In March 2020 the world changed, and primary and secondary care responded what seemed overnight to adopt new and innovative ways of working.  One of the questions we needed to answer quickly was how to adapt routine services, the answer included an added layer of complexity when handling referrals between different providers as everyone was concentrating quite rightly on their own continuity plans.  Health West Norfolk is ideally placed as a support function to front line providers, which enabled us to play a significant role facilitating the flow throughout the local system.  

Our eReferralSupport Service had access to real time data for all the referrals that were required across West Norfolk, this gave us enormous insight into where bottlenecks were occurring, where processes were at risk of falling over, and where routine services were being paused. We were able to track and monitor referrals between partners, for example from primary care to secondary care, to ensure that when services resumed the whole engine could restart without delay.  And this is indeed what happened; practices were not required to re-refer and we had an accurate and instant view of the waiting list.