NHS England has introduced Advice & Guidance as a new clinical quality and transformational indicator with the goal of improving GP’s access to consultant advice. For the first time, they have introduced a two year scheme (2017-2019) to give providers time to implement effective systems. To earn all the additional money,
providers need to be offering an Advice & Guidance service in specialties covering at least 75% of all non-emergency referrals by the end of 2018/2019. Providers will need time to choose a suitable A&G solution, communicate the benefits to GPs and roll the service out. It is advisable to start as soon as possible. (See here for the timetable for the Advice & Guidance implementation).
As well as earning additional new income for the department, an effective Advice & Guidance service can save significant costs by ensuring the next step in a patient’s care plan is the most appropriate. Patients benefit by avoiding unnecessary investigations and delays.
Whilst departments have for many years run telephone help lines or Advice & Guidance email services, the latest technology means that modern Advice & Guidance platforms have an array of functionalities that delivers a much more professional and secure way of providing specialist advice to GPs.
Here we outline 15 of the most important features your Advice & Guidance platform should have to deliver significant benefits.