The development of a single point of access (SPA) provides a quality driven (1), efficient system for ensuring that all referrals into the services are managed in a timely and appropriate way, reducing delays in the provision of care and support to all patients. The pilot SPA model is based at the Florence Nightingale Hospice and ensures that the comprehensive referral management system embraces the patient outcomes outlined within the National End of Life Strategy (2) providing communication and feedback to individual referrers regarding the outcomes of the initial referral and on going patient pathway management. Utilising a whole systems approach, improves the referral process and therefore patient and carer experience and promotes collaborative working with all service providers. It also streamlines and speeds up the process from the referrer's perspective. It is envisaged that continual review and monitoring at 6 months of this pilot project will provide quality information and data collection. This will allow the identification of any gaps in service provision and lead to an equitable county wide service that assists with meeting the QIPP(3) requirements. Referrals are made for Bucks patients to the wide variety of palliative care services within the county and surrounding area. The SPA holds the bed state for the inpatient providers and can direct urgent referrals to providers with capacity in a timely manner. A new RAG rating system has been developed which is used by the referrer to categorise patients. This enables the provider to prioritise their workload. The SPA provides a vehicle for robust data collection which will inform commissioning of palliative and EOL care in Bucks into the future.
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