Code 01: Initial attendance
The first attendance under the new specialist or a consultant physician's care would be classified as the 'initial' attendance.
The presentation of an unrelated illness, requiring the referral of the patient to another specialist or a consultant physician's care would initiate a new course of treatment in which case a new referral would be required.
The receipt by a specialist outpatient department of a new referral following the expiration of a previous referral for the same condition(s) does not necessarily indicate the commencement of a new course of treatment involving recording of an 'initial' attendance.
However, where the referring practitioner
- deems it necessary for the patient's condition to be reviewed; and
- the patient is seen under the care of a specialist or the consultant physician outside the currency of the last referral; and
- the patient was last seen by the specialist or the consultant physician more than 12 months earlier; then
the attendance following the new referral initiates a new course of treatment and therefore an initial attendance.