Advice and Guidance project updateDate posted: 18th December 2020
The locally developed digital communication tool is now available across all acute providers across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
The web-based system, known as ‘Advice and Guidance’ (A&G) allows GPs to seek help from specialists within secondary care, at the touch of a button.
The system has been running successfully for a number of years in the NHS Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area and it has recently been rolled out for use in central Lancashire (June 2020), the Fylde Coast (July 2020) and Pennine Lancashire (November 2020).
Over 1,700 GPs now have access to the A&G system and can seek advice from a range of specialist services within their local acute trust providers. Since April 2020, the A&G system has been used over 9,000 times and this figure is set to rise with the recent addition of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and GPs from the East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen areas being enabled to use the system.
Early feedback suggests that the system is proving beneficial for patients, potentially reducing the number of patient journeys, and also reducing the waiting times for certain appointments. Over 97% of GPs have reported the system is easy to use and rated the information received as either ‘useful’ or ‘really useful’. Over 90% of the advice requests sent over from primary care are replied to by a secondary care specialist within two working days.
A new Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) A&G Steering Group will meet in December, with a view to building on the existing collaborative and exploring options for utilising the system for additional pathways and extending its use to other providers.