Viewpoint - How to make 'named clinician' referrals

Dr Peter Short, national clinical lead for GPs, DH Informatics Directorate, explores the new Choose and Book E-learning tool and explains how to make 'named clinician' referrals.

Dr Peter Short explains 'named clinician' referrals.
Dr Peter Short explains 'named clinician' referrals.

Choose and Book often triggers a variety of responses from GPs. For many, it is welcomed and allows them to involve patients in decisions about their care, while other GPs struggle to fit it into their working routine.

Named clinician
In the early stages of Choose and Book, the challenge of referring patients to named consultants had discouraged some existing and potential users. But times are changing, and more and more providers are recognising the benefits of using the ‘named clinician’ function on Choose and Book.

As GPs, many of us have to learn how we can efficiently refer to a specific team. There may be clinical indications such as care-continuity, or it may be down to patient preference, a personal recommendation they’ve had perhaps? I am sure I’m not the only GP who has patients specifically expressing a wish NOT to see a particular provider clinician after a previous unsatisfactory encounter or a breakdown of doctor-patient trust.

Not just for GPs
GP teams need to understand how to use this ‘named clinician’ function as it supports a more equal doctor-patient relationship. But it’s not solely for GPs, in many practices including my own, the secretarial and administrative staff generate the Unique Booking Reference Number (UBRN) for patients.

Interactive training video
Fortunately, the national Choose and Book team has produced a short interactive training video that explains clearly how to make ‘named clinician’ referrals.

The training takes only 10-15 minutes, is available from your own workstation, and is suitable for anyone who will need to make these referrals. This tool is easy to use; you can train in your own time and at your own pace, and repeat the process at anytime.

Booking process

I hope there are many more ‘bite-sized’ training tools to follow, as they are a simple but effective way to learn how to get the best out of our IT systems.

Choice of named consultant teams is something clinicians and patients have been asking for from electronic booking - we have the functionality and now a training tool.

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