We believe that every NHS patient deserves the best possible healthcare.
Medefer's cutting-edge technology helps deliver a unique virtual hospital, where patients receive specialist care faster than traditional outpatient clinics.
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The Medefer Difference
Receive specialist healthcare without delay.
When you are not well, the weeks and months of waiting to see a specialist and having additional tests can be stressful for you and your family. When you are referred to Medefer by your GP or Hospital, your referral will be reviewed by a consultant within an average of 11 hours, helping you get quality care more quickly.
Improved patient experience with no additional pressure on primary care.
Increased hospital waiting times and ongoing financial strain have created pressures to manage more patients within the community. Medefer's virtual hospital pathway provides prompt specialist care for your patients without increasing your workload.
Significant cost savings and the data needed for transformation.
Medefer is a specialist outpatient service that results in reduced treatment time of 11 weeks. This also realises significant cost savings, and high patient and GP satisfaction scores. Data gathered on the platform can also reduce variation between GP referrals and to commission new pathways.
Freed clinical capacity and huge reduction in physical outpatient appointments.
Medefer's virtual hospital services provide NHS trusts with the tools to run a very efficient outpatient service that results in a 60-70% reduction in physical outpatient appointments. In addition, our national network of consultants are available to provide hospitals with the workforce flexibility required to meet increasing demands.
The Medefer Pathway
“A cutting-edge healthcare service tailored to local needs with seamless integration”
a virtual healthcare provider to the NHS
using innovative technology to support early, specialist-led patient care. This support leads to an improvement in the care pathway, faster care for patients, increased consultant capacity, and reduced costs for the NHS.
a virtual outpatient pathway
through which its nationwide network of NHS consultants can remotely triage patient referrals, request a wide range of tests locally for the patient and, if required, arrange for the taking of additional patient history by a registrar. Based on this detailed test and history data, consultants can care for patients without the need for physical outpatient appointments.
a bespoke technology platform
that operates the service with a robust process and dedicated team that safely tracks and monitors patients throughout their care.
Services Tailored to Trusts’ Needs
1. Medefer Consultants only
Service Model: Medefer’s consultants deliver the service, and only patients that require hospital visits are handed over to local services.
Considerations: In this model, Medefer will be the primary route of referrals, and Medefer consultants will manage all the referrals. Only patients requiring hospital follow-up (e.g. diagnosis of chronic disease) will be referred to the local hospital services.
When to use this model: Use this model when there are severe clinical capacity pressures in the local hospitals. This model significantly reduces the pressure on the local hospital teams. The aim is to provide the opportunity for the local teams to recover and lead the service after a transitionary period.
2. Local Hospital and Medefer’s National Grid of Consultants
Service Model: Local NHS Trust and Medefer’s consultants jointly deliver the service.
Considerations: The combined clinical teams will be responsible for reviewing and managing the new referrals. The combined clinical team will also co-ordinate the most efficient way to reduce waiting lists for the patients already in the system.
When to use this model: Use this model when there are severe clinical capacity pressures in the local hospitals, but there is strong clinical support to lead the service. This model provides the maximum support for local hospital teams and the shortest time to reducing pressures and waiting lists.
3. Local Hospital backed up with Medefer’s National Grid of Consultants
Service Model: Local hospital consultants primarily deliver the service, with Medefer’s consultants available to provide on-demand additional clinical capacity when required.
Considerations: In addition to the benefits of the Medefer platform, Medefer’s consultant network is available to support the Trust such as in periods of increased demand or winter pressures. Medefer’s on-demand service can be activated automatically according to pre-set parameters (e.g. within 72 hrs if referral not picked up by local consultants), or manually when the needs arise. This can avoid costly spend on locum consultants for Waiting List Initiatives (WLI) and breaches of Referral-to-Treatment-Time (RTT).
When to use this model: Use this model when there is good local stability but with a recognition that surge capacity may be required. This model creates significant resilience in the system avoiding delays in patient care.
4. Local Hospital Consultants Only
Service model: Local hospital consultants deliver the service using the Medefer platform.
