Patient Access Policy 18 Week Referral to Treatment RTT and Cancer Waiting Times
Patient Access Policy 18 Week Referral to Treatment RTT and Cancer Waiting Times
Policy: 138 Page 1 of 64 Version: 8 Patient Access Policy (18 Week Referral to Treatment (RTT) and Cancer Waiting Times) To whom this document applies: All Administrative Staff, Clerical Staff, Clinicians, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Service Managers and Operational Managers who participate in the monitoring and management of cancer waiting times Procedural Documents Approval Committee Issue Date: November 2004 Version 1 Document reference: 138 Date(s) reviewed: June 2008 Version 2 Approved by: Procedural Documents Approval Committee March 2010 Version 3 August 2012 Version 4 Date approved: November 2014 September 2012 Version 5 Next Review date: June 2016 January 2014 Version 6 Version No: 8 June 2014 Version 7 November 2014 Version 8 Responsibility for review: Patient Access Manager Contributors: Please See Procedural Development, Consultation Proposal Form – page 2 Archiving information held by the secretary of the Procedural Documents Approval Committee
- Policy: 138 Page 2 of 64 Version: 8 Procedural Development Consultation Proposal Form Title: Patient Access Policy (18 Week Referral to Treatment (RTT) and Cancer Waiting Times) Policy Procedure
- Name of person presenting document: Terri Agnew – Referral to Treatment Programme Lead Reason for document development/review: Inclusion of Patient Access Policy – Abridged Version for Children‟s Services (Appendix E). Inclusion of updated reconciliation forms (Appendix D).
- Names of development team (including a representative from all relevant disciplines): Access Policy RTT Reference Group Who has been consulted? Chief Operating Officer Service Manager, Trauma and Orthopaedics Assistant Service Manager, Outpatients and Booking Service Manager, Cancer Services Service Manager, General and Specialist Medicine Interim Service Manager, Women‟s, Children‟s and Genito-Urinary Medicine Assistant Service Manager, Trauma and Orthopaedics, ENT, Medical Photography, Orthodontics and Oral Surgery Multi Professional Education and Development Manager Deputy Service Manager, Children‟s Services Service Manager, General Surgery, Urology and Ophthalmology Does this document require presentation and agreement from Health and Safety Committee or Staff Partnership Forum prior to PDAC approval? Yes
- No Specify groups of staff to whom the document relates: All Administrative Staff, Clerical Staff, Clinicians, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Service Managers and Operational Managers who participate in the monitoring and management of cancer waiting times. Source of supporting evidence (references etc.): National Referral to Treatment Consultant led waiting times 2014 Are there resource implications? Yes
- No Does the Procedure/Guideline meet latest NHSLA, Risk Management Standards, Essential Standards of Quality and Safety (CQC)? Yes No
- Does this Procedure/Guideline include children, if applicable? 1. Does this document apply to children? Yes No
- 2. Are there aspects of this document that differ with regard to the treatment of children? Yes No
- If yes, please state who has been consulted Lead Paediatrician for Children‟s Cancer Services Deputy Service Manager, Children‟s Services Interim Service Manager, Women‟s, Children‟s and Genito-Urinary Medicine A Trust review will occur every two years unless national guidance states otherwise. Review must be carried out yearly.
Date: November 2014
Policy: 138 Page 3 of 64 Version: 8 Contents Page No. Review, Updating and Archiving of the Document 1 Document Development and Consultation Process 2 Contents 3 Introduction 4 Related Documents 5 1. Definition of Terms 5 2. Roles and Responsibilities 9 3. Process 11 4. Training 29 5. Evidence Base 29 6. Monitoring Compliance and Audit 29 7. Dissemination, Implementation and Access to the Document 30 Appendices Appendix A – National Codes 31 Appendix B – Treatment Function Codes 37 Appendix C – Non-compliance Fines 40 Appendix D – Reconciliation Forms 42 Appendix E – Patient Access Policy – Abridged Version for Children‟s Services 46
Policy: 138 Page 4 of 64 Version: 8 Introduction This policy describes how the Trust monitors and reports performance relating to Referral to Treatment (RTT) Waiting Times and is consistent with 18 Weeks Guidelines 2014. It includes national dataset requirements for both waiting times and clinical datasets. It is vital that this policy is applied across all services to ensure that the Trust meets national waiting time targets. The intention of this policy is to ensure that referrals are handled efficiently and equitably, in line with national guidance and to ensure that the patient‟s best interests and wishes are at the forefront of the way Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (CHUFT) operates.
This policy aims to ensure that: As defined in the NHS constitution, patients have the right to expect to be seen and treated within national operational standards ensuring timely diagnosis and treatment, equity of care and patient choice. Patients of the same clinical priority will wherever possible be offered dates for appointment or treatment in chronological order, based on the number of days remaining on their cancer pathway, with the exception of patients showing flexibility to accept short notice appointments or TCIs. All patients receive their first appointment/treatment within the targets set out in the RTT suite of Rules taking into account clinical pathways and patient choice.
