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New ways of working to improve GP care

Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is embracing changes to their GP to consultant communications with the introduction of the Consultant Connect Telephone Advice and Guidance Service. 

This service is an innovative telecoms system that allows GPs to connect with local Specialty Consultants whilst the patient is with them in the consultation room for immediate advice and guidance.  The service has been used for a while, but as it’s popularity has grown, so too has it’s usage amongst practices.

This approach is cost effective, whilst cutting time on consultant waiting times and provides specialist advice in minutes.  56% of the calls result in referrals being avoided and a further 4.8% hospital admission being reduced.

Louise Glover, Senior Commissioning Manager – Design Team and Planned Care at Solihull CCG said:

“The service in Solihull has proved very successful, and can boast it is in the top 10% of successful users in the Country with its average rate for answered calls at 83% compared with an average for rest of Country of 74%.

“We have proven results which show better patient care for our residents, rather than a patient going back and forth to A&E waiting for appointments with a consultant, instead the GP can call the consultant and within minutes they can agree the medication and plan for the patient without any waiting and traveling time.”

Dr Sue Harrower, GP at Coventry Road Practice said:

“As a GP our patient care is our priority and by having a direct line to the consultant not only saves time, but is more convenient to the patient.  The system is a great tool for the communication between GP and consultant and cuts out the admin.”