them to get expert advice in real time, instead of writing to the consultant and waiting days for a response or sending the patient to hospital.

“It helps us to make a good judgement on whether or not to refer a patient to hospital,” says Dr Stephanie Teanby-Clark, a GP at Askern’s Lakeside Practice. “I recently contacted one of the chest physicians at Doncaster Royal Infirmary about a patient who is in her 90s and has breathing problems. The fast response I was given on how to manage her symptoms meant I was able to continue looking after her at home, which is what she wants, rather than sending her to hospital.

“Nobody wants to be referred to hospital only for the consultant to say that their GP is the best person to manage their care. If the best course of action can be determined through a quick phone call it’s more efficient for the NHS and more convenient for the patient.” Colleague Dr Patricia Marquez Mezquita agrees, adding:

“A patient recently came to see me with hip pain and I was able to talk to an orthopaedic consultant about the symptoms and the best way of caring for them. The consultant said he wanted to see the patient which, importantly, shows the value of this service in ensuring appropriate referrals to hospital.”

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