Sawston Medical Centre, Linton Health Centre, Barley Surgery
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Sawston Medical Centre, Linton Health Centre, Barley Surgery, Market Hill Surgery & Shelford Health Centre

How to improve communication from GPs to hospital specialists at the point of referrals?

Anticipated date of observations: from Aug 2023 – Jan 2023

Communication issues between primary and secondary care have been highlighted in recent research studies. For example, GPs referrals are sometimes returned to the practice without any clinical action being taken and GPs had to see patient more often as a result of delayed referrals. This research explores the effect of using more direct means of communication between Granta GPs and local neurologists and psychiatrists, including direct messaging or teleconferencing, during the process of GP referrals.

As part of the research study, GPs, hospital specialists and other stakeholders will be interviewed and teleconferences between the GPs and the specialists will be observed by the researcher. The teleconference observations will help the researcher to understand how the GPs and the consultants work together, and what helps or hinders them in their collaboration efforts.

While observing the teleconferences, the researcher may hear the names and other personal or clinical details of patients being discussed. During teleconferences observations, the researcher will not record any patient identifiable information and no audio or video recordings will take place. The research team has therefore applied for support from the Health Research Authority, which followed the advice from the Confidentiality Advisory Group and agreed that s251 support should be given for the application activity.

If you would prefer that the researcher is not in meetings where your clinical information may be discussed, she will leave the meeting. For more information and to let her know that you would prefer to opt out of the study, please contact the researcher directly on 01223 761841 or The research team is based at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Strangeways Research Laboratory, 2 Worts’ Causeway, Cambridge CB1 8RN.

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