Decision maker project

Acute Medicine Decision Maker Project/Consultant Connect

Project Aim

The project aims to encourage:

“Clinical discussion between key partners to ensure the right patients benefit from AEC, in the right place, time and by the right professional thus providing a simple and seamless pathway to patients across different sectors – AEC is not a location but a philosophy of care” (Figure One)

Project key objectives are to:

  • Test different ways of working – looking at being innovative and how things can be different
  • Initiating the culture shift to adopt AEC principles and ways of working

Figure One – Clinical Discussion

Weekly updates are available at the bottom of this page.

What is Consultant Connect?

Consultant Connect is a very simple CCG funded, telephone based advice & guidance initiative. Consultant Connect provides GPs with immediate access to telephone-based advice from local hospital consultants.

In some cases, a call may determine whether a referral/admission is appropriate; in other cases, a call may determine what treatment within primary care is appropriate for long term condition patients. The speed of connection is such that the GP’s can (at their option) call whilst a patient is still with them.

What are the benefits of Consultant Connect?

  • Better patient experience – speeds up the care pathway, avoidance of unnecessary patient visits to hospital, reductions in follow-up visits to GP Practices
  • Better GP experience – more patient episodes conclude with no follow-up work, case based learning, reconnecting with consultants
  • Better consultant experience – reduction in inappropriate referrals, reduction in the number of written requests for advice that require responses, reconnecting with GPs
  • Better for the hospital and CCG – full tracking of Advice & Guidance activity, greater ‘whole system’ efficiency, with savings available to support other hospital and community initiatives

The Sunderland CCG Consultant Connect Pilot

Sunderland CCG have secured funds to implement a six month pilot of the system, for acute medicine initially, which is due for launch on 17th October. All practices will receive their dial in information prior to the launch date and the CCG will work with partners to promote service utilisation. We have established project metrics to evaluate the use and the effectiveness of this new initiative, and we look forward to sharing these on our website in due course. A copy of the Project Outline Document, signed by all project sponsors can be found here.

If you would like any further information on the Consultant Connect system, please contact Dr Tracey Lucas, Sunderland CCG Executive, or Natalie McClary, AEC Programme Lead, or Helen Warren – AEC PMO Support.

Please see further information below for our step by step guide to the use of the system, frequently asked questions regarding the project/system, and the weblink to the Consultant Connect website.

To discuss in further detail please contact: