Early indications are that the introduction of ‘paperless referrals’ for patients for their first outpatient consultant-led services at hospital has been a great success.
Since October 1, the 38 GP practices across south east Hampshire, Fareham and Gosport have been contractually required to ensure that all referrals for the first outpatient consultant led services are submitted electronically, rather than the previous paper system.
Dr Andrew Holden, the primary care lead for NHS Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “The practices have delivered very nearly 100% - which is a significant administrative achievement.
“E-referrals are a quicker, more secure and confidential way of transferring information and booking a hospital appointment for a patient.”
“It is more efficient – as it reduces wait times for patients to get their appointment times and reduces costs associated with paper referrals; and it is more transparent, as it’s a fully auditable system that helps to manage demand and capacity.
“Patients can also be confident that they are accessing the right services - and they are less likely of being booked on to an inappropriate appointment.
“The local practices should be congratulated on achieving this target in such a short space of time and showing their commitment to delivering IT facilitated systems.”
“We continue to work hard with our local hospitals to ensure that the E-Referral project has been successfully implemented.”