Northampton General Hospital praises service to connect consultants and GPs for reducing Covid backlog
'It’s been a great help to use Consultant Connect as part of our armoury in trying to keep the hospital flowing'
A service which better connects consultants and GPs has been praised by Northampton General Hospital for helping during the pandemic and to reduce its backlog.
Consultant Connect says its service offers unprecedented access to specialist clinical advice for doctors, meaning patients receive better and faster care.
The hospital more than doubled the number of departments which used the service when the crisis hit and has been recognised as helping to cut the current backlog.
NGH deputy chief operating officer Carl Holland said: “As we are coming out of Covid, we have decided to seize the opportunity to clear some of our backlogs.
"It’s been a great help to use Consultant Connect as part of our armoury in trying to keep the hospital flowing.”
Consultant Connect, which works with 90 clinical commissioning groups and 4,100 GP surgeries across the UK, claims two in three calls avoid a patient making an unnecessary hospital visit.
Its service also means patients are no longer waiting months to see a consultant and gives the NHS an opportunity to tackle the waiting list crisis ahead of winter.
Before Covid, Northampton General used ten of Consultant Connect’s services including cardiology, gastroenterology and respiratory.
The onset of the pandemic led to other services recognising the importance of patient flow and another 13 services came online, resulting in 5,000 calls between GPs and consultants since March 2020.
Consultant Connect chief executive Jonathan Patrick said: “Northampton is a superb case study for exactly how Consultant Connect can help to ease the pressure on our NHS as we begin to tackle the challenging backlog of patients.
“In some specialties, in other parts of the country, patients are now being asked to join waiting lists of over a year or being told waiting lists are full altogether.
"We’re proud at Consultant Connect to be on the frontline of helping to deliver better patient outcomes and getting people the care, they deserve.”