Hospital outpatients service to undergo major transformation

GPs and consultants attended an event this month to discuss how they could work together better to benefit patient care.

Outpatient services at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital are to be transformed as part of a major plan to save patients time, money and stress.

Hospital consultants and GPs will work more closely after Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group were selected to take part in the transformation programme.

The Elective Care Transformation Programme, part of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve the efficiency of the health service, aims to save patients the time, stress and hassle of travelling to hospital appointments lasting just a few minutes when they could be seen closer to home.

Eileen Henderson, Head of Outpatients at the trust, said: “Our consultants will work closely with GPs in Hull and the East Riding to ensure patients get the best possible care in the best place for them.

“Introducing change will reduce the time people have to wait for follow-up appointments and we will be able to use more modern methods to speed up the entire outpatient process to benefit our patients.”

Around one million outpatient appointments are handled by the hospital each year and many of those could be treated sooner if they were seen closer to home or through another format rather than attending for face-to-face hospital consultations.

The trust and the CCGs submitted a joint bid to NHS Improvement to join the programme, which was launched in March 2017, and the area was chosen as one of eight to take part.

GPs and consultants attended an event this month to discuss how they could work together better to benefit patient care, reduce the time patients are waiting for follow-up appointments and alternative ways of treating patients without the need for face-to-face appointments.

They shared their ideas to ensure every contact with patient, either with a GP or a hospital consultant, is in the best interests of the patient and makes best use of NHS time and resources.

Senior clinicians will now work with NHS Improvement to review their feedback to formalise a plan to drive forward real and lasting change which will benefit patients.

[Allison Coggan – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust]

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