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Neurology hotline for GPs 'saves more than £100,000 a year'

A telephone ‘hotline’ for GPs get fast advice from neurology consultants has saved the NHS £100,000 a year, NHS England has claimed.

The advice line - run by specialist neurology hospital trust the Walton Centre in Liverpool - means GPs in the Cheshire and Merseyside area can call neuro consultants for fast advice any weekday reducing extra patient appointments.

The advice line received 181 calls in 2017/18, resulting in 37% being resolved by GPs. NHS England said that this had saved £51,698, amounting to over £100,000 in a full year.

NHS England’s national clinical advisor for primary care, GP Dr Karen Kirkham said: ‘The Walton Centre’s advice line is an example of integrated care in action, connecting GPs with hospital specialists to provide more joined up care for patients.

'In this case patients also need less time off work because they need fewer appointments and to travel less, which is also good for the environment.’

There are around 10m patients in the UK with long term neurology conditions and only around 600 neurologists.

NHS England said that the hotline was part of move among 44 sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) across the country to improve residents’ day-to-day health by primary and secondary care working together more effectively.

 

 

Readers' comments (9)

  • anything that bridges the gap will save money . Esp. would be true of psychiatry. How is the GPs time to use it paid I wonder.

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  • GPs time is free and limitless on the GP tree.

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  • Hospitals save millions by sacking all their secretaries and getting patient to see the GP to find out what’s going on with their test results/lack of follow up/abnormal scans etc.

    Unfortunately that initiative has already been rolled out to all trusts.

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  • All of these services-for GP's to get advice -result in the GP doing more work.

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  • And taking more risk.

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  • If any one is looking NHS England figures are to be found somewhere between game of thrones and lord of the rings in the fantasy fiction section of the library.

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  • Save money? Unless they can sack a neurologist. The cost to the GP's/surgery's time, clinical, personal and career risk has not been counted. Just remember the gross negligence manslaughter charges are still there and the neurologist can say the information has not been given or the patient was not examined to the neurologist's standard. Call me a stick in the mud but I like to keep my MDU fees low.

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  • Having accessed this service several times I can say it is very useful, especially for getting patients seen quickly.
    Pulse, do you know how much the hospital gets paid for each advice call?

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  • In principle this is an excellent thing but in order for it to work it requires the GP to not get into a fluster when presented with a neurological case, be able to make some kind of meaningful assessment and then discuss this coherently with the neurologist. Information submitted will have a major effect on the advice imparted.

    Sadly, knowledge of neurology amongst GPs is by and large woeful, and is not helped by a 10 minute slot to evaluate that which is given 20 minutes in the neurology out-patients.

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