Your planned care
We understand how important your health is to you, and that you may need to be supported whilst you wait for your appointment, operation or treatment. We are here for you and doing our best to get you the care you need as soon as possible.
Support while you wait:
The NHS has recently launched the My Planned Care Patient Digital Platform which gives you direct access to the latest average wait time information for the Trust, as well as helpful advice and support whilst you wait.
We encourage you to look at this site where you may find the information you need before contacting your GP or hospital for an update about any elective procedures you are waiting for.
The site is updated weekly, the site is easy-to-use and is ‘open-access’ so your carer, friends, relatives, and your NHS team can also access this information.
As well as wait time information, the platform also includes helpful details about how to manage your pain, mental health, keeping healthy and accessing financial help and other local support whilst you wait. It can also help you to prepare for your appointment/operation, including how to make a plan for your care and treatment alongside your healthcare professional.
Waiting list update - October 2022
Progress to reduce our waiting lists continues to be made but this progress has slowed up over recent months with pressures on our services impacting on the delivery of the plan.
There are no patients waiting over 104 weeks for treatment and we are now focusing on making sure we have no patients waiting over 78 weeks as well as continuing to reduce the number of people waiting over 52 weeks by March 2023. As of the start of October, there were 857 patients waiting over 52 weeks which is a 65% reduction since March 2021.
Diagnostic performance has improved significantly over the past year with the waiting list having reduced by over 6,500 from its peak in October 2021. Demand for diagnostics continues to grow therefore the only way to fully address waiting times is to expand our capacity. We are currently running mobile scanners at our main hospital sites and we were delighted to be granted the £15m funding to build a Community Diagnostic Centre in Workington with work starting in March 2023.
Increasing our diagnostics is also having a positive impact on our Cancer services with our long waits reducing by 25% since June. We have a Cancer Improvement Plan in place and as part of that we are receiving help and support from national and regional colleagues including working with the Northern Cancer Alliance who have helped provide and coordinate mutual aid support where it has been available.
One of the ways we will continue to make positive progress against our recovery plans is to alleviate the pressure being felt across our services. This includes doing all we can to ease congestion in our A&E departments; funding additional beds over the winter period; making sure our discharge procedures are effective seven days a week and recruiting additional home care practitioners to help support patients in their own homes after they have been discharged from hospital.
Preparing for surgery
If you are waiting for surgery, there may be things you can do to improve your symptoms depending on the type of procedure you are waiting for. As Covid-19 has made it more likely you are waiting longer for surgery, it is an opportunity to work on what you could do to improve your overall wellness. We know that some people’s health and wellbeing may have deteriorated during the lockdowns experienced during the height of the pandemic.
This might mean that you no longer need to have the surgery or you can ensure you are as well as possible before surgery which may help you when you are recovering and in the longer term.
Having an operation puts strain on your body therefore the fitter you are, the more likely it is that you will recover faster, have less complications and spend a shorter time in hospital.
There are studies which show that:
- Smokers are much more likely to experience complications or die after an operation
- Being obese can double your risk of blood clots, cardiac complications and infections
Other risk factors include:
- Physical inactivity
- Alcohol consumption
- Being very underweight
What you can do
Consider setting yourself goals, record them somewhere and keep track of your progress. This may be in relation to:
- Exercising – even if it is a gentle walk depending on your condition
- Sticking to healthy foods – your body needs good nutrition to fight infection and heal following surgery
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing alcohol consumption or stopping drinking alcohol
- Getting a good night’s sleep
You can find out more about how to ‘live well’ at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/
For practical tips about preparing for surgery, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/having-surgery/preparation/