Patients facing surgery promised more transparency on waiting times

7 February 2022, 00:04

Patients and their carers will be able to access tailored information ahead of planned surgeries through a new platform on the NHS website (UAB/PA)
Pig kidneys transplanted into human. Picture: PA

The My Planned Care platform is due to go live on the NHS website site later in February.

Patients are expected to soon be able to use the NHS website ahead of planned operations to see waiting times information for their trust.

Those due to have surgery will be able to access tailored information in a bid to have “increased transparency and information sharing”, the Department of Health (DH) said.

The My Planned Care platform is due to go live on the NHS website later in February, and will be accessible to patients, family members, carers and medical professionals.

The department said it is expected the service will be available on the NHS app in the future.

It aims to help people better understand their expected waiting time, and will also allow clinicians to link patients to the most appropriate personalised support in preparation for their surgery.

The advice could include diet and exercise plans and advice on services to help people stop smoking so they are fit for their operation.

The launch is part of plans to tackle the backlog in planned care caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “At the height of the pandemic the NHS rightly focused on treating Covid-19 patients, but sadly it has meant waiting lists have risen – and the Covid backlog is going to keep rising.

“This platform, combined with our record funding to tackle the backlog and invest in innovative diagnosis and treatment will help us ensure access to life-changing care and support for people no matter who they are or where they live.”

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers – which represents trusts, said health staff will be “going flat out to meet the challenges presented by long waits”.

He said: “The ‘My Planned Care’ platform, which is the subject of today’s announcement, and is designed to improve information for patients ahead of treatment and reduce cancellations, will form part of a plan to tackle the care backlog.

“The publication of full details of this plan, which trust leaders have helped create and expect shortly, will be a key moment for the NHS.

“Trusts will do all they can to deliver the plan and get through their backlogs as quickly as possible.”

NHS England announced at the weekend that patients awaiting major operations are to be supported by dedicated NHS care teams from next year in a bid to prevent last-minute cancellations which have been described as costly and frustrating.

It will involve access to specialist teams of nurses, care co-ordinators and doctors who will screen patients and work with them to develop personalised plans in the run-up to their procedures.

People not being ready for treatment for health reasons account for a third of on-the-day cancellations, NHS England said.

The organisation said its latest initiative, due to begin in April 2023, is aimed at cutting the number of operations cancelled on the day and boosting people’s chances of recovering quickly from treatment.

By Press Association

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