Innovation and better outcomes – Referral Support Service

Published on 14 Jul, 2016

Innovative in its design and providing tangible benefits for both patients and local healthcare services, The Referral Support Service; also known as RSS, is working hard to improve care pathways and helping patients to be seen by the right person at the most appropriate time.

Tens of thousands of referrals have benefited from clinical advice and expert knowledge from a GP with a specialist interest and many referrals were booked into clinics within 48hrs of the request.

The reduction in referrals to date has been made possible by providing coaching member practices. This has helped patients and healthcare specialists to get the best possible outcome from the service.

With the aim to manage patients in a primary care setting, where this is appropriate, the service provides support and advice to practices via GP Reviewers.

We are delighted that patient feedback is providing very positive experiences of the new service.

Implementation date: December 2013

This work reinforces:

  • our strategic priority to improve local outcomes for patients;
  • our aim to provide healthcare services closer to home.


The service has made it possible to:

  • provide quicker access to referral appointments;
  • offer patients the opportunity to be treated in primary care;
  • reduce the impact on secondary care;
  • reduce waiting times for treatment (condition dependent);
  • support the development of community based healthcare services through trend data.

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