Data has revealed that GPs who use specialist referral technology to manage patients are able to cut the number of hospital appointments they make by just under two thirds.

The data, from Kinesis Advice & Guidance (A&G), involved 3,086 GPs and 850 consultants using its technology and revealed it cut the number of NHS hospital appointments by 63%.

Kinesis Advice & Guidance’s technology works by facilitating GPs to request information directly from consultants, if they’re unsure of how to treat a patient. Traditionally, GPs looking for consultant input would make a hospital referral, however many cases could be successfully managed in primary care settings if advice from a specialist was available.

The technology also allows doctors to send photos, comments and ECGs straight to consultants and receive expert clinical advice within 48-hours. In comparison, hospital waiting lists in some specialities can stretch for over six months, leaving patients in limbo.

Dr Morag Lenman, from Balham Park Surgery in Wandsworth, London, has avoided making 336 unnecessary hospital referrals by using Kinesis A&G. She said: “Patients love it as they get swift specialist input without having to go to the hospital. I win because I am giving a better, quicker service to my patients. Consultants are also keen as they see a higher proportion of really important cases that genuinely need their specialist help.”

The software is particularly relevant in order to reduce some of the strain on NHS hospital resources, especially in light of Covid-19. The online platform has so far prevented over 56,300 unnecessary hospital appointments being made by GP surgeries in Surrey Downs, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Wandsworth and West Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG). Not only has this had an impact on waiting lists but it has also saved the NHS an estimated £20million.

Lenman continued: “It has transformed my practice as a GP and is an easy way to cut down hospital referrals and chip away at those waiting lists.”