North London Partners in health and care

Planned Care Summit local outpatient transformation initiatives reducing unwarranted referrals

Nearly 70 clinicians, senior managers representing partners from across north central London (NCL) attended the NCL Planned Care Summit on Friday 10 May to discuss system-level outpatient transformation. Local Healthwatches from across NCL also attended.

During the event it was clear that system and clinical leaders across NCL are in broad agreement that transforming outpatient services at an ambitious scale will be better for residents, staff working within these services, as well as significantly supporting the NCL medium term financial strategy. Small percentage changes in outpatient activity will lead to significant gains in capacity and a more efficient system-wide service.

The transformation of outpatients has already begun either through Local Outpatient Transformation Boards or the Planned Care workstream. Some initiatives are already reducing unwarranted referrals and outpatient appointment activity, for example musculoskeletal (MSK) First Contact Practitioner (FCP) pilot in Barnet, Camden and Enfield and the new Urology Pathways and the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) service redesign. 

It is acknowledged that there are other initiatives, such as patient initiated follow ups, that could be having a bigger impact if implemented as a system.

The next step is for the Planned Care team to meet with each of the acute trusts and agree which initiative(s) they will champion on behalf of NCL. The medical, operational and financial leadership within the acute trusts are considered essential in identifying initiatives to support successful transformation at scale.

The Planned Care team is hoping to have productive discussions which results in:

  • confirmation of our NCL vision for outpatient transformation
  • agreement on a methodology for calculating the benefits realisation
  • increased engagement of staff and residents
  • agreement in how the Planned Care programme, wider STP team and partner organisations can support the acute trusts

We will keep you updated with progress in future newsletters. If you have a comment or suggestion on how we can transform outpatient services to deliver better services for residents, staff and make effective use of financial resources please email