Since February 2012, CHEC has been managing GP referrals on behalf of local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). This commenced with Newark and Sherwood CCG and now also covers Mansfield and Ashfield. Dental referrals are also managed for these two CCG areas on behalf of NHS England. These services are called ‘Gateways’.
The Gateways are designed to effectively manage the destination of patients to receive the best quality and cost effective care to meet their needs. They do not change any decisions made by clinicians and healthcare professionals for their patients. Rather they assist patients to choose their best route through the complexities of the NHS.
When a patient is identified as needing onward referral for treatment, their GP/Dentist or Optician makes the referral and forwards it electronically to their Clinical Gateway. For a large majority of specialties the referral is then triaged to ensure the most appropriate pathway of care is followed. A Patient Care Advisor then contacts the patient and discusses their options for appointments.
The Gateways consistently exceed their key performance indicator target of 90% of patients booked within 10 days of receipt from the GP/Dentist or Optician.
CHEC firmly believes the referral management centre in conjunction with peer review, provision of targeted GP education and training (also organised locally through *Protected Learning Time by CHEC) and the development of clear referral criteria and guidelines is the most cost effective way of managing referrals to ensure ‘right care first time’.
For further information, please contact Jacqui Smith at CHEC: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01636 893928