Consultant Connect is a communications platform designed to connect primary and secondary care services to better support the physical health of common patients. South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (FT) were the first UK Mental Health Trust to adopt the technology to support communication about the physical health of patients accessing acute care services. The intervention was designed to provide short-term, responsive advice and guidance to clinicians to prevent unnecessary referrals or transfers from acute wards to inpatient services.
Here is an overview of the project approach, outcomes and learnings.
You can also read about the project findings further below.
Consultant Connect is amazing… It reduced the number of patients I sent to hospital/ambulatory care and improved the appropriateness of care and referrals
- Junior Doctor, South London and Maudsley NHS FT.
Embedding the intervention into routine practice
The IMPHS team were able to work alongside Consultant Connect as the main provider, and support them to test, develop and embed within the Trust. As of December 2022, over 500 staff within South London and Maudsley NHS FT had registered and downloaded the Consultant Connect App, with 166 active users. The service connected staff to 38 different specialisms across the Trust, including: Cardiology, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Dermatology, Acute/General Medicine, Haematology, and others. The IMPHS team will handover operations to South London and Maudsley NHS FT from February 2023.
For more information about the platform, visit the Consultant Connect website here, or download via your mobile app store.
In February 2023, the IMPHS team successfully delivered a live public webinar to broadcast the outcomes and learning from the Consultant Connect project. Watch the full webinar below:
Alongside delivery of the intervention, the IMPHS team gathered data on the uptake, use and outcomes generated as a result of staff using the app. This evaluation was conducted with the support of colleagues from the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London, and resulted in additional health economic analysis of the intervention on behalf of the Trust.
Click here to view the protocol for this evaluation.
The value of Consultant Connect and the difference it has made to support staff in routine practice to be able to provide more effective and responsive care for their patients was recognised in multiple ways throughout the life of the project. Highlights include:
Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS’ – Award Finalist at the Health Sciences Journal (HSJ) Partnership Awards 2022
- ‘The Future NHS’ – Award Nominee at the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2022;
- ‘Best Oral Presentation’ – Runner Up Award at 4th UK Implementation Science Research Conference 2021;
- ‘Best Mental Health Project’ – Winner at the Consultant Connect Awards 2022.
Learn more about IMPHS and its other projects here.