PCT starts 'high-trust' Choose and Book LES

Practices in Bedfordshire are to be paid for using Choose and Book, without having to provide details of how much they are using the system.

GPs have long complained that including referral methods in patient notes and keeping monthly returns of how much they use the system represent an unreasonable administrative burden.

Now NHS Bedfordshire and the county's LMC have joined together to design a local enhanced service (LES) that cuts that burden to a minimum.

Practices will be required only to provide assurances that they will use the electronic booking system whenever possible. At the end of the year they will be asked to formally state that they have done so.

The PCT will monitor practices through the DoH's weekly statistics of Choose and Book usage. Any practice using the system less than it claims will be supported to increase usage through a peer review group.

More than 70% of practices had signed up to the new LES within a matter of days.

Meanwhile NHS Connecting for Health said it had completed the upgrade to version 4.1 of the electronic referral service.

The NHS IT agency said the system was now more streamlined and intuitive.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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