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Standardised letters make our life easier

We would like to make a plea for standardised clinic letters from our hospital colleagues. Here in Nottingham we are increasingly using standardised (often online) referral letters ­ the decision to change procedures seemingly made unilaterally and usually removing all choice and flexibility in how we might want to generate a referral.

In many cases this seems to be a logical way forward ­ standardising information transfer to the secondary sector no doubt aids decision-making for our consultant colleagues and may improve the appropriateness of referral. It would be helpful to get standardised letters back ­ we are having to capture increasing amounts of data from a variety of sources to satisfy templates and maximise points for the new contract.

If our consultant colleagues had some awareness of our needs and could in their letters to us provide us with relevant data, we would benefit greatly.

Or course, if the NHS IT system could talk to each other we would all be better informed, patient care would improve and we might even be in a

win-win situation!

Dr Anita Bloor

Dr Mike Crowe

Nottingham

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