The standard contract for 2017-19 requires use of the NHS e-referral service for all consultant-led first outpatient referrals. From 1 October 2018, providers will no longer be paid for activity from referrals not made through the system. Across the NHS, local organisations are working to ensure this is achieved. Resources are available to help trusts switch off paper referrals, including a new video featuring Yeovil health community and an implementation pack. A new communication toolkit is available to help trusts plan and deliver effective internal and external communications. All are available on the NHS Digital website.
Last November Care Quality Commission asked for views on how it should report on and rate how well non-specialist acute NHS trusts are using their resources to provide high quality, efficient and sustainable care.
Following feedback from members of the public, healthcare providers and other stakeholders the guidance has been updated.
NHS England has rebranded the existing ACS areas “integrated care systems” (ICS) in planning guidance for 2018/19 published last week. The eight existing shadow ACSs and the devolved health systems in Manchester and Surrey will be known as ICSs in future. The document stresses the need for greater engagement with patients and the public. The guidance also clarifies how additional funding of £1.6bn in the chancellor’s autumn budget will be used, principally to ensure adequate emergency care and to address growing waits for elective care.