• New referrals should be submitted by the GPs through the Advice + Guidance (A+G) service only (2 week wait and urgent referrals will continue to be made directly)
  • ALL specialties are asked to reply to A+G requests within 24 hours
  • Services are asked NOT to expand their current F2F Outpatient activity without communicating their plans to Outpatients
  • Information, forms and new Epic support features to support you in more robust triaging and identifying new service delivery methods

Last week’s NHS England letter from Simon Stevens requires us to plan a recovery from the current reduced Covid-19 position in outpatients to a comprehensive and COVID-19 – safe provision of our care.

Current restrictions in outpatient provision have led to increased number of patients who are at risk of suffering harm due to appointment delays, both in the community and on our waiting lists.

Outpatients and Diagnostic Services, as part of the Sustainability Taskforce, have made comprehensive plans to address the above in a standardised, coordinated and gradual process whilst embedding newly established good practice from recent weeks. We are working closely with the GPs and the CCG to ensure this is a joint effort of all health services.

Detailed messages:

New referrals should be submitted by the GPs through the Advice + Guidance (A+G) service only (2 week wait and urgent referrals will continue to be made directly).

To avoid an uncontrolled influx of referrals the CCG has agreed to maintain access to our service through A+G only. Two-week-rule pathways or other urgent pathways are unaffected. This allows us to control the level of activity coming into outpatients. Only patients at urgent (high/moderate) risk are to be accepted

ALL specialties are asked to reply to A+G requests within 24 hours

Whilst the CCG has agreed to keep the A+G only access route, they have asked us to support GPs swiftly and comprehensively in managing our shared patients in the community. This is an important contribution of CUH clinicians to the massive task GPs are facing currently and it feels appropriate for all of us to join them in this effort.

Services will need to optimise their admin support for A+G triaging and clinical teams need to commit to a 24/7 service to provide clinical support.

Services are asked NOT to expand their current F2F Outpatient activity without communicating their plans to Outpatients

Uncontrolled delivery of services can lead to situations which put patients and staff at risk. Please consider that we now have to think of COVID-19 related safety.

Information, forms and new Epic support features to support you in more robust triaging and identifying new service delivery methods

A standardised template will be used to apply for a new delivery of clinics or diagnostic services. After repeated use the completion will be straight forward and it supports an equitable and fair approach.

We need to keep the footfall in the outpatients building as low as possible. Safety standards, including standards of PPE for different scenarios, will be provided.

You will be asked to build your service around the following principles

  1. Clinical-risk driven prioritisation
  2. Covid-safe environment and processes
  3. Minimise patient contact – Use remote tools as much as possible
  4. Standardised approaches and health equity

The outpatient team will be able to support you. Please contact us direct or on the email address opcovid-19imt@addenbrookes.nhs.uk