Outpatients are when someone gets medical care, or a consultation from a hospital, but who does not stay in the hospital for one or more nights. Outpatients do not includes patients who come for day case surgery.
Between 2021 and 2026 this transformation programme aims to redesign outpatient services working in a phased way through the specialties, with four phases made up of grouped specialties.
It is underpinned by the aims of improving referral processes, improving patients' experiences of Outpatient services, reducing unnecessary journeys and visits to the hospital for appointments, and providing support or advice in different ways.
This includes looking at new and different ways of working including:
- Your GP contacting a hospital consultant for advice or guidance so that your needs can be met without an unnecessary referral to hospital
- Having virtual consultations or remote reviews, where it is appropriate, without having to travel to a major hospital
- Increasing the use and effectiveness of making 'one stop clinics' available where everything happens in one place
- Receiving follow-up telephone calls from a nurse, where appropriate, instead of routinely going back to hospital for a follow-up
- Playing a bigger part in your care journey where you are more informed and can instigate your own follow-up if necessary
- Improve access to your care and appointment information through a 'My Planned Care App'
What do we want to achieve with this work?
- Reduce unnecessary face to face outpatient appointments in the hospital
- Reduce overdue follow ups
- Increase the use of 'one stop clinics'
- Increase the use of Nurse led clinics
- Increase the use of advice & guidance between GPs and consultants
- Introduce patient led follow-ups, where clinically appropriate
- Increase the use of remote monitoring and virtual consultations
- Support the recovery of waiting lists post Covid-19
- Improve access to care and support for people through improved pathways and joined-up working
- Improve access to information and shared decision making
- Achieve optimal and consistent patient safety
- Improve experience and outcomes of health services for the people of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
- Improve and ensure equity of access to services for all, and address any existing health inequalities
- Improve the experience for staff in services
- Improve the environment by reducing the need for unnecessary travel to hospital and thereby reducing CO2 emissions
What has been done so far?
The clinically-led and locally owned programme is already underway, and is currently undergoing clinical, patient and public engagement to help shape these new ways of working. Programme updates describing our progress will follow over the coming months.