National diagnostic programme to support elective care restoration


Classification: official

Publications approval reference: 001559 / C0649

13 July 2020

Dear colleagues

National diagnostic programme to support elective care restoration

To enable us to restore critical services, it is important that our waiting lists are accurate to support clinicians, so that patients are booked in clinical and chronological order. NHS England and NHS Improvement would like to support all NHS acute trusts in identifying and resolving any data quality issues as part of the incident response to restoring elective services.

The programme aims to assist trusts as follows:

  • Improve waiting list accuracy and data quality by identifying pathways which have data quality issues, in particular those caused by the impacts of
  • Reduce incomplete patient tracking list (PTL) size and improve referral to treatment (RTT) performance by identifying pathways that can likely be removed from the incomplete PTL.
  • Optimise internal resources through ensuring validation activity is targeted at pathways which require attention.

This will be achieved through the provision of a PTL diagnostic, and waiting list management software, as was used in a previous national programme which concluded in March 2020. This method proved to yield significant benefits and we are confident that similar results could be achieved at your trust.

We will resume this programme for all trusts in England, including those that received support over winter, working through the Regional Incident Control Centre (ICC) and regional elective leads to ensure that all acute trusts benefit from this support.

The programme methodology will require:

  • Approval of the information governance documentation.
  • Provision of the incomplete PTL data extract.

Once you are in receipt of your diagnostic report, your regional elective lead will contact you to agree a timescale for you to validate the pathways flagged as a priority to review.

Next steps

  1. Email confirmation of your participation and nomination of the following task owners:
    1. Information governance contact
    2. Head of information or equivalent
    3. Head of access/elective care (trust contact for the project) or equivalent
  2. Countersignature of the Data Processing Agreement attached below
  3. Provision of the incomplete PTL data as outlined by the Minimum Data Specification attached below (refreshed daily)
  4. Attendance of the data extract webinar (details TBC)
  5. North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) to provide the trust with a PTL diagnostic report and login credentials for Clear PTL waiting list management software

Pauline Philip DBE | National Director of Emergency and Elective Care | NHS England and NHS Improvement

Keith Willett CBE | Director for Acute Care and Emergency Preparedness | NHS England and NHS Improvement