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NHS IMAS offers National Health Service (NHS) organisations that need short or medium term support, the means to access the management expertise that exists throughout the NHS.

A second edition of the, ‘Referral to Treatment Pathways: A guide for managing efficient elective care services’ is now available. The revised version includes a Driver Tree and additional information in the Demand and Capacity section.

The document produced by the Elective Care Intensive Support Team provides a comprehensive guide to the management of elective care pathways for local health communities (LHCs), and is focussed on practical advice that will help to ensure that patients are treated in a timely way.

Key aspects of pathway management are covered, with links to other guidance, as appropriate.

The guide includes:

  • A summary of the NHS requirements for managing referral to treatment (RTT) pathways, and of the requirements of the NHS Constitution in respect of patient waiting times.
  • Advice on capacity and demand planning, and maximum list sizes, with signposts to specific tools to support detailed specialty level work in this area.
  • Details of the information required in order to be able to effectively manage elective services including the role of primary care, theatre lists and diagnostics.
  • A wide ranging overview of the management of different types of pathway, including cancer.
  • Guidance on all administrative aspects of waiting times management, including booking, validation and outcome recording.
  • A section on the best approach to performance management of waiting times, and ideas for Patient Tracking Lists (PTL) meetings.

The intended audience for this document is primarily NHS staff who are involved in RTT pathway management and who want to understand how best to manage or deliver RTT pathways. This will include staff within acute trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts, Area Teams (ATs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). 

You can download the guide here (691 kb)