Demand for elective care services is continuing to grow. In 2018, more than 1.7 million patients were referred for planned consultant led treatment each month.
Between 2005/6 and 2017/18 total outpatient appointments nearly doubled from 60.6 million a year to 119.4 million, the Elective Care Transformation Programme, introduced in March 2017, has seen the number of referrals by GPs to surgery and other planned treatments fall by 4%.
To support health economies to manage the increasing number of consultant to consultant referrals in elective care, the Elective Care Transformation Programme has developed the Consultant to Consultant Referrals Good Practice Guide with support from an expert clinical working group, including the Royal College of Physicians, and NHS Improvement.
The guide provides an overview of good practice for consultant to consultant referrals. It includes guidance on consultant to consultant policies, examples where consultant to consultant referrals are beneficial, and transformation of service delivery through the use of case studies.