Patients waiting for elective surgeries will benefit from increased transparency and information sharing following the launch of the new NHS ‘My Planned Care’ platform.
Patients and their carers will be able to access tailored information ahead of planned surgeries including information on waiting times for their provider. They will also be able to better understand their expected wait and clinicians will be able to link patients to the most appropriate personalised support in preparation for their surgery.
This could include advice on prevention services such as stop smoking or diet and exercise plans, to make sure they are fighting fit for surgery to reduce cancellations, prevent deterioration and help patients recover as quickly as possible.
It forms part of wide-ranging plans to tackle the backlog of elective care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which also includes the rollout of more than 100 community diagnostic centres across the country and extra surgical hubs, all backed by a billion pounds of additional investment.
Health and Social Care 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."
NHS providers will be able to upload supportive information to the platform to help patients manage their conditions while they wait for treatment.
A third of on-the-day cancellations are due to people not being clinically ready for treatment, such as having a long-term condition including diabetes or high blood pressure which has not been diagnosed or properly managed.
The platform, which will go live later this month, will initially be accessible via NHS.UK, allowing patients, family members, carers and clinicians to all access information at any point of their care pathway. In the longer term it is expected the service will be delivered via the NHS App.
This follows the Health and Social Care Secretary’s announcement last week on a national war on cancer with the launch of a call for evidence to inform a new 10-year plan to improve cancer care, speed up diagnosis and invest in innovative new treatments.