Patients will be given reasonable notice and choice of appointments and TCI dates as defined within the policy.
Administrative and clinical staff throughout the Trust take responsibility for moving patients along the agreed clinical pathway in the timescale set out within this policy. All internal documentation/referrals clearly state all relevant target dates. Clinical support departments adhere to and monitor performance against agreed maximum waiting times for test/investigations in their department. Accurate data on the Trust‟s performance against the National Cancer Waiting Times is recorded in the Somerset Cancer Register and reported to the National Cancer Waiting Times Database (NCWTDB) within predetermined timescales.
CHUFT will monitor the cancer patient pathway by using Patient Administration System (PAS) functionality and Patient Tracking Lists (PTL) measuring the patient length of wait from referral to new outpatient appointment, diagnostic test and treatment. Patients on a cancer pathway are tracked using the Somerset Cancer Register.
This policy assumes all General Practitioners/General Dental Practitioners (GP/GDP) are informing patients that they are being referred as a two week wait (2ww) and that it is a fast track pathway that will mean patients may be offered a series of appointments at short notice over a maximum two month period.
Policy: 138 Page 5 of 64 Version: 8 Related Documents 365 – Cancer Services Operational Policy 331 – Assessing Mental Capacity Procedure including Deprivation of Liberty Guidance 180 – Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy 1. Definition of Terms Referral to treatment period The part of a patient‟s care following initial referral, which initiates a clock start, leading up to the start of first definitive treatment or other clock stop.
A Active monitoring A patient‟s RTT clock may be stopped where it is clinically appropriate to start a period of monitoring in secondary care without clinical intervention or diagnostic procedures at that stage. A new clock would start when a decision to treat is made following a period of active monitoring (in previous guidance also known as watchful waiting). Where there is a clinical reason why it is not appropriate to continue to treat the patient at that stage, but to refer the patient back to primary care for ongoing management, then this constitutes a decision not to treat and should be recorded as such and also stops a clock.
If a patient is subsequently referred back to a consultant-led service, then this referral starts a new clock. Admission The act of admitting a patient for a day case or inpatient procedure. Admitted pathway A pathway that ends in a clock stop for admission (day case or inpatient). B Bilateral (procedure) A procedure that is performed on both sides of the body, at matching anatomical sites. For example, removal of cataracts from both eyes. C Care Professional A person who is a member of a profession regulated by a body mentioned in section 25(3) of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002.
Choose and Book A national electronic referral service that gives patients a choice of place, date and time for their first consultant outpatient appointment in a hospital or clinic. Clinical decision A decision taken by a clinician or other qualified care professional, in consultation with the patient, and with reference to local access policies and commissioning arrangements.
Policy: 138 Page 6 of 64 Version: 8 Clock pause See pause. Consultant A person contracted by a healthcare provider who has been appointed by a consultant appointment committee. He or she must be a member of a Royal College or Faculty.
The operating standards for referral to treatment excludes non-medical scientists of equivalent standing (to a consultant) within diagnostic departments. Consultant-led A consultant retains overall clinical responsibility for the service, team or treatment. The consultant will not necessarily be physically present for each patient‟s appointment, but he/she takes overall clinical responsibility for patient care. Convert(s) their UBRN When an appointment has been booked via Choose and Book, the UBRN is converted. (Please see definition of UBRN).
D DNA – Did Not Attend DNA (sometimes known as an FTA – Failed to attend). In the context of the operating standards, this is defined as where a patient fails to attend an appointment/admission without prior notice. Decision to admit Where a clinical decision is taken to admit the patient for either a day case or inpatient treatment. Decision to treat Where a clinical decision is taken to treat the patient. This could be treatment as an inpatient or day case, but also includes treatments performed in other settings e.g. as an outpatient.
F First definitive treatment An intervention intended to manage a patient‟s disease, condition or injury and avoid further intervention.
What constitutes First Definitive Treatment is a matter for clinical judgement, in consultation with others as appropriate, including the patient. Fit (and ready) A new patient pathway and clock should start once the patient is fit and ready for a subsequent bilateral procedure. In this context, fit and ready means that the clock should start from the date that it is clinically appropriate for the patient to undergo that procedure, and from when the patient says they are available.
H Healthcare science intervention See Therapy or Healthcare science intervention. I Interface service (nonconsultant-led interface All arrangements that incorporate any intermediary levels of clinical triage, assessment and treatment
Policy: 138 Page 7 of 64 Version: 8 service) between traditional primary and secondary care. The operating standard/right relates to hospital/consultant-led care. Therefore, the definition of the term „interface service‟ within the context of the operating standards does not apply to similar „interface‟ arrangements established to deliver traditionally primary care or community provided services, outside of their traditional (practice or community based) setting.
The definition of the term does not also apply to: Non consultant-led mental health services run by Mental Health Trusts.
referrals to „practitioners with a special interest‟ for triage, assessment and possible treatment, except where they are working as part of a wider interface service type arrangements as described above. N Non-admitted pathway A pathway that results in a clock stop for treatment that does not require an admission or for „nontreatment‟. Non consultant-led Where a consultant does not take overall clinical responsibility for the patient. Non consultant-led Interface service See interface service. O Operational Standards We will define success by what our patients tell us, but patients‟ views need to be underpinned by measures of delivery that organisations can report and monitor progress on operationally.
We will continue to measure performance against the minimum operational standards of 90 per cent (admitted patients) and 95 per cent (non-admitted patients).
These operational standards allow for patient initiated delays (patients who choose to wait longer than the maximum 18 weeks period) and clinical exceptions (patients for whom treatment in 18 weeks is not in their best clinical interests) on referral to treatment pathways. P Pause/clock pause A clock may be paused only where a decision to admit for treatment has been made, and the patient has declined at least 2 reasonable appointment offers for admission. The clock is paused for the duration of the time between the earliest reasonable offer and the date from which the patient makes themselves available again for admission for treatment.
Policy: 138 Page 8 of 64 Version: 8 R Reasonable offer Where a decision to admit, as either a day case or inpatient has been made, many patients will choose to be admitted at the earliest opportunity. However, not all will, and it would not be appropriate to pause a clock for patients who cannot commit to come in at short notice. A clock may only be paused therefore when a patient has turned down two or more „reasonable offers‟ of admission dates. A reasonable offer is an offer of a time and date three or more weeks from the time that the offer was made.
If patients decline these offers and decide to wait longer for their treatment, then their clock may be paused from the date of the first reasonable offer and should restart from the date that patients say they are available to come in.
Referral Management or assessment Service Referral management or assessment services are those that do not provide treatment, but accept GP (or other) referrals and provide advice on the most appropriate next steps for the place or treatment of the patient. Depending on the nature of the service they may, or may not, physically see or assess the patient.
Referral Management and Assessment Services should only be in place where they carry clinical support and abide by clear protocols that provide benefits to patients. They must not be devices either to delay treatment or to avoid having clinical discussions with GP practices about good referral practice. In the context of the operational standards, a clock only starts on referral to a referral management and assessment service where that service may onwardrefer the patient to a surgical or medical consultantled service before responsibility is transferred back to the referring health professional.
S Straight to test A specific type of direct access diagnostic service whereby a patient will be assessed and might, if appropriate, be treated by a medical or surgical consultant-led service before responsibility is transferred back to the referring health professional. Substantively new or different treatment Upon completion of a referral to treatment period, a new pathway and clock starts upon the decision to start a substantively new or different treatment that
Policy: 138 Page 9 of 64 Version: 8 does not already form part of that patient‟s agreed care plan.
It is recognised that a patients‟ care often extends beyond the 18-week maximum referral to treatment period, and that there may be a number of planned treatments beyond first definitive treatment. However, where further treatment is required that was not already planned, a new pathway and clock should start at the point the decision to treat is made. Scenarios where this might apply include: where less „invasive/intensive‟ forms of treatment have been unsuccessful and more „aggressive/intensive‟ treatment is required (e.g. where Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) has been unsuccessful and a decision is made to refer for IVF treatment); patients attending regular follow up outpatient appointments, where a decision is made to try a substantively new or different treatment.
In this context, a change to the dosage of existing medication may not count as substantively new or different treatment, whereas a change to medication combined with a decision to refer the patient for therapy might.
Ultimately, the decision about whether the treatment is substantively new or different from the patients agreed care plan is one that must be made locally by a care professional in consultant with the patient. T Therapy or Healthcare science intervention Where a consultant-led or interface service decides that therapy (for example physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, podiatry, counselling) or healthcare science (e.g. hearing aid fitting) is the best way to manage the patient‟s disease, condition or injury and avoid further interventions. U UBRN (Unique Booking Reference Number) The reference number that a patient receives on their appointment request letter when generated by the referrer through Choose and Book.
The UBRN is used in conjunction with the patient password to make or change an appointment.
2. Roles and Responsibilities Chief Executive The Chief Executive has overall responsibility and accountability for delivering access targets as defined in the NHS Plan, NHS Constitution and Operating Framework.
Policy: 138 Page 10 of 64 Version: 8 Chief Operating Officer The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for ensuring that there are robust systems in place for the audit and management of Cancer access targets against the criteria set within this Cancer Services Operational Policy. The Chief Operating Officer will monitor Cancer waiting times through the Divisional Performance meetings and will review all external reports for verification.
Associate Director for Surgery and Anaesthetics Responsible for the monitoring of performance in the delivery of the 18 weeks RTT targets and for ensuring the clinical divisions deliver the activity required to meet the 18 Weeks RTT targets.
Service Managers Responsible for the monitoring of performance in the delivery of the RTT target and for ensuring the specialities deliver the activity required to meet the waiting list targets. Hospital Consultants Consultants have a shared responsibility with their Service Managers for managing their patients‟ waiting times in accordance with the maximum guaranteed waiting time of 18 weeks. Clinical Nurse Specialists Clinical Nurse Specialists have a shared responsibility with their Consultants and Service Managers for managing their patients‟ waiting times in accordance with the maximum guaranteed waiting time.
Contact Centre The contact centre is responsible for arranging appointments and for carrying out the operating procedures for the administration of the patient‟s referral and for entering all information onto the PAS system accurately. Associate Director for Business Informatics Responsible for administering data required for managing and reporting RTT waiting times, activity and outcomes. Business Informatics ensure there is a robust Standard Operating Procedure for the external reporting of performance. Waiting List Clerks/Medical Secretaries Responsible for ensuring waiting lists are managed to comply with the RTT Operational Policy and in line with their job descriptions.
MDT Co-ordinators and Data Clerks Responsible for monitoring the RTT pathway for patients, ensuring it is managed in line with this policy and assisting in the pro-active management of patient pathways on PAS in line with their job descriptions.
All Staff for whom this document applies All staff will ensure that any data created, edited, used, or recorded on Trust IT systems within their area of responsibility is accurate and recorded in accordance with this policy and other Trust policies relating to collection, storage and use of data in order to maintain the highest standards of data quality and maintain patient confidentiality. All 2ww patient referrals, diagnostics, treatment episodes and waiting lists must be managed on the Trust‟s PAS and Somerset system. All information relating to patient activity must be recorded accurately and in a timely manner.
Policy: 138 Page 11 of 64 Version: 8 3. Process 3.1 National Operating Standards The following national operating standards apply to all patients: 95% of non-admitted patients will receive their first definitive treatment within 18 weeks (127 days) of their referral. 90% of admitted patients will receive their first definitive treatment with 18 weeks (127 days) of the referral. No patient will wait longer than 6 weeks for a diagnostic test or image. All patients with suspected cancer who are referred urgently by their GP must be seen within 14 days of the GP decision to refer being made.
All patients diagnosed with any form of cancer will receive their first treatment within 31 days of diagnosis.
All patients referred through the urgent 14 day cancer referral route and subsequently diagnosed with cancer will receive their first treatment within 62 days of the date of referral. Patients who are not referred through the urgent 14 day pathway but who have highly suspicious symptoms may be added to the 62 day pathway at the request of a hospital specialist, as will any patients referred from screening services. For further information regarding management of Cancer patients, please go to the Cancer Policy which can be located on the Trust‟s intranet. As a general principle, the Trust expects that before a referral is made for treatment that the patient is both clinically fit for assessment and possible treatment of their condition, and ready to start their pathway within two weeks of the initial referral.
The Trust will work with North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG) GPs and other primary care services to ensure that patients understand this before starting an elective pathway.
The Trust can have fines imposed by the NEE CCG for non-compliance of 18 weeks RTT targets. The fines that can be imposed are shown in Appendix C. 3.2 Principals of Referral-To-Treatment (RTT) Pathways Patients have the right to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks from referral, and be seen by a specialist within 2 weeks of GP referral for suspected cancer or, where this is not possible, for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer the patient a quicker appointment at a range of alternative providers if the patient makes such a request.
As part of the referral to treatment pathway the national rules make reference to clock starts and stops.
3.3 Clock Starts A clock starts when a GP, dentist or other healthcare professional refers a patient to the Trust for any elective service (other than planned care) for the patient to be assessed and, if appropriate, treated before responsibility is transferred back. This includes the following: Any referral to a consultant led service. Any referral to an interface service (All arrangements that incorporate any intermediary levels of clinical triage, assessment and treatment between traditional primary and secondary care).
Includes self-referrals to these services (where agreed by commissioners and providers).
Policy: 138 Page 12 of 64 Version: 8 For paper referrals this is the date the Trust receives the referral. For Choose & Book referrals the clock starts on the date the patient calls to make an appointment and gives their unique booking reference number. If following completion of a referral-to-treatment period, a patient requires treatment for a substantially new or different condition then a new clock starts. This is a clinical decision made in consultation with the patient.
3.4 Clock Pauses Once the decision to admit has been made, the patient‟s clock may only be paused to take account of the patient‟s choice to delay their admission. It is the Trust’s policy to offer two admission dates with at least three weeks’ notice. Please refer to the Cancer Services Operational Policy, document number 365.
In the circumstances where the patient is unable to accept these two dates, their clock will be paused from the 1st reasonable offer date until the date that the patient has stated they will be available. The Trust will apply a pause for up to 8 weeks maximum. If the patient is unable to be treated within this longer period they will normally be referred back to their GP. If they wish to be treated within six months the Trust will normally accept a subsequent selfreferral. The Trust will not pause patient‟s pathway for clinical reasons. 3.5 Clock Stops The clock stops when the patient receives the first definitive treatment for the condition for which they have been referred.
A patient‟s First Definitive Treatment is an intervention intended to manage a patient‟s disease, condition or injury and avoid further intervention. This may occur following a consultation, receipt of results from a diagnostic test or following surgery.
All patients will be managed according to their clinical urgency. An admitted pathway means that the patient requires admission to hospital, as either a day case or an inpatient, to receive their first definitive treatment. A non-admitted pathway means that the patient does not require admission to hospital to receive their first definitive treatment, i.e. that treatment is given or prescribed in outpatients. Patients can also have clock stops for non-treatment. The following are examples where patient‟s clocks will be stopped for non-treatment reasons: Patient is returned to primary care for care (this includes primary care based therapy).
Clinical decision to start a period of active monitoring. Patient declines treatment. Clinical decision not to treat. 3.6 Active Monitoring The concept of Active Monitoring (watchful waiting) stops the clock and caters for periods of care without (new) clinical intervention e.g. three monthly routine check-ups for diabetic patients. This is where it is clinically appropriate to: Monitor the patient in secondary care without clinical intervention. Further diagnostic procedures are required.
Policy: 138 Page 13 of 64 Version: 8 When a patient wishes to continue to be reviewed as an outpatient, or have an open appointment, without progressing to more invasive treatment.
Active monitoring (watchful waiting) can be initiated by either the patient or the clinician. Periods of active monitoring will not exceed 6 months. Patients should be reviewed after a period of active monitoring to agree a revised treatment plan or discharge to primary care. If after a period of active monitoring, the patient or the Care Professional then decides that treatment is now appropriate, a new clock starts. There is then a new patient pathway in which the patient must receive their first definitive treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks.
Referrals from Primary Care to the following services will not start the clock: Therapy, healthcare science or mental health services that are not medical or surgical consultant-led (including multi-disciplinary teams and community teams run by mental health trusts) irrespective of setting. Diagnostic services if the referral is not part of a straight-to-test arrangement. 3.7 Clinically Initiated Delays or Patient Unfit for Treatment If a patient is not fit for surgery the Trust will ascertain the likely nature and duration. If the reason is that they have a condition that itself requires active treatment then the Trust and the CCG have agreed that they will either be discharged back to the care of their GP or will be actively monitored within the Trust for their original condition.
Either action results in their pathway and clock being stopped.
If the reason is transitory (such as a cold) then they will be offered a further prescreening and treatment date within four weeks. This will allow patients with minor acute clinical reasons for the delay, such as a chest infection, time to recover and the clock will continue to run during this time. If a patient has a clinical condition that is not able to be resolved within four weeks and requires further medical intervention before the patient is able to undergo the planned surgery they will be discharged and returned to their GP.
The patient may require further clinically appropriate management of their on-going chronic or clinical condition but once the patient is fit to proceed they should be rereferred to the consultant for assessment which would initiate a new clock start and pathway.
3.8 Tolerances There are important reasons why not everyone can or should be treated within the operating standards: Patients for whom it is not clinically appropriate to be treated in 18 weeks (CLINICAL REASONS). Patients who choose to wait longer for one or more elements of their care (CHOICE).
Patients who (choose not to) do not attend appointments (CO-OPERATION). These patients are taken into account in the tolerance set as part of the delivery standard. 5% non-admitted patients and 10% admitted patients.
Policy: 138 Page 14 of 64 Version: 8 Where a referral goes initially to a Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) the patient‟s clock starts on the date on which the CAS receives the referral. When referrals are sent onto CHUFT the patient can already have waited for 16 weeks; these referrals would have to be managed within our tolerance allowance.
3.9 Capturing Patient’s Treatments and Clinic Outcomes Each step along the patient‟s pathway including the outpatient appointment, diagnostic appointment, pre-assessment, admission, discharge, any decision by the patient or clinician to delay further treatment at any stage must be recorded in PAS as either a clock start, on-going activity of an already ticking clock, a clock stop, or as activity which is not part of the operating standards.
Outpatient Reconciliation Forms Must be used to obtain clinical information about the patient‟s treatment status. This information is then inputted on to the PAS system. These forms must be completed for all patients in any setting that is on an RTT pathway. Please refer to Appendix D. They need to be accurately filled in with all necessary information at the time. If not completed this may delay patient treatment. The lack of completion of the current form means that many staff spend many hours working out where a patient is on their pathway A code exists for each type of activity and this code must be recorded in PAS within the referral to treatment history at each point during the pathway.
The Consultant will usually complete the outcome forms during the outpatient appointment; the form will include the intended management of the patient and future appointment if required. The codes are listed in Appendix B.
Patients may have more than one clock ticking simultaneously (patient pathways) if they have been referred to and are under the care of more than one clinician at any point in time. Each pathway has to be measured and monitored separately and will have a unique pathway ID number in PAS. 3.10 Consultant to Consultant Referral for a Condition Unrelated to the Original Referring Condition Consultant to Consultant referrals are supported by North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG) if the patient is being referred onto another clinician within or outside of the Trust for assessment or treatment as part of the initial referral (existing pathway).
The clock will remain active until the patient receives definitive treatment.
If a consultant sees a patient in clinic having been referred for condition A, and then following the consultation, refers on to another consultant (within or outside of the Trust) for a different condition (condition B) the referral will not be supported by NEE CCG. The patient should be referred back to the GP outlining the need to be referred onto another provider, service or clinician. If the referral is sent onto another clinician for a separate condition it will start another clock (Condition B). The clock which was started by the original referral for condition A continues to tick.
Consultant (or consultant-led service) referrals will start a new clock, specifically: If during a referral for one condition, the consultant newly identifies another condition.
This will start a second 18 Week Pathway clock (a 31 day clock will start if cancer is the new condition). The first original clock will still be ticking.
Policy: 138 Page 15 of 64 Version: 8 Separate conditions or complications developed with pregnancy, or if a new-born baby is suspected of having a condition requiring medical or surgical consultant-led treatment. New conditions are identified as a result of a genetic test. In cases where a decision to treat is made (at follow-up outpatients) for a patient whose programme of long-term care needs to be medical or surgical consultantled. If further treatment is required after active monitoring (watchful waiting) then a new patient pathway and clock start would begin.
3.11 Bilateral Procedures Where a patient requires a bilateral procedure and the second procedure is not undertaken at the same time as the first, a new clock starts when a patient is fit and ready for the second treatment.
3.12 Ongoing Clocks A patient has an on-going clock if they have had a clock start but have not yet had either their first definitive treatment or decision not to treat or been placed on active monitoring (watchful waiting). Activity within an 18 week RTT period which does not stop the clock (ongoing activity in the pathway/request to other service): This might be a follow up appointment, or request for a diagnostic test/image or adding a patient to a waiting list for admission.
Transfer to another healthcare provider (Transfer to another Health Care Provider – expected back/not expected back): If a patient is referred from Colchester Hospital to another as part of their RTT period, their patient pathway and clock should keep ticking. The originating provider should ensure that the patient's initial RTT clock start date forms part of the onward referral information. In some instance these patients will be returning to the originating Trust with the clock continuing to tick.
The Trust will use the agreed Inter-provider Transfer Pro-forma (ITP) to communicate the relevant information about the patient‟s treatment status.
When receiving ITPs the relevant information must be entered on to the PAS. This is to ensure the Trust has an accurate record of the patient‟s treatment status. Appendix A. 3.13 Managing DNAs/Cancellations Patient does not attend (DNAs) their first care activity following referral (Failure to attend 1st appointment after referral): All appointments must be clearly communicated to the patient but if a patient fails to attend the first activity (appointment or diagnostic test) in their pathway they should be discharged back to the GP. However the RTT rules do state that if you offer another appointment following the 1st DNA, their patient pathway and RTT clock is nullified and they are no longer counted in the overall returns.
They must still be treated within maximum national waiting time standards. Children, Vulnerable adults and Cancer patients are exceptions and should be treated in accordance with their treatment policy.
Policy: 138 Page 16 of 64 Version: 8 Patient DNAs Subsequent Activity on Pathway: NEE CCG and CHUFT have agreed that when a patient DNAs a subsequent appointment, diagnostic test, image, pre-assessment appointment where the appointment has been clearly communicated to the patient; their clock will be stopped and they will be returned to the care of the GP.
Should the patient wish to receive treatment, then they can be re-referred by their GP – a new clock would start on receipt of the re-referral at the Trust.
If a patient fails to attend on the day of surgery the patient will be discharged back to their GP. Children, Vulnerable adults and Cancer patients are exceptions and should be treated in accordance with their treatment policy Child DNA (not brought into their appointment) on pathway: Any patient who did not attend their first appointment after initial referral can have their RTT clock nullified. Providers will need to be able to demonstrate that the appointment offer was reasonable and clearly communicated to the patient/patient‟s parent/carer/ guardian.
A new clock will start on the date the provider receives notice of any subsequent rereferral.
If the patient subsequently contacts the Trust to rebook their first appointment, this will start a new 18 week clock, commencing on the date that the patient contacts the Trust and rebooks their new appointment. Note: If a child (up to the age of 18 years of age) or „vulnerable adult‟ does not attend - a second appointment may be offered – a further DNA will result in the patient being referred back to GP with a copy of the letter to health visitor/School Nurse, social worker (where known) and parents/carer. This applies to both manual and Choose and Book referrals. It is good practice that contact is made with the parents/carers to inform of the importance of the consultation.
Where a child or young person is not brought for a second time, a significant event sheet should be completed with details of the non-attendance and placed in the child/young person’s notes under the clinical alert divider. A Health Information Sharing Form should also be completed and sent to the professionals involved in the child/young person’s treatment including the hospital safeguarding children team. The original copy should be placed in the patients notes within the correspondence section. Please refer to the Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy, document number 180. For children/young people that fail to attend phlebotomy appointments, the consultant should be notified of the appointment.
Suspected cancer referrals are managed according to different national and local policies and are NOT subject to the above 1 strike and out policy (see CANCER DEFINITIONS and STANDARDS). Patient Cancels Care Activity for the Second Time: The CCG and Trust has agreed that when a patient cancels care activity for the second occasion on each element of their pathway (e.g. patient cancels an outpatient appointment or a pre-op assessment appointment twice), then their clock will be stopped and they will be returned to the care of the GP. Should the patient wish to receive treatment, then they can be rereferred by their GP – a new clock would start on receipt of the re-referral at the Trust.
Policy: 138 Page 17 of 64 Version: 8 Decision Not To Treat/No Treatment Required: When the clinician determines that treatment is not required or a decision that no treatment is to occur; the patients‟ clock is stopped. The patient should be returned to the care of the GP. A decision not to treat/no treatment required may occur outside a clinical consultation, for example if a patient is discharged on the basis of a test result which is communicated to the patient and their GP by letter. This can occur at any stage of the patient‟s pathway and will stop the clock.
Patient Refuses to Wait where a Wait Exceeds 60 Minutes from their Original Appointment Time: Patients need to be informed of the waiting time on arrival to clinic.
Patients should not have to wait longer than 30 minutes after their appointment time but delays in clinic are sometimes unavoidable. If a patient informs the receptionist that they are unable to wait longer than 1 hour past their appointment time the receptionist should record the outcome on PAS as a hospital initiated cancellation and offer another appointment. Patient Declines Offered Treatment: Patients may choose not to proceed with the treatment offered and therefore their clock is stopped. The refusal information should be accurately recorded onto the PAS system Patient Dies Before Treatment: When a patient dies before they receive treatment, their RTT clock will be stopped.
This is automatically entered onto the patient‟s pathway when the patient is deceased on PAS.
3.14 Exclusions from Elective Care Operational Standards Emergency admissions. Obstetric patients. Elective patients undergoing planned procedures (removal of metalwork, procedures related to age/growth, check cystoscopies etc. Approach to Management of Patients Pathways This section covers the general principles that govern the progression of patients through pathways. 3.15 Patient’s Entitlement to NHS Treatment The Trust has a legal obligation to identify patients who are not eligible for free NHS treatment. The National Health Service provides healthcare for people who live in the United Kingdom.
People who do not normally live in this country are not automatically entitled to use the NHS free of charge – regardless of their nationality or whether they hold a British Passport or have lived and paid National Insurance contributions and taxes in this country in the past.
All NHS Trusts have a legal obligation to: Ensure that patients who are not ordinarily resident in the UK are identified. Assess liability for charges in accordance with Department of Health Overseas Visitors Regulations. Charge those liable to pay in accordance with Department of Health Overseas Visitors Regulations. The Human Rights Act 1998 prohibits discrimination against a person on any ground such as race, colour, language or religion. The way to avoid accusations of discrimination is to ensure that everybody is treated the same way.
Policy: 138 Page 18 of 64 Version: 8 This Trust needs to check every patient‟s eligibility.
An NHS card or number does not give automatic entitlement to free NHS treatment. Therefore, every time a patient begins a new course of treatment at the hospital, frontline staff must ask the following two questions, known as Stage 1 questions: “Where have you lived for the last 12 months?” All outpatient appointment letters will request patients to bring evidence of having the right to live in the UK to their outpatient appointment, examples will be given. If you have any queries regarding patients‟ eligibility, then please contact the Private Patient and Overseas Manager.
3.16 NHS Constitution The NHS Constitution sets out the following right for patients: „You have the right to access services within maximum waiting times, or for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of alternative providers if this is not possible. The waiting times are described in the Handbook to the NHS Constitution.‟ Patients have the right to start consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks from referral, and be seen by a specialist within 2 weeks of GP referral for suspected cancer or, where this is not possible, for the NHS to take all reasonable steps to offer the patient a quicker appointment at a range of alternative providers if the patient makes such a request.
3.17 Managing the Transfer of Private Patients 3.17.1 Patients Transferring from the Private Sector to the NHS Patients can choose to convert between an NHS and private status at any point during their treatment without prejudice. Colchester Hospitals and North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG)s have agreed that all patients wishing to transfer from the private service to the NHS, must be returned to their GP to be offered choice and onwards referral to an NHS provider. No patient should be referred direct to Colchester Hospital from the private service without an appropriate referral letter from the GP.
Patients who are referred via their GPs from a private service can be added direct to the NHS waiting list on the referral received date. They do not need an NHS appointment prior to addition. Cancer patients are exceptions and should be treated in accordance with their treatment policy 3.17.2 Patients Transferring from the NHS to Private NHS Patients already on NHS Waiting Lists opting to have a private procedure must be removed from the NHS Waiting List. NHS patients moving to the private sector must be entered on PAS as NHS patients moving to Private treatment.
If a patient chooses to go privately for their diagnostic procedures the patient will be transferred back to their GP who will arrange the private diagnostic procedure.
