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South East Clinical Senate. Improving Clinical Communications between Primary and Secondary care Clinicians: A review and recommendations for Sussex and East Surrey STP

The way that clinicians work together in providing care to individual patients, and how they communicate with each other, is vital to providing an integrated, coordinated, patient-centred approach, and for delivering the best experience of care and outcomes for patients.
Phone calls and conventional letters have been the default means of communication for decades, whilst over time technological changes, increasing specialisation, the need for every greater efficiencies, changing organisational and professional boundaries, and changing patient expectations, have ceaselessly evolved.
In recognition of this, the Sussex and East Surrey STP sought a clinical senate review of how patient-related communications between clinicians could be optimised across its footprint.
The review’s focus was on three primary means of communicating about patient care: telephone, email, and shared access to integrated health care records (formerly known as electronic patient records). Many of the findings and recommendations in this report relate simply to the better use of existing modes of communication, more reliable processes, and greater transparency and ease of access to each other. In addition, the importance of clear and timely discharge summaries and clinic letters, co-development of patient pathways, and more opportunities for GPs and consultants (in particular) to interact face to face, will result
in higher quality care, a better understanding of each other’s ways of working and needs, and a reduction in avoidable and time consuming supplementary requests for advice.

Clinical Senate

South East

Date:

15/12/2017

Status:

Completed

Types of Work:

Clinical Review