Urgent Neurosurgery Referral Pathway

Author: Mr Thomas Carroll, Clinical Director, STH

Date Published: October 2019

Date to Review: August 2022

Urgent Neurosurgery Pathway

The Referapatient portal www.referapatient.org. is the preferred method for urgent neurosurgical assessment and its use is encouraged over and above phone calls. The response from the neurosurgeon is very rapid.

The process for making an acute referral to neurosurgery at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital is as follows:

· Arrange for any images via the Image Exchange Portal (CT scans take approximately 15-20 mins and MRI 20-40 mins to reach us at busy times).

· Go to www.referapatient.org on computer or mobile device and make an online referral (it should take approximately 2-5 minutes depending on the complexity of the case). You won't need to sign up or login to make a referral so long as you have a nhs.net or NHS Trust email address. The referring doctor will get an email copy of the referral as confirmation.

· Our StR will be informed instantly and will be able to review the images and referral details before responding to you.

· The referring doctor will receive an SMS text message to inform them they have an advice letter waiting in their inbox.

· The referring doctor and referring consultant will be sent an email with an encrypted PDF letter attached. This letter will contain a summary of the referral, our advice and all the contact details for our team including the Consultant. Often, our StR will call the referring doctor to discuss the case and give their advice over the telephone in addition.

· The system ensures there is clear documentation of the referral and outcome at both ends.

This process is quicker than the traditional bleep-and-refer system, e.g., reduces time waiting to speak to the StR and minimises the issues associated with doctors on different shifts having to check and pursue the outcomes of referrals to neurosurgery. You will still need to call if the case is an emergency or if you have a complicated case that requires further discussion. The referral portal www.referapatient.org is easily accessed on a smartphone so referrals can be made on the move, e.g. from a home visit.

Our aim is to give you a better service by providing a speedier, more professional outcome to your enquiry. You will get a documented response which can be printed and filed in the patient's notes. It can also be uploaded to your local electronic care records system.

The system meets all NHS requirements for information governance. Further details are available on the website www.referapatient.org.

If teams have any questions, concerns, or if they wish to discuss any other matter please contact Mr Carroll, Clinical Director for Neurosciences. He is interested in feedback about the service we offer and hopes to continue making improvements to the care of mutual patients.