Referrals Project

Title of project: Referrals project – NHS Cumbria

Lead libraries: University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria Acute University Hospitals NHS Trust

Summary: The NHS Cumbria Evidence Based Referral document dated 14th July 2009 details the procedures that will not be funded by NHS Cumbria unless the patient meets the specific criteria outlined within the document. The Library services will support the revision of the existing document (due to be published in September 2010) by providing evidence summaries

Alignment to local, regional and national drivers:
NHS Cumbria Strategic Plan 2010, Page 51
Evidence Based Referrals
Mckinsey Report, page 37

Partner organisations / project team:
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust: Tracey Pratchett, Clinical Librarian
NHS Cumbria: Ed Hutton, Implementation Manager
North Cumbria Informatics Service: Pippa Orr, Knowledge Support Librarian

Key Audiences: GPs serving NHS Cumbria will use the Evidence Based referral document to streamline the referrals process

“The story”:  This was a short timescale project and occurred over 2 months. Unfortunately, it was difficult to provide a complete review of all areas of the document due to timescales as there were approximately 40 different recommendations. Initial meetings with the Librarians and Ed included discussions about timescales, identification of key search criteria to be applied to all searches, resources to be searched and priorities. A short agreement was devised outlining the library staff contribution.

Benefits for the customer / organisation: Ensuring that referral decisions are evidence based, streamlining and improving the quality of the referral process, ensuring appropriate access, clarifying the boundaries and ultimately saving money for NHS Cumbria.

Benefits for the library: Raised profile within NHS Cumbria about the skills and expertise provided by library staff. Advice provided on evidence use, copyright and access to resources.

Evaluation/ feedback: Evidence based referral document is in place. Quote from Ed Hutton Project Implementation Manager, NHS Cumbria; “The contributions from the Library Services staff were invaluable. Their depth of knowledge and understanding, as well as their ability to quickly interpret the requirements of the project into practical deliverables, were absolutely integral to the delivery and success of the Evidence Based Referrals initiative. I wouldn’t have been able to pull all this together without you.”

Lessons learned: There was a lack of understanding about sources of evidence and availability of information. Also, unrealistic timescales were set in order to carry out detailed literature searches for all areas involved and unfortunately, not all areas were updated and evidence was not fully incorporated into the document. Ultimately though, the work was completed and the library profile was raised within this area. Also provided library staff with an insight into the issues faced by PCTs and Acute Hospitals and raised awareness of potential conflicts of interest.

Project output: Evidence Based Referral document

Timeframe: March-May 2010

Completion Date: 13.8.2010

Contact details: Tracey Pratchett, Clinical Librarian, (01524) 516021, Pippa Orr, Knowledge Support Librarian, (01228) 814879


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