In 2021, an NHS area decided to use Consultant Connect’s Referral Triage service to run a pilot project focussing on the first outpatient’s waiting list for Cardiology. Following the success of the pilot project, a further 2500+ Cardiology referrals have been triaged since July 2021.
Service Expansion – Diagnostic Review
The success of the triage work led to further expansion of the service, now supporting the trust to efficiently review their cardiology diagnostic results.
Where the outcome of the referral reviewed by the out-of-area NHS consultant on the National Consultant Network (NCN) is that the patient needs to be booked for diagnostics only or booked for diagnostics prior to a routine or urgent face-to-face outpatient appointment (often avoiding the need for diagnostics to be booked in following the first OPA, and therefore requiring a possible follow-up appointment – delivering a more streamlined service), the NCN consultant is able to specify which tests need to be booked, and once completed, the NCN consultant also reviews the results from the tests and is able to more fully triage the patients – speeding up care.
Impact – Outcomes with and without diagnostic review
To date 711 ‘new in’ cardiology referrals have been triaged via the service, and where applicable, the NCN consultant has reviewed diagnostic results and fully triaged the patients. Nearly 20% of referrals were identified as needing diagnostics:
Where no diagnostics are required
- 34% of referrals were returned to Primary Care (24% with written Advice & Guidance and 10% for further information)
- 34% of referrals were booked into a routine face to face appointment
- 1% of referrals were booked into a routine telephone appointment
- 11% of referrals were marked as urgent and prioritised for urgent face to face appointment
Where diagnostics are required and reviewed via the service
- 5% were booked into a routine face to face appointment
- 3% were reviewed were marked as urgent and prioritised for urgent face to face appointment
- 10% were returned to Primary Care with written Advice & Guidance
Listen | NHS Consultant Experiences
Dr Steve Cookson, NHS Consultant Cardiologist, speaks about how his involvement in reviewing referrals and diagnostics has helped speed up patient care:
If you have any questions or would like to find out our Referral Triage and Diagnostic review service can help your area, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01865 261 467 or fill in the short form below to request a call back from the team: