WHERE THIS HAPPENED: Addenbrooke’s Hospital
The primary-secondary care interface is a key organisational feature of the NHS such that General Practitioners (GPs) act as the gatekeeper between primary care and referral to hospital specialties.1 In the current financial climate faced by the NHS, it is imperative that patients who are referred to secondary care are streamlined for review by the most appropriate clinician in the most appropriate setting. The ear, nose and throat (ENT) Emergency Clinic is a valuable resource in which patients are referred to obtain advice on diagnosis, management or obtain a specialist procedure of urgent ENT conditions.
Prior to this project, there was anecdotal evidence that the availability of such emergency clinic appointments was limited and demand was high. Often the clinic was overbooked with complex patients who were unsuitable for junior ENT trainees with a result of clinics running behind schedule. Therefore, to continue to run an effective service, the department felt that it was imperative that this resource was updated to create a streamlined and appropriate system
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