GPs have saved the NHS thousands of pounds by using a new service which cuts out unnecessary hospital trips.

Consultant Connect gives doctors the chance to speak to specialists and receive tailored advice relating to patient issues.

It means patients are referred to hospital less frequently and new data suggests that, in Harrow alone, this has saved the NHS roughly £142,000.

Jonathan Patrick, CEO at Consultant Connect, said: “It’s fantastic that Consultant Connect telephone advice and guidance service is having such a positive impact on the lives of patients, GPs and consultants in Harrow.

“We’re delighted to help GPs provide the best possible care for their patients while enabling them to build better relationships with local specialists.”

In Harrow, the service covers eight specialities – cardiology, care for the elderly, gastroenterology, paediatrics, rheumatology, trauma and orthopaedics, urology and vascular surgery.

Since the phoneline launched in March last year, GPs from 36 surgeries across the borough have made around 620 calls to specialists at various hospitals including Central Middlesex and Northwick Park.

Often, GPs can talk to these specialists while the patient is still in the room and can gain advice in real time as opposed to lodging the information in writing.

Dr David Lloyd, of The Ridgeway Surgery in North Harrow, explained how it can mean that long waits in A&E, or month-long processes with outpatients, are avoided.