Planned Care and Cancer update from Duncan Bedford, Programme Director
We’ve been focussed over the past couple of months on refreshing both our governance structure and our priorities going forwards.
Alongside this, we have identified a number of high impact initiatives where change can be delivered quickly, including achieving a reduction in unnecessary outpatient appointments first and follow ups at local NHS service providers.
The aims of this particular piece of work will be to:
- Ensure only those patients who need to be seen in specialty clinics are offered face-to-face appointments
- Offer patient-initiated appointments for routine follow-ups where clinically appropriate
- Minimise disruption to patients and carers by offering them a range of alternatives to hospital-based appointments.
We’re working on developing alternatives to pre-assessment outpatient appointments to avoid patients having to unnecessarily come in to hospital for tests – for example, blood tests, ECGs, lung function tests – where this is clinically appropriate.
We’re also seeking alternative out of hospital services to meet the needs of new and follow up patients and are working on developing new pathways for priority specialties to determine when, where and how often we will have contact with patients.
By working in a smarter and more efficient way, this will lead to a reduction in the number of hospital visits for patients, release more capacity in the system and help to improve waiting times.