Referral Triage | Outcomes and Impact

Published: 20th April 2022
Our Referral Triage service has been supporting systems across the country. This blog article reveals outcomes and impact for over 20,000 referral cases across 14 specialties.

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.

Our Referral Triage service can help hospital trusts needing additional temporary capacity for referrals. The service uses the expertise of the NHS consultants from our National Consultant Network (NCN) and is available to work through backlogs in bulk or back-up local clinicians (for backlogs and/or new referrals as they come in). All NCN consultants work as part of the local team and are briefed to follow local protocols and pathways.

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.

Our Referral Triage service has been supporting systems across the country, with impressive results, as of April 2022, for over 20,000 referral cases across 14 specialties:

Feedback from Referral Triage NHS Consultants:

“I’m pleased that this project has brought about a reduction in waiting times when NHS services across the country are under huge pressure. I hope that facilitating investigations in advance of clinic appointments in selected cases will result in further efficiency savings, by improving the new to follow up ratio and that this free clinic capacity can be directed towards patients who need more urgent clinical review. The standard of referrals from GPs has been high, as has the IT infrastructure, meaning decisions can often be made immediately, rather than requiring back and forth messages to obtain the necessary information.”

“The opportunities for the NHS are shorter waiting lists at the hospitals – what’s not to like about that! “

“A number of referrals were identified to be re-triaged into another department in the hospital, saving an unnecessary first outpatient appointment.”

“As a specialist in colorectal and general surgery, I think the referral triage project is an excellent idea. I was involved in the initial trial and I have seen referrals which clearly were inappropriate and caused delays in patient management.”

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