The referrer will receive the diagnostic report and will be responsible for arranging a new referral. A new clock will start when the new referral is received along with the
Policy: 138 Page 19 of 64 Version: 8 diagnostic report. The patient may be placed directly on a waiting list if required or may be asked to attend an outpatient appointment to decide treatment plan. 3.17.3 Patients Transferring from the NHS to a Private Provider for OngoingTreatment (following two cancellations for surgery) NHS Patients already on NHS Waiting Lists who have been unable to receive treatment at CHUFT should be offered the opportunity to have their treatment within the private sector. Patients remain on CHUFT‟s waiting list and are subject to the NHS waiting times. Service managers are responsible for ensuring that patients are transferred and treated in a timely manner and that the PAS system is updated.
NHS patients moving to the private sector must be entered on PAS as NHS patients moving to Private treatment.
3.18 Low Priority Treatments – Patients Requiring Commissioner Approval No referral for an excluded procedure should be accepted without an exceptional treatment approval form being completed. If the referral does not have the relevant approval, the referral should be rejected and returned to the GP for them to request exceptional treatment funding via the relevant CCG or NHS England panel. In some instances it will not be apparent until the outpatient consultation that the patient requires an excluded procedure, when it is identified at the outpatient consultation the relevant clinician should inform the patient and then complete the proforma required by the CCG in full, and submit to the exceptional treatment panel for approval.
The CCG will ensure that the request is dealt with promptly to avoid delay in the 18 week clock. The CCG will ensure that all GP‟s are aware of the procedures covered under the prior approval process. There will be no effect to the patients 18 week clock. Clock stops can only be made to a patient‟s RTT pathway when treatment occurs or a decision not to treat is made. No adjustments or clock stops can be made to a pathway whilst a panel or approval board assesses requests. Commissioners are therefore to hold panels in line with the 18 week timeframes for any patient referred for assessment who has already commenced an RTT pathway.
If the request is refused a clock stop code shall be entered onto the patient‟s pathway at this point (decision not to treat). Information should be entered onto the PAS to provide the detail regarding the exceptional treatment case. When funding approval is required for treatment, the patient will not be placed on the waiting list until approval is obtained from commissioners. Patients on Cancer pathways continue on their pathways and are not returned to the care of the GP – see Cancer Services Operational Policy, document number 365, for details of how to progress the patient.
3.19 Access to Health Services for Military Veterans In line with December 2007 guidance from the Department of Health all veterans and war pensioners should receive priority access to NHS care for any conditions which are related to their service subject to the clinical needs of all patients.
Military veterans should not need first to have applied and become eligible for a war pension before receiving priority treatment. GPs should notify the Trust of the patient’s condition and its relation to military service when they refer the patient so that the Trust can ensure that it meets the
Policy: 138 Page 20 of 64 Version: 8 current guidance for priority service over other patients with the same level of clinical need. In line with clinical policy patients with more urgent clinical needs will continue to receive clinical priority. 3.20 Maternity Patients The maternity pathway is non RTT but where a maternity patient consults and/or has surgery for an unrelated pregnancy condition the RTT pathway will be followed, i.e.: Woman referred to general surgeons with gallstones. If she requires surgery then she will start a new RTT pathway.
However if the problem is pregnancy related, i.e.
gestational diabetes she will remain on the same maternity non RTT pathway. Patients who are on an active RTT pathway who require their treatment to be deferred until after their pregnancy (clinical decision) will go on active monitoring until after the birth of the baby, i.e. woman referred on cervical screening direct referral pathway. 3.20.1 Early Pregnancy Pathway Women seen in the Early Pregnancy Unit are on a non RTT emergency pathway. However if they miscarry and require a surgical procedure (evacuation of retained products of conception) they will be entered on the elective waiting list on an active RTT pathway (clock start).
The expectation is that patients will be treated as an emergency.
3.21 Reasonable Notice The Boards of CHUFT and NEE CCG have agreed that a reasonable offer of a date for an outpatient appointment or diagnostic test is two dates with the earliest being a minimum of one week for a verbal offer and for a written offer a minimum of a two calendar weeks. Patients accepting short notice appointments or treatment dates will have the date and time confirmed by telephone, text or e-mail. Short notice is classified as an appointment within the next five days. The patient will not receive a confirmation letter by post due to the short notice time period.
Short notice appointments within endoscopy will have written confirmation sent to them when bowel preparation is needed.
Reasonable notice for an elective admission for a verbal offer is two dates with the earliest a minimum of three calendar weeks away and for a written offer is a date with a minimum of three calendar weeks away. All offers of dates to patients, for outpatient, diagnostic or inpatient episodes must be recorded in PAS at the time the offers are made. The aim of clinic and admissions booking staff will always be to find a date appropriate for a patient‟s clinical priority and convenient to that patient. Therefore 2 attempts to contact every patient by telephone will always be made if an appointment or admission date is less than (three) weeks away, one of which will be after 6.00 p.m.
and the attempts will fall on different days. All contacts must be recorded accurately in the comments field in the outpatient booking screen in PAS. Any adult safeguarding concerns (including DNAs) must be recorded in the patient‟s notes. Please refer to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse (SOVA) Procedure, document 215. If an adult patient has been identified as lacking mental