Harrow Referral Optimisation Pilot Service

We want everyone to get the best standard of service that we can offer.

This pilot service will help GPs and patients get to the right place every time once they’ve been referred by a GP.

The service will support – not override – decisions and choices made by GPs and patients.

The Harrow Electronic Referral Optimisation Service (HEROS) Pilot is a behind-the-scenes process for receiving and processing non-urgent referrals from GPs to secondary care services such as hospitals and community services.


What are you doing?

We are setting up a pilot service for 18 months to support you and your GP get the right care in the right place every time when you are referred by your GP.

As a patient, the service works mainly behind the scenes making sure that you get the right care.

You should notice the following about the service:

  • You will still be able to be treated at a venue of your choice.
  • You will not have to explain your condition or symptoms over and over again because the information will be correctly recorded.
  • You will be offered treatment at the venue which is the most convenient for you. This means that you will save time, money and energy in travelling for treatment when you don’t feel well.
  • Your transport can be booked at the same time.


How does it work?

Once the service receives a referral, it will be clinically triaged – a clinician will look at the referral to make sure you are getting the right treatment at the right time in the right place. The service will also check all the right information about you is on the referral form.

You will then be contacted by the HEROS pilot team within 48 hours of a referral by your GP to help you arrange your appointment.

The service can arrange transport if you have specific mobility issues and recommend alternative venues if it’s closer to home or if you end up waiting too long. It will also deal with missed appointments, appointment changes and re-arranging appointments.

If a referral is made that doesn’t meet the best practice guidelines in local pathways, the service will contact your GP and agree a way forward. This will include a discussion with you.

There are also some referrals that, for a range of practical reasons, we will not make through the service. A list of these can be found in the FAQ section.


Why are you doing it?

We want you to have the best service possible.

We know in Harrow that when you need to see a consultant or be referred to another service from their GP surgery, too many of you are being referred to an inappropriate service or could get better care, more quickly, elsewhere.

This wastes your and the NHS’s time.

It also wastes valuable public funds at a time when, more than ever, the NHS needs to be as efficient as possible.


Who will this service be used by?

Almost all referrals from a GP surgery can get support from this pilot service.


When does it start?

The pilot service is being rolled out gradually across Harrow between now and the end of August 2017. This is an 18 month pilot service so we’re rolling it out gradually across the borough. We’ll update this briefing with the phasing when it is agreed.

If the pilot is successful, we will look to make the service permanent as soon as possible.


Where does it start?

This service will be available for all GPs and patients in Harrow.