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 - July 2022
We have made positive progress in reducing our waiting list although it is still challenging.
We are continuing to see high numbers of people accessing urgent care services which puts extra pressure on us to make sure we are continuing to reduce the time people are waiting for elective procedures. Despite this challenge, we are making some good progress in our ongoing recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by reducing our waiting lists.
We continue to have zero patients waiting over 104 weeks for their care and we are now focusing on zero patients waiting over 78 weeks by March 2023 with a steady decrease planned for the rest of the year. We now have 940 patients waiting over 52 weeks which is a 65% reduction since March 2021 and we are regularly reviewing those patients. We are seeing more day case patients than planned and we aim to keep increasing day case procedures.
In diagnostics, the total waiting list has been reduced by approximately 5,000 from its peak in October 2021, following around 18 months at double the pre-Covid volume. However there are still challenges in diagnostics therefore we are pleased we were successful in receiving an additional £5.6m to help us deliver more CT, MRI, Ultrasound and Endoscopies in the year ahead.
The funding for diagnostics will also help us address any delays in cancer diagnosis. We are aware there are also concerns about biopsy result delays which we are working to address. We currently have extremely high numbers of samples to process therefore we are also using an external company to undertake analysis on our behalf. Our cancer improvement plan sets out how we will accommodate the increase in cancer referrals we are seeing as well as reducing our waiting times over the next two years.
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/