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Case study: First waiting time web tool from a CCG

Case study: First waiting time web tool from a CCG

South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a pioneering new online tool to help local NHS patients choose where to receive planned hospital care
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South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched a pioneering new online tool to help local NHS patients choose where to receive planned hospital care.

The ‘Waiting Times on the Web’ application is said to be the first in the country to bring together key hospital waiting time and performance data from a range of sources into a single interactive web-based application.

Patients and their doctors can use the tool to check the average waiting times for outpatient appointments and operations, across 17 different medical specialties, at seven local hospitals.

The tool shows how each hospital compares in delivering the 18 week NHS constitutional standard which means patients have a legal right to start their NHS consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral. It also shows the proportion of previous patients who would recommend each hospital to their friends and family.

Thom Manning, head of information and performance for South Gloucestershire CCG, who commissioned the app, said: “We had an issue with waiting times in some of the larger hospitals. As part of the fact-finding for our new websites, I wanted a waiting times page, but in terms of the website it wasn’t a priority.

“We had the idea for 18 months, and it took us two months to plan it and get it up and running. If other commissioners are thinking of creating an app, the first thing you need to do is decide exactly what you want it to show,” he said.

South Gloucestershire CCG clinical lead for elective and planned care Dr Tharsha Sivayokan said: “Good information is a key element in patient choice so I’m delighted that we’ve been able to offer this innovative new tool to help local people with these important decisions.

“Our experience shows that peoples’ choice of a hospital for planned care can vary significantly – for some people, proximity to home can be the most important factor, whereas for others waiting times or the hospital’s reputation for treating their condition could be what matters most.

“Whatever the case, up-to-date information is vital and by bringing it all together in one easy to use application, this tool can help patients take greater control of decision making in their treatment and care.”

The waiting times application was developed in partnership with Omni Digital using publicly available data from a range of sources including the NHS Information Centre and NHS England and will be updated monthly.

Digital producer and usability consultant, Sam Hearn from Omni Digital added: “Translating this detailed and important data into a web friendly format was challenging but the end result is an effortless, and very useful web app that is responsive for mobile and accessible for all. It’s a great addition to the CCG website.”

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