SOUTH Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) has been nationally recognised for its speedy response to those needing specialist guidance.
The trust has been named as one of the winners for outstanding Advice & Guidance in the second annual Consultant Connect Awards.
Consultant Connect Advice & Guidance services allow GPs and other medical professionals to rapidly contact consultants for immediate specialist advice – helping to avoid unnecessary hospital visits and relieve waiting list pressures.
The trust received the award for its ongoing and outstanding commitment to improving communication between departments to improve patient care.
SWFT has continued to expand its use of Consultant Connect to support rapid communication across the hospital to improve the efficiency and speed at which patients receive care and help to reduce waiting timings.
It has also led an array of activities to enhance treatment for elderly and urgent care patients through collaboration with the local Frailty Team and West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS).
Both have introduced new pathways and practices to improve outcomes for patients – for example, nearly half of calls to the Frailty Team from WMAS paramedics have resulted in an avoided unnecessary trips to the Emergency Department (ED).
The other half resulted in necessary trips to ED or transfer to Frailty Assessment Area, following advice and guidance from specialists – helping to ease pressure on ED.
SWFT has also pioneered the use of Patient Initiated Follow Up in Rheumatology which allows patients to manage their own care through direct access to specialist consultants, with 72 per cent of patient queries often resolved first time.
Spokeswoman Lucy Sammons said: “The speed in which SWFT has improved communications using the Consultant Connect platform resulting in improved patient care is impressive. Medical professionals from different healthcare settings can now rapidly discuss a patient’s care and make a joint decision. SWFT is a shining example to everyone in the NHS to show how quickly they can move when it’s done right.”
Judging for the awards was done through scoring projects according to the number of advice and guidance requests they received in the last 12 months per capita, the breadth of their service offering and their call/message answer rates – all winners receive a donation to their hospital charities.