Referral Triage shows significant impact in reducing waiting lists

Published: 2nd February 2022
A Trust in the North of England has recently started using Referral Triage to reduce waiting lists in ENT and Urology. The early data shows how much can be achieved in just a couple of weeks - waiting lists are being reduced whilst ensuring patients are seen in the place most suitable for their care...

A Trust in the North of England has recently started using Referral Triage to reduce waiting lists in ENT and Urology. The early data shows how much can be achieved in just a couple of weeks – waiting lists are being reduced whilst ensuring patients are seen in the place most suitable for their care.

Referral Triage for ENT started on 7th January 2022, so far:

  • 2% of referrals are marked as urgent and prioritised for a face-to-face consultation without additional diagnostics being needed
  • 3% of referrals are marked as urgent and prioritised for diagnostics and a telephone consultation
  • 15% of referrals are booked into diagnostics and a face-to-face routine outpatient appointment is being arranged
  • 47% of referrals are booked directly into a routine outpatient appointment, without additional diagnostics being needed (face-to-face for 40% of cases and via a telephone consultation for 7%)
  • 27% of referrals are returned to GPs in primary care with advice
  • 5% of referrals are redirected to another hospital service
  • 1% of referrals upgraded to a two-week-wait (2WW) pathway

Referral Triage for Urology started on 14th January 2022,  so far:

  • 12% of referrals are marked as urgent and prioritised for a face-to-face consultation without additional diagnostics being needed
  • 59% of referrals are booked directly into a routine outpatient appointment, without additional diagnostics being needed (face-to-face for 39% of cases and via a telephone consultation for 21%)
  • 25% of referrals are returned to GPs in primary care with advice
  • 2% of referrals are booked in for diagnostics
  • 1% of referrals are redirected to another hospital service
  • 1% of referrals are upgraded to a two-week-wait (2WW) pathway

 

Jonathan Patrick, CEO at Consultant Connect, comments:

“This service works so well because it is based on NHS consultants working with NHS consultants from our National Consultant Network. Once we’ve allocated the ‘virtual’ NHS consultants doing the triage, we set up a briefing meeting between them and the local clinical lead for the respective specialty. It’s important to discuss what’s available in that area, for example in terms of diagnostics in the community, rapid access clinics etc. If certain services are unavailable, the ‘virtual locum’ NHS consultant will be able to advise on the best alternatives and treatments in the interim.

 

The early data shared in this example shows how much can be achieved in just a couple of weeks – waiting lists are being reduced whilst ensuring patients are seen in the place most suitable for their care.”

 

Related materials

Referral Triage
National Consultant Network
5mn with… an ENT consultant reducing waiting lists remotely

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