Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group has gone live with System C’s Medway Proxima patient management system to provide a messaging interface for its GP referrals support service.

The CCG, which covers 33 GP practices in an area with a population of nearly 290,000, has signed a three-year contract with System C for the Proxima system.

Majorie De Vries, the CCG’s referral support business manager, told EHI News the organisation has been running the referrals support service for more than a year.

The service receives referrals for treatment from local GPs, and then triages non-urgent referrals while also working with community, hospital, and out-of-hours services to make necessary appointments.

De Vries said the CCG uses Choose and Book to manage its referrals, but previously had to manually collect GP practices’ unique booking reference numbers from the Choose and Book “cloud” and pull them into its own system.

The Proxima system provides an automated messaging service for the booking data, enabling it to be automatically transferred from a practice’s Choose and Book worklist to the CCG, reducing the burden on staff and saving resources.

“[Manually collecting the data] was quite a costly exercise, because each day we had to have one person working on it, so this will reduce a lot of the cost.”

De Vries said the CCG chose Proxima because it was the best fit for the organisation’s needs while operating with a flat monthly cost rather than a charge per referral.

The CCG went live with the system six weeks ago, and she said GP practices and the CCG are happy with how it has been implemented.

De Vries said the CCG next plans to use Proxima’s reporting functionality once the system has been in place for a few months, while the referral support service could expand in future to cover more specialities.

Markus Bolton, joint CEO of System C, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Surrey Downs CCG to deliver their Choose and Book and electronic referral services.

“Many CCGs operate services like these manually and we are pleased to be able to provide a low cost solution to help them automate.”