Delivering an advice and guidance service in neurology

Pract Neurol. 2022 Jun;22(3):209-212. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2021-003100. Epub 2022 Jan 24.


It is increasingly common for secondary care to provide advice to primary care without an outpatient appointment. Even before the increased telemedicine during COVID-19, many hospital services gave advice alone for some referrals, yet there are few published data about patient outcomes. Does advice and guidance alter outpatient numbers or simply mean that patients are seen later? Which neurological conditions can we manage at a distance? Do complaints increase from either primary care or patients? Do clinics become more complex and time consuming? Our department has developed an advice and guidance service embedded within the English electronic referral system since 2017, allowing detailed analysis of the outcome of 6500 patients over 2.5 years. We suggest ways to set up and run a neurology advice and guidance service, looking at the potential benefits and the barriers.

Keywords: clinical neurology.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases* / therapy
  • Neurology*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Telemedicine*