Patient Transfers

In order to reduce long waiting times and ensure patients are being seen as quickly as possible, the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust (NCA) is working with other hospitals within the region, including those in the independent sector, to offer our eligible patients the option of being seen by other healthcare providers with the goal of patients receiving treatment sooner than if they continued their journey with the NCA. 

If you have been referred to an NCA service that has a shorter wait time with another healthcare provider, you may have received a text message, letter or phone call asking if you would be happy to be treated elsewhere. It is important to note that the option of moving to another provider is entirely down to patient choice and those who wish to remain with the NCA for their treatment are able to do so. For those who do transfer, they will continue their journey with the alternative provider until they are discharged and will have no further appointments or treatment with the NCA for that pathway of care. 

We understand that the decision to transfer your care may be difficult. The Frequently asked questions (FAQs) below provide further information around the process and detail what patients can expect to happen. Further guidance and information is available from our team over the phone, contact information below: 

Office hours: 9am – 4pm

Telephone Number: 01706 517243

Email address: 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Hospitals across Greater Manchester, including the independent sector, are working hard to see and treat people as quickly as possible. Realistically, long waits for planned hospital care will be with us for some time. 

It is hoped that where patients are willing and able to travel to alternative hospitals, this will help to tackle the overall waiting list backlogs. To find out what transport support is available to support people to get to health appointments, you can visit our dedicated transport page.

Patients will be asked if they will consider moving hospitals if they can provide earlier care or treatment. They will be contacted by the Elective Recovery team via telephone or in writing. 

We will continually be reviewing progress.

To be eligible for this opportunity now, you must the following criteria: 

Be aged over 18 years, and 

Be deemed clinically appropriate to move by a clinician, and, 

Not have an admission date planned, or, 

Do not have an outpatient appointment scheduled within the next 8 weeks. 

Service has to be offered.

We know that hospitals across Greater Manchester are extremely busy and taking many calls from patients about their place on the waiting list, so we would ask that you bear with them whilst they work through the lists and contact eligible patients. 

This offer only relates to patients on a consultant led RTT elective pathway.

No, under 18’s are not eligible for this offer. 

Where appropriate, clinical decisions will be made on whether the patient is suitable to be seen at an alternative provider for treatment. There are a number of factors that will need to be considered and this will therefore always be based on the individual’s circumstance and condition.

The hospital will contact you to confirm and then begin the process of transferring your care on to the other provider. 

Your details will then be shared with a dedicated team within your local NHS services who will look at your request and speak to different hospitals, including independent sector hospitals funded by the NHS, to try and facilitate your requests for earlier care or treatment.

It is important to note that whilst all reasonable efforts will be made to find an alternative hospital that can see or treat you sooner, this is not guaranteed. It will very much depend on other hospitals having capacity to see you. 

As part of the process patients will agree to share their details. 

Wait times differ dependant on the clinical services and the providers and are subject to change. 

Patients will be given an estimated wait time when they are contacted with the initial offer of transfer and more information can be requested from the team. 

They will not be prioritised over someone already on that hospital’s waiting list unless there is a clinical need. 

No, patients can’t specify a hospital they would like to go to. They will only be given an option to choose if they are offered more than one hospital as part of the process. 

Transport or help with travel costs, may be available to help you. Visit GM Integrated Care Website for information on: 

  • Planning a journey by public transport 

  • Information on help with travel costs 

  • Transport services available across Greater Manchester 

  • Community transport services available in different parts of Greater Manchester

No, the patient will be under the care of the chosen provider throughout their pathway of care until they are discharged. This includes any subsequent appointments.

If you do not want to take up the offer to potentially move provider that is okay. You do not need to do anything other than respond declining over the phone, calling the team to advice once you’ve received your letter, or replying to your text message with a “no”. You will stay on the waiting list to be seen at the NCA, and we will get to you as soon as we can. Patients are being seen in clinical priority and wait order. 

There are a number of factors that may delay or prevent the move to another provider, including changes in capacity and demand, clinical priority or changes to your clinical eligibility. 

It is important to note that whilst all reasonable efforts will be made to find you an alternative hospital that can provide your care or treatment earlier, this is not guaranteed. It will very much depend on other hospitals having capacity to see you. You will be told the outcome. 

If it is not possible for you to move provider, you will stay on the waiting list to be seen as soon as possible at the NCA. 

Our team is currently working through the waiting lists for all the services which we can offer via other providers and will be offering this option to patients as quickly as possible, starting with those who have been waiting the longest or are clinically prioritised. 

The NHS trust or independent sector provider who is currently overseeing the patient’s care is responsible for contacting those eligible. 

Patients are given the option of accepting the offer for 7 days from receiving the offer. Patients can contact the team to enquire about the possibility of moving providers after this time however we cannot guarantee availability.

There will be no additional cost to the NHS or the patient if they decide to use an independent sector provider. 

Patients will be contacted via text message initially however those who do not have a mobile phone number on their patient record will receive a phone call to their landline or receive a letter if they do not have a telephone. 

If your condition has improved or if you have already had your treatment somewhere else, please let the hospital know so that they can remove you from the waiting list. This will enable hospitals to use your slot for another patient. 

If you have not heard from the hospital and your condition is getting worse, you need to contact your GP. Your GP surgery can provide care, so you should not put off getting any help you need.

We have created a resource to support patients, carers and families across Greater Manchester called While You Wait. Visit the While You Wait website. Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and information on how to look after your physical and mental wellbeing. 

While You Wait has dedicated sections for people waiting for orthopaedic surgery, gastro investigations such as endoscopies and a section for children and young people. 

Members of the d/Deaf community can also access our British Sign Language (BSL). 

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