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Referral optimisation and remote monitoring set to increase patient access and outcomes whilst reducing NHS backlogs

NHS England currently faces overwhelming backlogs across all services, with mounting pressures resulting in a pressing need for effective solutions.  

The ongoing demand, coupled with the impact of the pandemic on waiting lists, has put considerable pressure on healthcare providers. Actionable steps are needed to help alleviate strain on the services and its workforce, in both the short and long term.  

Adding to that demand is the aftereffects of recent and planned NHS strikes – the impact of July’s junior doctors’ strike saw more than 90,000 appointments cancelled across England. With densely packed schedules, a single day of strikes could result in the loss of 40 to 50 appointments, further exacerbating the waiting list backlog.  

The NHS should look to collaborate with independent sector providers to significantly increase patient flow through clinical pathways and reduce waiting list backlogs in the most operationally efficient and cost-effective way possible. 

Recognising the importance of utilising the available clinical resources within the NHS, it is imperative to adopt efficient and innovative processes that alleviate the pressure on both the workforce and patients. Insourcing is not merely a quick fix; it entails bringing in experts to review services and drive improvements. 

In combining innovative processes like virtual outpatient services and making full use of the NHS’ clinical resources, the independent sector is primed to support the healthcare system tackle its growing demand.  

In the case of breast surgery clinics, for example, Petros Charalampoudis, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Xyla Elective Care, said: “Now is the time for decisive action to materialise plans that will shape the future of breast clinics. By fostering innovation and leveraging the expertise available, we can revolutionise the service and improve patient outcomes. Collaborating with independent providers such as Xyla Elective Care brings together the necessary experience and resources to drive positive change. 

“The utilisation of the most important asset, the clinical resources within the NHS, is paramount. Embracing new technologies and innovative approaches will pave the way for a more efficient and patient-centred future.” 

In support of this, we provide a fully virtual outpatient service which determines the type of clinics each patient needs, whether it be face-to-face clinical assessments or diagnostic appointments. This will help to alleviate busy clinics by ensuring patients are receiving exactly the right care they require and do so in a timely manner. 

Our virtual outpatient services branch into two models, a community services model and a secondary care delivery model. Both involve experienced consultants triaging GP referrals and risk stratifying patients to ensure those with high clinical risk are prioritised and those that do not require secondary care avoid unnecessarily adding to waiting lists. Both models have delivered a tangible impact for hospitals partnering with us. 

Two-thirds of patients supported by the community services model have not had to visit the hospital throughout their entire pathway, creating hospital capacity and reducing pressure on staffing resources. This has been a result of effective triaging, and appropriate onward patient referral to hospital. 

Our virtual outpatient service leverages technology to improve advice & guidance, Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU), remote monitoring, and reduce Did Not Attends (DNAs). Through secure communication channels, primary care providers can access timely advice from specialists, leading to better decision-making and reduced unnecessary referrals.  

PIFU and remote monitoring empower patients to take an active role in their healthcare, enabling proactive management of health conditions; this approach reduces DNAs through increased access, appointment reminders, and patient engagement. As technology advances, virtual outpatient services continue to enhance patient-centred care and collaboration among healthcare providers, optimising healthcare efficiency and improving patient outcomes. 

We specialise in clinical governance with the expertise to ensure a tightly run resource across healthcare services. This translates to a reputation for exceptional patient welfare and safety, robust information security, clinical excellence and effective leadership – facets that underpin everything we do. We make sure that is always an ongoing process as we drive for continuous improvement, ensuring best practice and listening to patient feedback, keeping them and their safety at the centre of our services.  

To find out more about our insourcing services, visit: xylaelectivecare.com/our-services

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