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‘Advice to GPs’ will count towards elective care target

Avoiding GP referrals by providing ‘advice and guidance’ will contribute significantly towards NHS performance on the government’s elective care targets, according to draft NHS plans seen by HSJ.

Under the elective recovery plan, hospital specialists are being asked to offer more advice when GPs are deciding whether to refer a patient for an outpatient appointment, which would avoid some patients being added to waiting lists.

This is aimed at reducing instances where GPs may want to be risk averse and refer a patient when they might be unsure whether a secondary referral is needed.

New documents seen by HSJ, shared in draft by NHSE last week, reveal this avoided activity will be counted in assessing if the service or individual trusts have hit key government targets to increase activity.

NHS England has agreed with government to carry out 10% more ‘clock-stop’ activity in 2022-23 than was taking place pre-covid, but this is “after accounting for the impact of an improved care offer through system transformation, and advice and guidance”.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 28 February 2022


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