Planned care is the name the NHS gives to health services and treatments that are needed following a referral from your GP or another community health professional. Appointments and treatments, including surgery are pre-arranged and planned in advance.
Our vision for planned care is a clear treatment plan for your health condition which is easy to access and understand.
We will make improvements in the way referrals to specialists are managed from your GP or care provider, ensuring all patients are sent to the person best able to address their needs. We will also support specialist clinicians to deliver the right course of treatment in a timely way.
We want to ensure the systems and processes supporting a patient in their journey through planned care have support from primary and community services instead of in a hospital setting where possible.
What does this mean?
The aim of improving planned care is to:
- reduce the number of inappropriate referrals for patients.
- improve the quality-of-care patients have access to in the community.
- deliver services in the best possible place, reducing waiting times and the number of cancelled operations.
Example in practice
Transforming Outpatient Care
One of the commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan is to transform outpatient services. We have established a programme of work that will:
- Improve and standardise outpatient services at our three local hospitals (Southend, Broomfield in Chelmsford and Basildon) so that patients have a better experience.
- Offer different methods of having a healthcare consultation to suit the needs of patients, for example through digital channels.
- Improve the responsiveness of our services and ensure that we have the capacity to deliver outpatient services closer to home.