The NHS Long Term Plan pledges radical change for people needing planned care.
Too often people are travelling for hours to a hospital appointment that lasts a few minutes when they could be saved time, cost and stress by the NHS doing things in a different way.
Sometimes people are waiting months to be treated at their local hospital when they could be seen faster elsewhere if they knew where to look.
The Elective Care Transformation Programme is leading transformative change on these and other areas to make sure patients needing planned care see the right person, in the right place, first and every time, and get the best possible outcomes, delivered in the most efficient way.
The programme, introduced in March 2017, has seen the number of referrals by GPs to surgery and other planned treatments fall by 4%.
This is thanks to best practice solutions that we have developed through rigorous testing of different approaches including rethinking referrals, shared decision making, and transforming outpatient services.
Our clinically led programme supports local health and care systems to work together to:
- better manage rising demand for elective care services
- improve patient experience and access to care
- provide more integrated, person-centred care.
We have worked with GPs, consultants, nurses, other health professionals, commissioners and the public to design, test and implement innovative new approaches.
Now we are supporting local systems to embed what we have learned, starting with EyesWise, our project to save sight and improve people’s lives, in collaboration with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
We are contributing to the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitments to remove the need for up to a third of outpatient appointments over the next five years, saving patients 30 million trips to hospital and the NHS more than £1 billion a year in new expenditure, and to continue to provide patients with a wide choice of options for quick elective care. The continued roll out of our capacity alerts tool will support people to make informed decisions about where to have their treatment, including potentially using available independent sector capacity.
Mobilising Advice and Guidance services will help transform the way referrals are managed by providing primary care with continued access to specialist clinical advice. This enables a patient’s care to be managed in the most appropriate setting with the necessary specialist advice.
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