Risk stratification of waiting lists in Cheshire & Merseyside

The Cheshire and Mersey elective recovery programme team have been working closely with the C2Ai team to develop and embed a risk stratification tool within the hospital waiting lists. The C2Ai tool is an algorithm, which uses data from over 200 million records across 46 countries from the last 30 years to review individual patient health profiles along with the type of surgery to give an estimate of the risk of complications during or after their surgery.

The patient profile includes any illnesses or conditions that the patient has which could increase their risk, and we know that each surgical procedure has its own level of risk associated with it, depending on its complexity. The tool is able to identify the most likely complication that a particular patient may have after surgery which enables the surgical team to take steps to reduce the risk of that happening, or be ready with expert treatment if it does.

The C2Ai tool can also highlight those cases where the level of risk increases significantly over time if they have to wait and need to be treated urgently. The Cheshire and Mersey team is working hard to reduce the waiting time for all patients, however are aware there are some who have been waiting a long time and their condition may have become worse, and therefore their risk may have increased.

There are several areas where this tool has been beneficial for the hospitals. It helps them to plan which patients might need to be near intensive support services during their treatment, and also which ones are not likely to need significant aftercare. This knowledge makes planning the surgical waiting lists much easier and safer and has been used this to identify which patients might benefit

Sunjay Kanwar, a consultant general surgeon at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, in Merseyside, who has been trialling the C2-Ai tool, describes it as “phenomenal and incredibly fast”. He said he was “delighted and excited as to how this tool can help us identify these patients early and put in place simple measures, which all have a significant impact.”