A time-saving and cost-saving new neurology hotline has been helping GPs and patients save time in diagnosis. GPs in the north west of England can now call a neurology hotline for patient concerns. When GPs call the hotline, they can speak to neuro consultants can provide advice on the phone from the Walton Centre in Liverpool.
GPs in Cheshire and Merseyside can call the neuro consultants during the week to receive fast advice. As a result, this saves money by cutting unnecessary appointments as well as reducing travel time and leave from work for patients. Consequently, it also reduces the impact of pollution on the environment.
As a result of the hotline, over £100,000 has now been reinvested back into the NHS that is saved from reduced additional appointments. In 2017-18 the hotline received 181 calls. From the calls, 37% of the issues could be resolved by the GP making a saving of £51,698. Over the course of one year, this could achieve savings of over £100,000.
The Neurology Demand
In the UK, there are currently 10 million patients who have long-term neurology conditions. However, there are only 600 neurologists. Furthermore, the Walton Centre in Liverpool is the only specialist trust in the UK which provides comprehensive neurology services such as neurosurgery and spinal and pain management.
By trusts working together more effectively through sustainability and transformation partnerships, it can improve patient health and reduce long, unnecessary travel to specialist treatment centres across the UK.
The Clinical Lead at Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, Dr Kieran Murphy explains the hotline as; “What we want to do is to encourage simple, common sense improvements for patients that will make a big difference. Saving patients time and inconvenience while improving their care can only be welcomed by everyone.”
This is supported by the National Clinical Advisor for Primary Care in NHS England, GP Karen Kirkham who said of the hotline; “It is just this kind of innovation that we need to spread through the forthcoming NHS long-term plan.”