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e-Referrals. What does this mean for AQP’s

With the notification of the GO LIVE date for e-Referrals, the successor system to Choose and Book, how may this affect those with and AQP contract or planning to bid for an AQP contract?

For those with an AQP contract in theory your host CCG or CCG you hold a contract with should have contacted you and put you in touch with a “lead person” possibly based at a Local Area Team Commissioning Support Unit. You should have had an update on any technical changes required to update software versions on PC’s or Laptops although this mainly affects the NHS Trusts who have had to run out dated Microsoft versions.



If you have not had any update then the advice to prospective AQP bidders is very relevant to your situation.For those contemplating making a bid for AQP contracts for the first time the following key points need to be taken in to account.



  1. The announcement of the Go Live date before the election confirms the NHS commitment to electronic transmission of patient data. It would not have been announced unless the commitment was there from the main political parties.
  2. Those areas of the country where Choose and Book (C&B) is well established, AQP’s are being expected to implement Direct Booking Systems (DBS) as a contractual requirement. Do not panic, it could be a very expensive purchase if you commit to DBS before the full extent of the new systems interfacing is known.
  3. Use the introduction time for e-Refferals as a breathing space to understand where the succesor system is taking NHS electronic referrals. It is possible some very low cost functionality can be accessed to enable low referral volume AQP’s to jump in to the system without huge capital outlay.
  4. It has been previously suggested that the e-Referral system will have the capability to manage follow up appointments and to track/book additional investigations as part of the patient pathway. the system may also have the capability for self referrals and for many other healthcare professional staff to refer and receive bookings via the system. If this capability is released then AQP’s need to think about how these could impact and and improve the patient pathway, greater effciencies and new ways of working.
  5. Investigate locally what your CCG already uses to manage referrals such as a Referral Management Centre and what plans they have in their area for news models of service. The two key models are Primary & Acute Care Systems (PACS) and Multi Community Providers (MCP’s). PACS is basically the local acute Trust taking the prime contractor responsibility for all elements of the patient care pathway from GP to Clinician to post discharge care. MCP’s is very similar but instead of the Acute Trust taking the prime contractor lead it is a consortia / federation of local GP practices.
  6. PACS or MCP’s as an AQP you need to establish how this imapcts on your plans and where you strategically fit when there is one large main prime contractor in control.
  7. If you are unsure what this means for you Contact Us