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Improving 2-week-wait Referrals

Improving 2-week-wait referrals

During the pandemic the way in which 2-week-wait (2WW) referrals have been managed by secondary care providers has had to change, as many diagnostic procedures could not be carried out due to infection risk.  2WW referrals which previously may have gone direct to investigation are now being triaged by senior clinicians who can best decide what next steps should be taken.  The move to senior clinician triage has identified that many 2WW referrals do not have enough information for the clinician to make a balanced decision.  A recent audit of upper GI 2WW referrals identified that 20% of referrals did not have all of the requested information.

To improve the 2WW process some of the 2WW referral forms will be changing over the coming months.  The LMC is working with secondary care providers to develop and adapt the forms, and these will be integrated into clinical systems when they are rolled out.

It is essential that all requested information is completed in the 2WW forms so that the patient’s journey is not delayed whilst this information is gathered.

Things you can do to ensure that patients can be dealt with appropriately when referred on a 2WW pathway:

  • Use the 2WW form which is integrated in the clinical systems so that they auto-populate
  • Complete the “functional status” tick boxes as this allows triaging clinicians to understand whether or not the patient is able to be sent straight to diagnostic testing
  • Enter detailed information in the “reason for referral” section to paint a picture for the triaging clinician

If you cannot complete the entire form as some information is missing, use the “reason for referral” section to explain what your concerns are and why you are referring.

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