Considerations: Medefer’s platform is integrated with the NHS e-Referral System, and is specifically designed to support service delivery, enhanced data capture, service monitoring and planning. Note that reliance upon local consultant capacity only may result in slower response times than described.
When to use this model: Use this model when there are no clinical capacity issues in the local hospitals.
Exploring the Benefits
Cancer & Urgent Care Outcomes
On average, 1-2% of patients referred on the 18-week pathway are found to fulfil the criteria for the “two week wait” (2WW) cancer or urgent care pathways when seen at their first outpatient appointment. Normally, these patients would have waited weeks or months to be seen by a specialist. On the Medefer pathway a specialist can escalate a patient to the 2WW pathway from the point of consultant triage on average within 11 hours.
The test results of a further 1-2% of patients in the routine 18-week pathway show cancer or an abnormality suspicious for cancer. In comparison, patients referred into Medefer’s Virtual Hospital pathway have investigations completed, reviewed and if cancer is suspected or found, the patient is referred to the 2WW cancer pathway in around 9 weeks.
Faster consultant review results in significantly faster diagnosis and treatment.
GPs using the Medefer service have given a satisfaction rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars for the quality of the consultants’ responses and management planning.
In addition to response quality, increased response speed is also increasing satisfaction. consultant triage is on average delivered within 11 hours of receiving a GP referral, compared to the traditional several months. Having such reliable and rapid access to a consultant-led service ensures GPs have a robust solution linking them with a specialist.
GPs are reassured that their patients’ care is being dealt with in the most appropriate and effective way possible.
Educational opportunities arise due to the enhanced data capture provided by Medefer’s platform. Within a hospital, consultant and GP skills and referral patterns will inevitably vary. Medefer can map this variation in referral patterns and identify general learning themes, which in turn can help shape locally targeted educational events.
In addition, Medefer is also able to look at individual GP variation in referral patterns. A proportion of outcomes from consultant triage may be managed with advice and simple reassurance to the GP by the consultant. This becomes an on-the-job learning opportunity.
Identifying a GP’s educational needs ensures a continuous learning environment to help reduce the need for subsequent referrals.
Frequently, commissioners and trusts have to make commissioning decisions without appropriately detailed data-sets. Medefer’s platform captures an unprecedented amount of data to aid decision making. For example, a new direct-access endoscopy pathway could be modelled to measure the impact on waiting lists, and costs.
Once a decision is made to implement the pathway, it could then be monitored using Medefer’s live dashboard to ensure confidence in outcomes.
Medefer’s Virtual Hospital was developed to deal with the limitations of scaling more traditional advice and guidance services. Medefer, as a provider of advice and guidance, noted that although consultants advised primary care to manage a significant proportion of patients without attending hospital, this inevitably led to dissatisfaction and more pressure on primary care services. GPs also noted that the advice provided may be beyond their clinical acumen and lead to more clinical uncertainty, with responsibility of care remaining with the GP.
To address this, the Virtual Hospital was created. GPs refer in the same way, with the same expectations of traditional specialist led care. Advice and reassurance may be provided but only for simple cases which are appropriate for primary care. The majority of patients enter the Virtual Hospital where all the investigations and follow-up are carried out under specialist supervision.
The Medefer Virtual Hospital service can significantly reduce hospital activity without adding to primary care service workload.
By optimising clinical workflows and services, Medefer’s platform enables whole-system cost savings. NHS hospital trusts and CCGs can sustainably reduce costs, without reducing the quality of clinical care or income.
Medefer helps NHS trusts significant saving in outpatient treatment costs.
Increased Clinical Capacity
When developing new pathways or addressing waiting lists, a significant challenge faced by NHS hospital trusts and CCGs face is a lack of local specialist consultant capacity. To address this, NHS Hospitals can use Medefer’s powerful platform to access a “National Grid” of specialists, virtually redistributing the pressure across the system.
NHS trusts or Clinical Commissioning Groups can utilise Medefer’s nationwide network of specialist consultants to boost local capacity.
Medefer is a CQC-registered healthcare provider with a nationwide network of specialist NHS consultants who provide services through Medefer in their own time.