Elective care: model access policy


We've produced this policy in response to requests from providers and wider health systems for guidance and support in producing their own elective access policies.

The purpose of the policy

The purpose of this policy is to ensure all patients requiring access to outpatient appointments, diagnostics and elective inpatient or day-case treatment are managed in line with national waiting time standards and the NHS Constitution.

The policy:

  • is designed to ensure the management of elective patient access to services is transparent, fair, equitable and managed according to clinical priorities
  • sets out the principles and rules for managing patients through their elective care pathway
  • applies to all clinical and administrative staff, and services relating to elective patient access at the trust

Elective care: model access policy PDF, 894.1 KB

The policy focuses on patients and aims to promote timely access to care, while fully respecting patient choice of time and place of treatment. Some minor updates have been made to incorporate feedback since its initial launch in 2017. There are no significant changes but the wording in some sections has been revised to provide greater clarification, for example patient initiated delays and planned patients.

How to use our policy

Elective care leads, please read the whole policy to ensure you understand the principles. You should not copy and paste the policy, as there are elements in it which require reviewing and amending to reflect your local arrangements.

Although this is a model policy, we would like to enhance it further over the coming months so all comments and feedback are very welcome. You can contact us by email nhsi.electiveist@nhs.net.

Additional resources

Access policy assessment checklist tool (elective) XLSX, 41.6 KB

This tool has been developed to assist trusts and wider local health communities to assess their current access policy's level of compliance against best practice and national rules/guidelines.

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