Jump to content

Delayed NHS patients will be able to choose private ops online

Patients whose operations have been delayed will be able to shop online for hospitals with the shortest waiting times in the public and private sector, under plans being announced by the health secretary this week reports The Times.

Sajid Javid will unveil a three-point plan to transform the NHS as part of efforts to tackle a record backlog of more than six million people.

Under the proposals, patients referred for hospital care will be able to go online to look up the waiting time at their local hospital, and compare it with times at any hospital in the country, including those in the private sector. The website will allow patients to book their treatment at any unit in the country and there are plans to make the service available on the NHS app.

The proposals will be set out in a speech on Tuesday. Javid said: “The NHS constitution says already that you as a patient have the right to ask for an alternative provider for your treatment."

However, is this just a distraction? writes Roy Lilley in his latest newsletter. Shopping on-line for treatment depends on getting a website organised that can collect real-time data from all Trusts, for every specialty, that can take into account staffing, rota-gaps and clinical priorities.

Software might be able to cope but has the potential to throw the NHS into chaos. People arriving from ‘out of area’ will need video-out-patient consultations, some way of doing blood, imaging and other tests. And post-op? The same again for out-patients and physio, OT, aids, adaptations, pharmacy and social care support... ... to say nothing of the stress on patients and their families.

None of this is impossible but the NHS is nowhere near geared up for it.


The Times, 6 March 2022 (paywalled)

Roy Lilley's newsletter, 7 March 2022


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...