The NHS Long Term Plan aims to avoid up to a third of outpatient appointments. That means that some 30 million hospital appointments will need to be avoided or replaced somehow.
Some of these appointments will be replaced by alternative digital approaches, such as video appointments. But this will only achieve part of the reduction required by the LTP.
Another part of the picture is removing the need for “avoidable” referrals and we know that Advice and Guidance is a key intervention for this. The long term plan refers to clinician estimates that as many as 20% of referrals are avoidable, which is nearly 20 million appointments.
Advice & Guidance could be a plank in delivering the LTP target and has potential to contribute significantly to identifying patients who don’t need to be referred at the necessary scale. Consultant Connect’s data shows that two thirds of Advice & Guidance calls result in the patient avoiding a trip to hospital.
But the challenge now is scale. Not only does your Advice & Guidance service have to work, it has to work well. Well enough for GPs to use it in the sort of volumes that will deliver up to 100,000 avoided referrals in an average area.
To help with this, Consultant Connect, NHS England and Sunderland CCG will be publishing answers to the most frequently asked questions about Advice & Guidance next week. They include queries about written and telephone advice, who you need to get involved in a project, how it gets paid for and more. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions, we’ll update the FAQs with more answers as more questions come in.
Book your place on our free Webinar
Finally, we’ll be holding a Q&A webinar on April 5th 1-2pm where you can ask questions of our panel of experts: Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Head of Elective Care Transformation Programme at NHS England; Sarah Hayden, Locality Commissioning Manager, NHS Sunderland CCG; and Consultant Connect’s own Jonathan Patrick.
You can register for your free place HERE.