News and views

Keep up to date with the latest news from the programme.

New handbooks available

25 June 2019

Handbooks sharing learning from rapid testing of transformation of general surgery, gynaecology and respiratory outpatient services have been published by the Elective Care Transformation Programme.

Interventions that were tested included:

  • education and support to help patients understand and manage their own condition
  • specialist Advice and Guidance for GPs via the NHS e-Referral Service
  • standardised pathways and referral forms to improve access to care for people with gynaecological problems
  • a one stop clinic in primary care for patients with lung disease (COPD), allowing them to be treated in one visit
  • streamlined diagnostics for people needing surgery.

The handbooks have practical “how-to” tips including how to get the right people involved from the beginning, negotiate internal processes at pace, and choose the right metrics for different projects.

They supplement handbooks already published on transformation of gastroenterology, musculoskeletal (MSK) and orthopaedic services, diabetes, dermatology, ophthalmology, ear, nose and throat (ENT), urology and cardiology elective care.

There is a wealth of knowledge and useful information available through the Elective Care Community of Practice on how to transform elective care and contribute to the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment to reduce face-to-face outpatient appointments by up to a third over the next five years. The Community of Practice is for everyone working to transform elective care. Sign up to collaborate, transform, share, and tap into expertise from across the country.

The Elective Care Transformation Programme works closely with partners including Getting It Right First Time and NHS RightCare to help local systems transform their elective care services and align their priorities.

Saving sight, improving lives

03 June 2019

EyesWise, led by the NHS Elective Care Transformation Programme in collaboration with Getting It Right First Time, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and UK Ophthalmology Alliance, encourages new ways of working to save sight and improve lives.

This builds on actions undertaken by all hospital eye services and clinical commissioning groups in England to deliver the Elective Care Transformation Programme’s High Impact Intervention for Ophthalmology, improving the timely assessment and follow-up of the people at highest risk of sight loss.

Now, five sites are introducing virtual clinics for ophthalmology. To find out more, join our webinars on:

  • 13:00-14:30 6 June 2019.
  • 13:00-14:30 18 July 2019.
  • 13:00-14:30 18 September 2019.
  • 13:00-14:30 6 November 2019.
  • 13:00-14:30 18 December 2019.

There is no requirement to pre-register.

The webinar on 6 June focuses on the aim of the virtual clinics, their possible impact, and the IT challenges and opportunities the clinics present.

The Elective Care Transformation Programme’s monitoring and evaluation lead will give advice on how best to measure and evidence improvement for virtual clinics.

Please share in advance any questions you would like to raise at the webinar by emailing

First Contact Practitioner specification published

23 May 2019

A specification for MSK First Contact Practitioner services has been published, setting out the actions that commissioners need to take to ensure direct access to these services for people with joint and muscle pain.

This is to support national roll-out of the service, in line with the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to expand the number of physiotherapists working in primary care networks, enabling people to see the right professional first time, without needing a GP referral.

EyesWise webinars

2 May 2019

We are holding a series of webinars for our EyesWise project. Future EyesWise Virtual Development Collaborative webinars will be on:

All recordings and supporting slides will be uploaded to the EyesWise Hub.

There is no requirement to pre-register for these webinars. Please share in advance any questions you would like to raise at the webinar by emailing

Alternative outpatient services

2 May 2019

We are working on a handbook to help local health and care systems develop alternative outpatient services, with a particular focus on virtual care. Check back here for updates on progress.


2 May 2019

We are developing a specification for endoscopy services as a high impact intervention in 2019/20. More information is available on the Elective Care Community of Practice.

Consultant to Consultant Referrals Good Practice Guide

1 May 2019

Our Consultant to Consultant Referrals Good Practice Guide helps systems to ensure referrals between consultants are made with the same rigour as referrals made by GPs.

More information is available on the Elective Care Community of Practice.

Capacity alerts

30 April 2019

Twenty eight capacity alerts are currently live across 17 NHS providers with limited capacity, enabling GPs to advise patients of alternative providers where they can be seen faster. Nine further alerts have been completed.

Community of Practice membership

29 April 2019

The Elective Care Community of Practice has almost 1,000 members and the number is growing all the time. Why not join the health community that is transforming elective care up and down the country?

First Contact Practitioner

26 April 2019

We are supporting local areas to mobilise the First Contact Practitioner service which helps patients get faster treatment for back pain, arthritis, and other muscle, bone and joint conditions. In February, the news release attracted national media coverage.

EyesWise Hub

26 April 2019

We have set up an online EyesWise Hub which brings together useful resources and good practice, providing an easy way to collaborate and to communicate with others working to transform ophthalmology services.

The Elective Care Community of Practice is for everyone working to transform elective care. Find out more.