Welcome To ICATS
What is ICATS?
ICATS is a key strand of the DHSSPS elective reform programme. It will introduce new arrangements for managing referrals into secondary care from GPs, and will involve the use of multi-disciplinary teams to assess and, in many cases, treat patients. By performing these functions, ICATS will be carrying out some of the work previously done by specialist hospital consultants, thereby ensuring that only those patients who really need a consultant will be referred to a consultant.
The aim of ICATS, as part of a wider elective care reform programme, is to help reduce outpatient waiting times to 13 weeks by April 2008.
ICATS is a very significant change in the delivery of elective care.
Why is ICATS Needed?
Northern Ireland recently had the worst waiting list problems in the UK, and among the worst in Europe. This resulted in some Secondary Care (hospital) services being effectively unavailable to patients.
In many specialties, excessive waiting times meant that patients on inpatient and daycase lists were:
It was agreed that the system needed to be changed, through the development of services at the primary care / secondary care interface.
What are the Target Specialties?
Following the examination of regional outpatient waiting times, three specialties were identified for ICATS development during 2006/2007:
A copy of the service development plans for these three specialties can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
During 2007/08, there are plans to introduce ICATS in several other clinical areas including ENT, Dermatology, Rheumatology and Pain Management.
ICATS Reference Section
Please click here for further information
Electronic Referrals Management System & MDS
These new services will be complememted by the parallel introduction of a new electronic referral management system (ERMS) which will ensure that all GP referrals are channelled through and registered at a single point of entry in each hospital. This will provide for a more modern and efficient means of tracking and monitoring the progress of individual referrals.
From November 2006, all practices must use a new Minimum Dataset (MDS) for all referrals to Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology and Urology. The MDS has been designed to facilitate IT management of referrals in the future on an Electronic Referrals Management System (ERMS).
All referrals from Primary Care will be processed by Referral Offices that are being established in each Hospital Trust. Referrals can be either Urgent or Routine. All referrals marked as Urgent should indicate the reason e.g. suspected cancer.
Who’s Who in ICATS
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