Free NHS app helps cut patient waiting times

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A free app has been launched that lets you check how busy NHS services in the area really are.

NHSquicker brings up current waiting times at emergency departments and minor injuries units.

The app also shows you how long it will take to get to other treatment centres near by, based on your current location.

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A free app called NHSquicker has been launched that lets you check how busy NHS services in the area really are. The goal is to reduce waiting times from urgent care facilities such as A&E

A free app called NHSquicker has been launched that lets you check how busy NHS services in the area really are. The goal is to reduce waiting times from urgent care facilities such as A&E

NHS WAITING TIME CRISIS 

The drive to digitise the NHS follows results that show the number of patients languishing in A&E for more than 12 hours has risen by 10,000 per cent in five years.

Overall waiting times this year have reached their worst levels since records began 15 years ago, according to figures.

More than 2.5million people had to wait for longer than the time target in English A&E units in 2016/17, with only 89.1 per cent of patients seen within four hours. 

NHSquicker has been launched by the Health and Care IMPACT Network, a collaboration between the NHS across Devon and Cornwall and academics from the University of Exeter.

As well as information on emergency services, the app provides details about less urgent care, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians.

It is available for free on Apple and Android tablets and smartphones.

The launch comes at a time when doctors are urging people to consider using another urgent care service if the issue is not serious or life-threatening, rather than an emergency department, as hospitals become busier through the winter months.

If successful, the app could be expanded to cover other regions of the UK.

Dr Nick Mathieu, consultant in emergency medicine and clinical director of the emergency department at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘This app will give people the information they need so they can make informed decisions about where to go for treatment.

The app brings up current waiting times at emergency departments and minor injuries units, as well as telling you how many patients are awaiting treatment

The app brings up current waiting times at emergency departments and minor injuries units, as well as telling you how many patients are awaiting treatment

The app brings up current waiting times at emergency departments and minor injuries units, as well as telling you how many patients are awaiting treatment

NHSquicker can provide information on a range of services

NHSquicker can provide information on a range of services

The app also shows you how long it will take to get to other treatment centres near by, based on your current location

The app also shows you how long it will take to get to other treatment centres near by, based on your current location

As well as providing information on a range of services (left), the app also shows you how long it will take to get to other treatment centres near by, based on your current location (right)

‘We hope this will improve things for patients, as they may be able to receive the care they need more quickly and perhaps closer to home than they realise.

‘NHS services across England are busier than ever and we hope NHSquicker will increase awareness of the different options for treating minor injuries and illnesses.

‘We hope this will contribute to reducing pressure on emergency departments, so they can focus on the most urgent cases.’

The app is the latest in technological developments from the NHS as they aim to keep pace with the rising demand for services. 

As well information on emergency services, the app provides details about less urgent care, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians

As well information on emergency services, the app provides details about less urgent care, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians

As well information on emergency services, the app provides details about less urgent care, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health services, dentists and opticians

Earlier this year, the NHS launched an app to help diagnose patients using AI and take the pressure off the beleaguered 111 hotline. 

More recently, the NHS went live with it’s facility to book an appointment and video chat with a GP via smartphone.

The drive to digitise the NHS follows results that show the number of patients languishing in A&E for more than 12 hours has risen by 10,000 per cent in five years.

Overall waiting times this year have reached their worst levels since records began 15 years ago, according to figures.

More than 2.5 million people had to wait for longer than the time target in English A&E units in 2016/17, with only 89.1 per cent of patients seen within four hours. 





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