NHS Trusts across the country continue to turn to our clinically-led Referral Triage and Clinical Validation service to reduce their waiting lists backlogs and new patient referrals.
How it works:
The service brings in the expertise of NHS consultants across 17 NHS specialties from our National Consultant Network (NCN), working remotely as ‘virtual locums’, following local pathways and protocols, under the leadership of local clinical leads.
Triaging referrals results in cleared backlogs and improved patient care; when returning patients to primary care, the NCN consultant provides a management plan. For the other referrals, it ensures patients are on the correct pathway, with clinical risks being assessed and urgent cases prioritised:
We recently triaged over 1,200 Dermatology referrals in Hywel Dda University Health Board, and the results highlight exactly that:
Referral prioritisation outcome breakdown:
For those referrals remaining on the waiting list the clinical risks are reduced as urgent upgrades are identified and prioritised:
*Urgent Suspected Cancer. Data correct as of 19 January 2024.
Don’t just take our word for it, feedback from the local leads and NCN consultants has been positive:
Ceri Wisdom, Service Delivery Manager, Hywel Dda UHB:
‘I’m pleased with how smooth this was to set up, manage, communicate and progress. Having weekly meetings allowed us to keep track and to provide feedback, which meant any issues were resolved straight away. The two consultants worked well within our Welsh guidance and followed local processes. Their advice and guidance back to the GPs was clear, professional and concise.’
Colette Poole, Service Manager, Hywel Dda UHB:
‘The two consultants are working very well; they are rejecting the referrals that do not require to be seen using our Welsh guidance. My suggestion for Health Boards thinking of using this service is to share their own guidelines regarding what they do/do not accept locally to support the consultants carrying out the triage.’
Dr Natasha Stembridge, NHS consultant triaging referrals:
‘It was helpful to have a list of interventions not usually undertaken to allow triage and advice to GPs for these cases. Having photos was very valuable as it meant referrals for lesions requiring plastic surgery input could be redirected at an early stage and avoided duplicate appointments in both dermatology and plastic surgery.’
Dr Aiza Jamil, NHS consultant triaging referrals:
‘The IT support has been excellent, and the local team has been extremely communicative about pathways available. They’ve also responded very quickly to questions I asked about local guidelines for larger lesions, nurse-led acne clinics and hyperhidrosis, for example. It’s been really useful to see photos alongside the referrals, allowing for some of them to be upgraded to the Urgent Suspected Cancer pathway.’
For more information:
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how our Referral Triage and Validation service or the National Consultant Network can support your area email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01865 261 467.