Outpatient Recovery and Transformation

This section contains key management information related to the recovery and transformation of outpatient services, specifically Specialist Advice activity

The NHS Long Term Plan, and latest Operational Planning Guidance, outline a range of interventions and transformation requirements including around Patient Initiated Follow up (PIFU) and Referral Optimisation (through specialist advice).

Specialist advice activity

Monthly specialist advice activity returns are collected from Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) as part of the System Elective Recovery Outpatient Collection (System EROC).

The data are available by ‘type of specialist advice’. For the purposes of this data collection, the different types are categorised as:

  • ‘Pre-referral Advice & Guidance (A&G)’
  • ‘Post-referral’ triage services that offer specialist advice
  • ‘Other’ equivalent models.

Specialist Advice facilitates expert clinical input in to patient care prior to or instead of referral, enabling patient care to be managed in the most appropriate setting, avoiding unnecessary outpatient referrals, or where a referral is needed, enable relevant investigations to be undertaken earlier and ensure that patients are seen by the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

Latest data

The System EROC requires ICBs to coordinate and submit monthly specialist advice activity data from all organisations raising specialist advice requests from within their ICB, and details relating to the organisation responding to the request.

The ICB level data provides a national view of specialist advice requests raised across England. This dataset is available by ICB, type of Specialist Advice and specialty grouping.

The Provider level data represents a subset of the national dataset. This is based on the organisation responding to the request. This dataset is available by acute NHS providers, type of specialist advice and specialty grouping.

The data are presented as total requests, processed requests, and diverted requests. Full data definitions relating to the types of Specialist Advice, measures and categorisations are included here.

The underlying data are available by specialty (Treatment Functions Code) and have been aggregated to show ‘consultant led specific acute’ activity and ‘non consultant led specific acute’ activity. Additional information relating to scope of System EROC, types of specialist advice and specialty groupings are included in the latest data files.

Interpreting the data

Data are included from April 2022 to the latest available reporting period.

The data included here will always include the latest available data as reported by ICBs. This means that the latest position is subject to change as we receive more detail relating to the outcome and status of the specialist advice requests.

This is particularly relevant when viewing activity data for ‘Processed’ and ‘Diverted’ requests, due to a lag in the reporting of outcomes and status’ for requests that are raised toward the end of the reporting period. This lag in the underlying data means that there is an expected general downward trend for these measures in the most recent months, this reporting gap should reduce over time as the data is refreshed each month.

Please note that that the data collection launched in August 2021. As a relatively new data collection, we advise caution when interpreting this data as we continue to work with ICBs to improve data quality for the collection.

Contact Details

For further information about the published management information relating to outpatient recovery and transformation, please contact us at england.outpatient-transformation@nhs.net.

For media enquires or freedom of information request please refer to the statistics contact us.