GP Care's Consultant Link Service, which provides GPs with immediate access to advice and guidance from teams of NHS hospital consultants via 'hunt groups' of mobile phones, is proving to be highly effective. Since inception of the service GPs have received sufficient advice and support from local consultants such that they have been able to provide the appropriate care in over 64% of cases rather than having to refer patients into hospital.
Roger Tweedale, GP Care's Chief Executive commented that "the key to this service working so well for GPs is linking them with teams of consultants rather than just individual consultants; consequently their calls are always answered and the average connection time to date is one minute nine seconds. The key to making it work for consultants is the fact that the advice and guidance conversations are digitally recorded and forwarded to both GP practice and hospital; consequently the system is paperless for consultants and as a result the consultants are happy to pick up the calls wherever they are as long as they are not in surgery or on holiday".
The Consultant Link Advice and Guidance service, which started with providing cardiology advice and guidance before extending to other specialties, has been shortlisted for the Cardiac Care category in the Care Integration Awards 2013 (HSJ and Nursing Times).