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A pathway to success

Len Richards, Chief Executive of Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, explains how technology has transformed the link between primary and secondary care

When the Medical Technology Group informed us that we had one of the highest treatment rates in the country post pandemic I was immensely proud. At Mid Teaching NHS Trust, we benefit from highly innovative and hard-working members of staff who share a common vision in collaborating across pathways to transform patient care.

The video we have made with the MTG showcases the shared referral pathway. In essence, this is a simple innovation that allows GPs and primary care practitioners to access the advice of their consultant colleagues to make the most informed decision for the patient. By joining up primary and secondary care, it’s the experts in each area of care that are able to determine who needs to come to our hospital.

In the video you will hear from Dr Clive Harries, a GP who was able to spot and treat cancer in one of his patients much earlier than he would have with the old system. You will also hear from cardiologist, Dr Nigel Artis, on how it has transformed his clinic, allowing him to treat the right patient at the right time, reducing the emotional stress of waiting lists on patients while creating a more efficient and focused system of care.

The result this pathway has had on our hospitals has been game changing. To take the example of its introduction to cardiology, there was a 30% overall increase in secondary care support to patients alongside a 60% fall in referrals. In some instances, we have even been able to admit patients just 6-8 hours after a problem has been spotted to treat life-changing and life threatening illnesses.

The better use of patient data is often highlighted as a way to improve the efficiency of the NHS, while providing better patient focused care. In Wakefield, we have developed a pathway that works to do this. It was not an easy process. Only through collaboration across the hospital, led by Jackie Tatterton’s transformation team were we able to implement this innovation.

The MTG’s latest report highlights a number of different innovations, some similar to this pathway, but all utilising medical and data technology in different ways. In the spirit of this report, we have made this video in order to share best practice with other trusts. As the NHS responds to its present challenges, we know that there will be much to learn from other trusts too in improving patient care.

June 2023

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