Clinical Assessment Service (CAS)

What is the Clinical Assessment Service?

The Clinical Assessment Service (CAS) is for primary care practitioners to refer patients to secondary care services via the national Electronic Referral System (e-RS). It is hosted by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust.

GPs and other primary care practitioners are invited to refer patients to secondary care services by selecting the Clinical Assessment DOS on e-RS for the required specialty.

Example - Clinical Assessment Service – Gastroenterology

GPs are to select an assessment slot at the time of referral. Patients should not attend this assessment slot. It is there to enable the service to review, triage and order diagnostics for a patient if and when required.

Please ensure no appointment letter is printed and given to the patient for the assessment appointment.

Please note the referral will only appear on the CAS worklist when a referral letter has been attached. You can monitor any missing referral letters using the Outstanding Referral Letters worklist on e-RS.

Upon receipt of the referral the speciality will triage the referral within two working days. The possible outcomes are:

  • We accept the referral for secondary care
  • We accept the referral for secondary care at a specific Trust, eg when a patient requires a care at a tertiary centre
  • We return to referrer with advice.

The triaging clinician will detail any comments and instructions in the free text section and this will be available to view via the patient’s e-RS history for both Trust and GP staff who have access.

Comments may include management advice to primary care, change of specialty, notification of diagnostic test ordering.

The specialist CAS admin team will then process the referral including liaising with diagnostic services to support diagnostic testing prior to any appointment and contacting the patient via phone or letter. Where an appointment is required a call will be attempted multiple times and patients will be offered choice of secondary care provider where clinically appropriate.

If we have been unsuccessful in contacting the patient, a letter will be sent prompting the patient to contact us within 14 days. If after 14 days we have not heard from the patient we may discharge them back to the care of the GP.

Please ensure that someone in the practice is checking the e-RS worklists each day for any referrals that have been returned with advice

CAS Implementation contacts:

Hayley Beale, e-RS Lead

Laura Kirtley, Senior Service Improvement Manager

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