Changes to ENT referral pathways and accessing advice and guidance in TNW from 9 August


Message from Barts Health

We are pleased to announce that from 9 August 2021 the TNW Community ENT Service, delivered by Communitas Clinics, will open for new referrals. The new service will be available on e-RS to all TNW practices from 9 August: TNW ENT Triage Service - Children 5 years+ and adultsPlease see this guidance for how to refer.

This will be the single point of access for all routine TNW ENT referrals for patients aged 5 years +. 

All referrals will be clinically triaged within 5 working days of receipt and:

  • accepted for community treatment;
  • onwardly referred to Barts where an appointment in secondary care is deemed necessary; or
  • returned with Advice and Guidance where appropriate

For routine ENT referrals primary care colleagues will no longer be able to refer patients directly into Barts Health ENT services via e-RS after 8 August 2021.

ENT referrals for children under 5 and all 2ww referrals should continue to be referred into Barts Health along current referral pathways.  There will be no e-RS referral route for routine ENT referrals into Barts Health.

Where GPs are unsure if the referral meets the criteria we would encourage GPs to refer to the guidelines on the referral template or NG12 guidance (nb. Newham & Waltham Forest only; C-the-signs, which is NG12 compliant, will aide decision making to determine 2ww referral).

This service will run as a pilot over the next 9 months.  Evaluation of the model will inform the design and commissioning of the long term pathway for ENT in TNW which will include community provision for ENT conditions that do not need to be seen in secondary care.

Supporting Barts Health ENT backlog recovery

To support Barts Health COVID recovery, Community ENT Consultants will also be commencing a clinical review of the current Barts waiting list, stepping patients down for community treatment where appropriate.  Correspondence will be sent to all patients who are stepped down for community treatment and they will be contacted directly regarding community appointments.  Communitas will also advise GPs where their patient is stepped down to community treatment.

Community clinics mobilisation and waiting times

Communitas Clinics are currently mobilising clinics for the TNW Community ENT Service which are expected to commence in early September 2021. TNW ENT patients will be offered an ENT appointment in order of referral start date, with the longest waiters being seen first. Patients stepped down from Barts Health ENT waiting lists will be given priority of appointment.  It is expected that the majority of these patients will have been seen and treated in the community service within 3 months. The likely waiting time for newly referred patients is therefore initially expected to be 3 months and will reduce over the coming months to 6 weeks.