Waiting Well in the NHS

6th February 2024

by John Clarke

Imagine a patient eagerly awaiting their long-awaited appointment with a specialist, consumed by anxiety and uncertainty. Time seems to stand still as they wait for weeks, or even months, in anticipation. The enduring struggle of patients waiting for healthcare services is a deeply rooted issue within the NHS.

However, through strategic implementation of technology, forward-thinking leaders have the power to transform this waiting experience. This article explores the pressing need for patients to “wait well” and examines how technology, can aid in alleviating patients’ anxiety, improve their health conditions and ultimately enhancing their overall waiting experience.

Patient wait times: The current state of affairs

Before delving into potential solutions, it is essential to understand the gravity of the issue. The NHS faces an extensive backlog, with patients enduring prolonged wait times for their appointments. According to recent statistics from the NHS, 7.6 million patients are waiting to start treatment in England alone.

This backlog is detrimental to patients’ mental and physical health, exacerbating their existing conditions.

The role of technology in waiting well

By leveraging innovative solutions, the NHS can help patients wait well and transform waiting from a burden to an opportunity. Solutions that allow patients to be engaged and informed throughout their wait, reduce anxiety and foster a sense of control.

By providing patients with access to relevant health information and resources during their wait, healthcare organisations can create imaginative pathways to empower patients to actively manage their own health, leading to improved outcomes. This approach not only enhances patient satisfaction but also helps healthcare organisations to build a reputation as forward-thinking and patient-centric institutions.

Technology-led initiatives from Netcall streamline communication between healthcare providers and patients, providing real-time updates on wait times and appointment progress. Moreover, patients can receive personalised health tips, educational resources and even access to virtual support groups, maximising the potential for productivity and self-care while they wait.

Addressing the issue of prolonged waiting times in the NHS requires a multi-faceted approach, with technology playing a crucial role. By leveraging platforms like Netcall’s Waiting Well solution, leaders are empowered to transform patient waiting experiences. Through referral confirmations, decision support tools, timely updates on waiting lists and remote patient monitoring, anxiety can be alleviated and patients can actively participate in their healthcare journey.

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“By embracing technology as a catalyst for change, we can ensure that patients not only wait well but also experience compassionate care, even during the most challenging times. With the help of technology, we provide patients with a more personalised and efficient healthcare experience. We believe that by creating strategic partnerships with forward thinking NHS anchor institutions and leveraging our leading technology, we can help create a more patient-centric healthcare system that is accessible to all and helping achieve outstanding clinical outcomes. Let’s work together to make this vision a reality!”

John Clarke

Head of Client Solutions – Health, Netcall

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