15 Apr 2024

One million calls between primary carers

Consultant Connect hits 1million milestone for calls and photos

NHS advice and guidance platform Consultant Connect has announced it has placed one million calls between primary carers – such as GPs and paramedics – and consultants as the tech becomes indispensable to the health service.

One million images have been taken on the platform’s photo app. The extensive use of picture messaging during Covid has led to the widespread adoption of teledermatology, with a near 2,000% increase in its pre-pandemic use.

More than two in three (67%) of those photo message sessions for teledermatology resulted in an unnecessary referral to a consultant being avoided.

Consultant Connect’s annual benchmarking data analysis revealed that primary and secondary health providers have exchanged 125,000 information governance-secure text messages on the platform since the service launched seven years ago.

More than 38million patients are now covered by 46 Integrated Care Boards and Local Health Boards that use Consultant Connect’s services across England, Scotland and Wales.

And more than 4,500 GP surgeries have access to 8,500 consultants for expert advice and guidance in an array of different service lines including dermatology, paediatrics, haematology and gynaecology.

Consultant Connect’s National Consultant Network, which offers out-of-area advice and guidance to GPs, has increased the number of calls and messages it has taken since 2019 by nearly 3,000 %.

When ambulance staff have used the service to seek advice before conveying a patient to hospital, more than one in three (36%) calls led to an unneeded hospital trip being avoided.

Two in three calls from GPs to elective care specialities have avoided an unnecessary conveyance to hospital. Nearly four in five calls to haematology result in an avoided visit.

More than half of calls from GPs or ambulance staff to urgent care specialities avoided an admission.

And more than four in five GPs and consultants who use Consultant Connect think the platform helps integration between them. The same number think the platform improves patient care.

Jonathan Patrick, CEO of Consultant Connect, said: “These impressive growth statistics tell the story of an advice and guidance platform that is fast becoming part of the fabric of the NHS.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback from GPs and consultants – and we’re delighted that millions more patients are benefiting from our services.”

Company info: Consultant Connect