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.