Transforming Outpatients update
steps towards the Future of Outpatients – please give us your views
and get involved
digital transformation; closer clinical-administration teamworking;
innovation, more standardised operating processes; and a much
greater focus on patient experience are among early themes to
emerge from our Future of Outpatients project.
are working on a long-term project to design a new-look, 21st
century outpatients service, with operational processes that much
better support GPs and patients. This is a long-term goal, and we
are also continuing to focus on ongoing improvements.
clinicians, clinic and administration staff, GPs, patients and
commissioners all came together to consider the issues and the
priorities for an improved service at an event in December. Some
key agreed principles included:
must be at the heart, with more choice and control about their
care, including how we communicate with them, including via an
online patient portal. Services will be organised around patients’
will drive transformation - achieving efficiencies and improving
patient and GP experience. We need robust, quality data to help us
to monitor and drive how we can best improve services for patients,
with greater transparency so GPs can track their patients’ progress
on the pathway and access useful information.
St George’s, clinical specialties and support functions should work
more closely together in joined-up teams
need to standardise more operating processes as well as improving
overall service standards.
is key, incorporating new ways of providing services and care to
are keen to hear from even more GPs and practice managers with
their views, and feedback on specific proposed elements of the new
Outpatients Service. Please contact us to find out more and get
boost for GP - consultant communications
are aiming to increase use of the secure online Kinesis
GP-consultant messaging system across Merton and Wandsworth by
extending it across more St George’s specialties
and CCGs have asked for better access to our consultants' expertise
and guidance. Kinesis an easy-to-use system, allowing consultants
to interact with GPs more regularly, answering queries and often
prevent unnecessary referrals, and improving patient experience. It
is currently being expanded across various sub-specialties within
Cardiology, ENT, Gynaecology, Dermatology and T&O.
Sarah Thurlbeck, Consultant in General Paediatrics, was an early
adopter of Kinesis and has handled around 260 queries since April
2016. Sarah said: “It has certainly been a useful tool in
paediatrics - reducing unnecessary referrals, and supporting GPs to
care for patients in primary care. This helps the child and
family’s experience because the child receives prompt, more expert
care quickly and may not need to wait for a hospital appointment.
GPs seem to value the speed and usefulness of responses.”
GPs already use the system and the other CCGs involved in the
expansion initiative are delivering training to GPs on using the
system. To find out more please contact
virtual clinic heralds drive to reduce follow-up appointments
are aiming to reduce follow-up hospital appointments - freeing up
consultant time and clinic resources, reducing unnecessary hospital
attendances and improving patient experience.
means developing innovative clinical-led approaches to reduce
hospital outpatient attendances, and improve patients’ experience.
Vascular department is piloting a weekly telephone-based ‘virtual
clinic’ for varicose veins patients. It aims to reduce waiting
times for patients by four to six weeks, and replace unnecessary
hospital visits for face to face follow-up appointments. The
virtual clinic will be led and carried out by a Physicians
Associate under the direction of the Consultant Vascular Surgeon.
We will explain the process and provide information to patients
when they first present. Appropriate, low-risk, patients will be
called the week after their investigation to give them the results,
and discuss dates if they require surgery.
pilot initiatives in different specialties will include digital
technology, more patient self-assessment and self-management, and
open access follow up appointments so patients have the choice to
rebook an appointment if required.
drive to reduce follow-up appointments also reflects intentions
highlighted in the emerging Sustainability and Transformation Plan
(STP) for south west London.
patients – pilot of new processes
are piloting new processes to better monitor and collect payment
from overseas patients who are not eligible for free NHS treatment.
This will bring us into line with national NHS guidelines. Our new
processes will enable us to properly assess whether patients are
eligible for free NHS treatment.
pilot will start in Maternity Services. All women who are
non-emergency patients for Obstetrics will be asked to provide two
forms of identification when they first present, and to complete –
in advance – a Pregnancy Referral Form.
a patient is not eligible for free NHS care, they will be charged
for any treatment we provide to them. We will not turn away or
delay treatment for any woman who cannot prove their identity, or
are non-eligible for free NHS care. We will clearly communicate the
Department of Health regulations and agree plans for payment. Our Overseas
Patients team will work with patients to assess their eligibility,
and to support them and discuss payment arrangements if they are
are asking GPs to help us by telling women referred to St George’s
Maternity Services about the new processes. Details can be found
are also communicating directly through new appointment letters. If
you have further queries, please do not hesitate to contact the
Overseas Patients team:
8725 3439 or 020 8725 4693 or