You will be aware of the planned transfer of community services in North East Essex community from Anglia Community Enterprise (ACE) to the North East Essex Community Services Collaborative from 1 July. Community Audiology and Ophthalmology services are transferring to East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) on behalf of the Collaborative.
We have been working with the current providers of the services to identify areas of strength and improvement. Following this work, the Audiology and Ophthalmology services will be making some minor day one amendments. This is the first step in supporting the extension of more integrated working between services, in turn reducing the pressure on primary care, and strengthening community and hospital integration.
These changes are detailed below.
From 1 July you will be asked to refer into the ESNEFT Audiology service via the ERS system. The referral will be clinically triaged by Audiologists employed by ESNEFT. The Audiology team will triage and contact patients to offer choice and will then refer on to the two current providers of the community service.
For patients requiring referral onto the acute ENT service, the Audiology team will be able to action this at point of triage.
We don’t expect that the change will have any significant impact on primary care or patients as the process will be a referral through the ERS platform which GPs all have access to. The community provision will also remain in place.
Details of the DOS will be circulated in the next couple of weeks.
From 1 July, the route of referral will be via two options:
- the ERS platform to ESNEFT Ophthalmology consultants.
- net email to the Ophthalmology booking department for triage via our ESNEFT consultants on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand some community optometrists are in the process of arranging set up to nhs.net emails and we are therefore in the process of exploring Safe Haven fax access for a set period whilst these optometry practices arrange sign up to nhs.net, which we are aware has been approved and funded. An update on this will follow shortly and ahead of the 1 July start date.
The referral route will no longer be via the Evolutio service, instead all referrals previously sent via Evolutio will be triage and directed to the correct pathway by ESNEFT Ophthalmology team.