The second half of the year update to ‘2021/22 priorities and operational planning guidance: October 2021 to March 2022’ has been released to a backdrop of upcoming seasonal pressures that are likely to be intensified by the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The good news is that systems using Consultant Connect will be well placed to meet the requirements in several ways.
Requirement: 12 advice and guidance requests / triages per 100 outpatient first attendance
The requirement for the delivery of a minimum of ‘12 advice and guidance requests per 100 outpatient first attendances, or equivalent via other triage approaches, by March 2022’ will be achievable by systems using Consultant Connect for Advice & Guidance.
However, for your Advice & Guidance service to work successfully the responding clinicians need to answer the requests. This may sound obvious, but no amount of encouraging clinicians to use advice & guidance can overcome an unreliable service. Local advice from a local clinician is always the best option, but, if a local clinician is not available systems have been using our switch on/switch off virtual NHS consultant service to answer calls and respond to written requests and ultimately free up local resources. Over 70% of calls to National Consultant Network clinicians result in the patient avoiding hospital.
It’s well known that triaging all incoming referrals ensures the right pathways first time. But resourcing this approach can be tricky. Our Referral Triage service has been delighting systems with impressive results. For example Northampton General Hospital uses the service for their ‘front door’ triage approach and currently, 31% of referrals are being returned to GPs in primary care with advice. Around 15% of these referrals include a recommendation to arrange tests. Read the case study in full.
Requirement: PIFU in place for at least 5 major OP specialties
Our PIFU services are being used successfully across the UK and all PIFU data generated by us meets the EROC requirements meaning reporting is easy for systems. South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWFT) Frailty Service is a good example of PIFU being part of an array of activities designed to avoid visits and admissions. You can read the case study here.
Requirement: digital capabilities in place across mental health
Interoperability and improvements in patient safety for Mental Health services are another key focus in the guidance. We have been working for several years in Mental Health to support digitally enabled pathway redesign. Our partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) is a great example of this. You can read the case study here.
In addition to the above, the new Elective Recovery Outpatient Collection (EROC) data codes have already been built into our data to remove any potential admin burden for the systems we work with (read our recent blog article). This means all our data can be easily evaluated by the EROC team and will enable systems to demonstrate monthly increases in referral optimisation, monitor the impact on avoiding referrals, and prove that outcomes are improving.
If you have any questions or would like to find out how we can support your area to meet the updated guidance requirements, please contact us on 01865 261467 or email email@example.com.