24. Screen referrals daily

Do you have clear eligibility, threshold and priority criteria?

Does someone look at referrals every day to check if any are emergencies?

Do you act on the rest of the referrals there and then too?

If you batch the routine referrals for a weekly team meeting, what value does this add for the user?

You have to look at referrals every day to check for emergencies, so why not action all of them daily too?


Many CAMHS collect referrals ready for the weekly referral/allocation meeting. This adds a week wait to the first referrals. So check referrals every day. As your waiting lists fall this will become more important. Someone has to look at referrals daily anyway to ensure emergencies aren’t missed. Batching referrals that are not emergencies just increases the time a family waits for a response and uses precious team time. If your waiting time is months this may not seem to matter, but using the 7 HELPFUL Habits may bring that time down to weeks. One additional week then really counts. ‘Only touch a piece of paper once.’

Ideas for Action

  • Attend to referrals daily with an agreed set of priority and eligibility criteria. This will reduce duplication of processes and reduce time on steps in the user’s journey.
  • Several ways to do this: one person can check and allocate referrals daily or have a rota.
  • You need a system in place to allocate referrals (i.e. arrangements for partial and full booking and activity standards).