All local referral forms can be localised for localities and CCGs are included with Ardens Pro. To access these, simply click the ‘Orange Arrow’ icon under the patients name. Ardens will keep these forms updated for you automatically, saving you time & hassle.
(Please note that this does not include localisation of practice specific in-house documents and letters.)
Referral Criteria Data Entry Templates
It is also possible to include referral policies on data entry templates (not just word document referral forms). If local referral policies differ from national guidance, it is important the patient (and clinician) knows about these differences which are usually either:
Best Practice Differences: Sometimes a local referral policy does not include national guidance which could result in a best practice or patient safety issue. This information cannot therefore be withheld from clinicians and this will be included on the referral criteria data entry template. An example is if national guidance for a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome referrals is to ‘Refer if symptoms persist after surgery’, this would show on the Ardens referral criteria template even if it was not part of the local CCG referral policy.
Postcode Differences: Sometimes local referral policy differ from national guidance to prioritise services and costs. To ensure that there is transparency with the patient and to avoid creating a ‘hidden post-code lottery’, if local CCG policy does differ from national guidance then both will be visible on the template. We recommend that the CCG has a standard letter that is available for the clinician to give to the patient to explain why the guidance difference exists as this can prevent patient complaints in the future too. An example is for hip replacements where national guidance says that a patient’s BMI should not impact upon the referral but a local policy is that only patient’s with a BMI less than 35 can be referred.
For these reasons therefore, if a local referral policy differs from the national guidance, both will be visible on a single Ardens referral criteria data entry template to ensure transparency which will be used for all CCGs.