BBC News reported this month that the number of women waiting to be seen by gynaecologists has risen by 60% during the pandemic – more sharply than any other specialty. In January this year, the gynaecology waiting list in England stood at over 450,000. Among the women on the waiting lists are those experiencing menopausal symptoms.
NHS areas across the country face waiting list backlogs for many specialties, including gynaecology, and staffing issues make it challenging to tackle the elective restoration work.
Consultant Connect is being commissioned to support NHS trusts with clinically validating and appropriately prioritising referral waiting lists.
Our Referral Triage service provides the immediate capacity of ‘virtual’ NHS consultants from our National Consultant Network working remotely as part of a local team, allowing on the ground consultants to focus on treating patients.
Results* from two recent gynaecology triage projects show significant impact in improving the care of patients:
Gynaecology (Menopause) waiting list triaged – Pilot Area 1:
- 64% of referrals are booked directly into a routine outpatient appointment
- 4% of referrals upgraded to a two-week-wait (2WW) pathway
- 32% are returned to GPs in primary care with advice
Gynaecology (non-Menopause) waiting list triaged – Pilot Area 2:
- 87% of referrals are booked directly into a routine outpatient appointment
- 1% of referrals upgraded to a two-week-wait (2WW) pathway
- 4% of referrals are upgraded to urgent and booked directly into an outpatient appointment
- 9% are returned to GPs in primary care with advice
*Due to rounding, the sum of the may not equal 100%
The triage work results in a clinically validated and prioritised waiting list that ensures that most urgent referrals are seen first at the right service. Referrals that can be managed in primary care are returned to GPs with extensive Advice & Guidance.
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