Amazingly, it’s now over a year since NHS England published its Long Term Plan (LTP). We wrote about it at the time
and our summary was that it was “positive and ambitious” and that the real work to turn it into a reality was just getting started.
Fast forward thirteen months and healthcare areas are now expected to make their “first submission of draft operational plans” (“Early” Feb 20) to be quickly followed by their “final submission of operational plans” (by end March 2020).
You can download the published draft plan from South East London ICS here
to get an idea of what it is planning. Needless to say, the document has to cover an awful lot of ground so is very long – more than 250 pages – but it paints a picture of the future of health services in the area.
We’ve mentioned on this blog before the fact that we are working with South East London. We work with more than 60 areas in the UK, as well as speaking with many more, and can report that SE London is one of the most advanced areas in the UK in terms of its approach to Advice & Guidance, which is available both on e-RS A&G and Consultant Connect.
We have not been involved in the drafting of this document, but we believe it sets the standard in terms of what an effective advice & guidance strategy looks like going forward. The Planned Care section, from page 43, includes the following:
“Advice and guidance is available to all GPs in SEL via the e-Referral Service (e-RS) and Consultant Connect (a telephone advice and guidance service). The Consultant Connect app has additional functionality via PhotoSAF which allows GPs to take photos (in a way that is compliant with information governance regulations) and to share these with secondary care consultants where this functionality has been set up…
…To build on this progress, our priority actions are:
• Wider roll out of Consultant Connect: looking at opportunities to increase the number of specialties available to GPs, improving answer rates and reducing variation in utilisation.
• Wider roll out of PhotoSAF (on the Consultant Connect App) for advice and guidance to other visual specialties, such as gynaecology and allergy.
• Roll out of PhotoSAF across SEL so all GP dermatology referrals have a photo attached with the referral.
• Improve quality and responsiveness of e-RS advice and guidance…
Recent audits across a number of specialities showed around 25% of referrals could have been managed in primary care were advice and guidance offered.”
It’s a small part of the area’s response to the LTP, but it is a statement of intent that builds upon previous successes. You can learn more about the project here.
We look forward to working with SEL ICS to deliver their ambitions.