Referral Triage | Outcomes and Impact

Published: 11th October 2022
Our Referral Triage service continues to support NHS hospitals and trusts with their recovery work. Find out more...
Referral Triage | Outcomes and Impact - Consultant Connect

It’s well known that triaging all incoming referrals ensures the right pathways first time. But resourcing this approach can be tricky, especially if areas are also working through backlogs of referrals.

Hospitals and Trusts across the UK are using our Referral Triage service to reduce RTT waiting times. We work through backlogs and/or new referrals.

Our switch-on/switch-off model means as your local capacities change, the service can be increased to cover more specialties, reduced or turned off completely with 72 hours’ notice.

The service uses the expertise of ‘virtual’ NHS consultants from our network working remotely as part of the local team, allowing on-the-ground consultants to focus on treating patients. Patient referrals that can be dealt with in Primary Care are returned with a detailed Advice & Guidance letter and management plan. Those requiring hospital attendance are validated, risk assessed and prioritised through the virtual pathway.

The triage work results in a clinically validated and prioritised waiting list and ensures patients are seen in the place most suitable for their care.

Over 25,000 referral cases across 17 specialties, have been reviewed to date:

Referral Triage for the NHS - Consultant Connect

Feedback from some of the NHS areas commissioning the service:

Olivia MosleyService Lead – Community Paediatrics, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust:

“Consultant Connect has supported Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust to cast a fresh eye over referrals coming into the service and better understand the source of referrals and, consequently, their understanding of Community Paediatrics. Consultant Connect put things into place quickly and supported us every step of the way to ensure that we were happy with the process – their contact with us has been much appreciated and very efficient- we have built a strong working relationship. Not only have they been professional in their involvement, but their buy-in into how they know they support our treatment offer is impressive, considering the barriers we are all against. It has been a pleasure to work with them so far, and I’m sure once our initial project is complete that we will find some more work for them! Their prompt work turnaround has helped our workforce (operational and clinical) look at our problems differently and question our processes.”

Helen West, System Lead for Elective Recovery, Coventry and Warwickshire ICB:

“As an ICB we have worked closely with Consultant Connect and our Provider Organisations for referral validation and triage. Consultant Connect are a responsive and professional organisation. They have gone out of their way to provide timely support and services to set this project up.

They always have been flexible to our needs working around our systems and processes to help deliver our projects. Their team of staff are friendly and knowledgeable and always engage to provide the best service possible.

They deliver a service in the background that has assisted us to improve the delivery of our services and ultimately more timely care to our patients.”

Louise Tuckett, Director of Strategy, Planning & Performance, The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust:

“Our work with Consultant Connect has been incredibly effective in driving more efficient patient pathways and ensuring the most effective use of our clinical resources. The operational team have always been very responsive and flexible to our needs, and all the clinicians who delivered the referral triage provided excellent input, in some cases going above and beyond the ask and offering suggestions as to how we could improve our patient pathways to reduce the time to diagnosis and treatment. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Consultant Connect in the coming months to support our work to reduce the time our patients are waiting for their initial consultation or diagnosis.”

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