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Consultant Connect

Lambeth CCG, Bromley CCG and Southwark CCG are piloting a new telephone advice and guidance service called 'Consultant Connect'. The service allows GPs to speak with local speciality consultants at Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (KCH) in real time anytime Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

The service has been available since Monday 16 October 2017. Each practice will  receive its unique dial-in number to access the service. Further communications will be made over the next month as the service establishes.

The service will initially include the specialties below (further specialties to be added later):
• Neurology
• Gynaecology
• Haematology
• Cardiology
• Diabetes

The service should be used for the same clinical advice and guidance that GPs would usually seek via a written request or through the switchboard or bleep system. GPs will be able to use the system to seek help with the treatment of a patient who may otherwise be referred.

How does it work?
1. GP calls via landline or app and chooses a specialty from a list of options. Each practice will be given a dedicated number to call.
2. GP will then be asked to enter the patient's NHS number.
3. The call loops through a rota of available consultants at either GSTT or KCH (average waiting time to connect is 50 seconds).
4. The first available consultant answers the call and provides advice and guidance (call lengths are on average four minutes).
5. On completion of the conversation GPs will need to stay on the line to assign an outcome to the call. GPs will be asked to select from five options (e.g. referral made, referral avoided)

The clinical dialogue between the GP and Consultant will be recorded and accessible after the call has ended should you need to hear the advice again.

Further information will be distributed from Consultant Connect to practices over the next two weeks. In the meantime, if practices have any questions please contact with the Service Redesign Team either via email or telephone on 020 3049 6221/6222/9985. You can also contact Jonathan Patrick from Consultant Connect directly on 01865 261467.