NHS Digital has added a new function to the NHS e-Referrals service, enabling clinicians to turn an advice conversation directly into a referral.
It is planning further changes towards the end of March, allowing the advice and guidance function to be integrated into provider systems so that conversations can be directly embedded into the patient’s medical record.
This will save clinicians from switching between systems to seek advice from each other.
NHS Digital said the changes come from feedback from GPs and consultants using the service.
Its senior clinical lead, Martin O’Keefe, said: “By making it easier for primary and secondary care clinicians to talk to each other, we know that GPs can get the advice they need at their fingertips while hospital consultants can have greater confidence that a referral is appropriate before a patient is referred to them.
“This will make the whole process smoother and simpler for everyone involved and ultimately will improve patient care.
“This is part of a series of improvements that are being made to the NHS e-Referral service designed to help clinicians and patients.
“We hope that giving clinicians the tools they need for true, shared decision making will support them to make the best, evidence based choices for their patients.”
Image from iStock, Brian Jacksonn