North West NHS trust cuts waiting list and last-minute cancellations

Patients in need in the North West are being seen faster after a hospital trust turned to a digital solution.

Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust introduced new software to help reduce their waiting lists and improve surgery planning systems to cut avoidable on-the-day cancellations.

The new software has already seen positive results for patients and staff, including a number of patients being clinically reprioritised and receiving treatment sooner where needed. More surgeries are also being performed, there has been a reduction in the number of 52 week waits, and a fall in on-the-day cancellations.

The use of technology is also helping the trust move away from paper diaries to simpler, more efficient digital processes.

The tool adopted by the trust brings together data from a range of other sources into one secure place so staff can easily see all the information they need.

This allows them to better work together to manage and more easily prioritise their waiting list and double check that those included on the list still require treatment. 

Lesley Neary, Chief Operating Officer at Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Despite the ongoing challenges in the NHS, it is important we constantly look to improve our services for the benefit of our patients.

“This tool has allowed our operational teams to improve the management and co-ordination of the planned elective surgery lists for each speciality.

“Our surgeons are managing theatre sessions online and the trust is able to operate on more patients each day, helping drive down waiting lists.”’

Following successful pilots, NHS England is funding the deployment of the solution in Trusts across the country including Mersey and West Lancashire, ensuring that patients are seen faster and in the right order.

NHS England is currently procuring federated data platform software for the NHS, which will provide each integrated care system and trust with cutting-edge technology enabling them to use their data and information more efficiently to develop and share innovative solutions to better manage capacity, reduce waiting lists, deliver better care and improve outcomes for patients. 

The capabilities this tool provides will be available through the federated data platform in order to provide trusts with the information they need to understand patterns, solve problems and plan services for their local populations and patients.