The NHS is experiencing significant pressure and unprecedented levels of demand.
Around 1.5 million patients are referred for elective consultant-led treatment each month.
Referrals have been rising annually by an average of 4% per year. Since 2005/6 total outpatient appointments have nearly doubled from 60.6m to 118.6m.
The NHS needs to manage this demand effectively to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients and the most efficient use of resources. The Elective Care Transformation Programme is supporting local clinicians and commissioners to change how patients are referred into services.
The approaches and interventions we are developing and testing with clinicians will also ensure patients see the right person in the right place, first time. Our work will help clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) deliver their plans to manage the rise in referrals.
This will help local NHS commissioners and providers meet the national priority that at least 92% of patients on non-emergency pathways wait no more than 18 weeks from referral to treatment. Some 418,000 patients were waiting longer than the 18 week standard for hospital treatment in September 2017 – a 20% increase on the previous year. The steady rise in referrals has contributed to that increase.
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The Elective Care Transformation Team
The Elective Care Transformation Programme Team is working in partnership with NHS organisations and other partners to redesign patient pathways for non-emergency care and testing out interventions designed by local clinicians and commissioners.
They are developing tools and guidance that will support GPs and other health professionals in managing their patients, so they see the right person in the right place, first time.
The programme is focussing on three areas:
- Specialty Based Transformation
- High Impact Interventions
- Diversion of referrals.
Join our webex for potential Wave 4 sites
The Elective Care Transformation Programme (ECTP) is seeking expressions of interest from local healthcare economies to take part in Wave 4 of its work. This involves rapid testing of interventions designed to slow the growth of referrals and improve outpatient arrangements in the specialties listed above.
Clinical commissioning groups and their partners have the chance to get involved in transforming elective care in respiratory services, general surgery and gynaecology in Wave 4. This is an opportunity for frontline clinicians to be involved in the 100 day challenge methodology to test interventions in the specialties to manage growing demand
The programme is holding a webex at 4pm on 4 December to explain what the process involves and to highlight both the delivery and outcomes from the first three waves. Register here for the webex.
The activity would suit partnerships of organisations already working together across the elective care pathway. Our experience from the first three waves suggests that the rapid learning process works best on a smaller geographical scale rather than at an entire STP level.
ECTP director Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu said: “Clinicians lead our work from the front – they select the interventions they want to test locally. At just 100 days, each wave of testing is intense but we make sure local partnerships have the resources and support they need to stand the best chance of transforming elective care referrals and outpatient appointments in the particular specialties they are focussing on.”