Sussex Health and Care Partnership is working to ensure you get the care you need as soon as possible. While you are waiting for a hospital appointment, there is now more support available.
From today, people in Sussex who are waiting for care will be able to access support and check waiting times on a new online platform.
Built in conjunction with patient groups, the national My Planned Care website allows patients and their carers to access information ahead of their planned appointment, operation or treatment.
It can be accessed here: My Planned Care NHS
In this first stage, patients will be able to search on the site, hosted by nhs.uk, to find the average waiting time at their local hospital for the specialist area they need treatment in.
Data from all of the Sussex hospital trusts will be available through the platform, as well as hospitals across the country.
The launch of My Planned Care in Sussex is part of our system’s elective recovery plan, and aims to empower and support patients as they wait for care.
The platform will be expanded in the coming months to include more specific information for specialties and how patients can contact hospital departments and teams.
This will also include signposting to existing community support, public health wellbeing services, the voluntary and community sector and non-acute provider services for advice and support for physical and mental wellbeing.
At the same time, health and care partners in Sussex have also launched new online advice to support people as they wait to help them to stay well. It includes advice on how to manage symptoms, a focus on mental health and wellbeing and how to manage other demands or pressures while they wait.
This will also be available through the My Planned Care platform, and in alternative formats for people without online access. There will be hard copies of the advice provided in packs in community locations and on request.
Targeted packages of support will be rolled out to support those patients waiting for procedures with the longest waits or those with the greatest need.
GPs and primary care teams will also be able to access the information through the My Planned Care platform and on the Sussex Health and Care Partnership website, helping them to have more informed conversations with their patients.
Can all patients access to the MPC platform?
Yes, the platform is open to everyone so anyone will be able to view it. The platform is easy to access and navigate and is designed for patients who are on a NHS wait list, as well as their relatives/carers and supporting healthcare teams, such as their primary care team.
How often will it be updated?
It will be updated weekly from a data perspective and as often as required once trusts supply their clinical content.
Why are there differences across the country in waiting times for the same specialty?
We recognise that waiting a long time for a planned operation or procedure is very difficult for anyone, wherever they live in the country. The NHS is working hard to clear the elective backlog and the recently published Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care sets out how we will do this. NHS trusts across the country are all committed to seeing and treating their patients as quickly as possible, whilst coping with the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on services. We are working together across health and care organisations in Sussex to progress this work as quickly as possible.
Patients will be able to see the different waiting times, does this mean they can move to a shorter list?
Unfortunately due to COVID-19 we are seeing lengthy waits at hospitals across the country. Patients will continue to receive their treatment in order of clinical priority. Making a request to move hospital does not mean that you will receive treatment any quicker and in some circumstances could mean having to repeat parts of the pathway which would mean waiting longer.
Moving to a trust with a shorter average waiting time for their specialty would not necessarily result in a patient being seen more quickly. This is because within an overall average waiting time there will be some patients who are seen more quickly and some who may need to wait a bit longer, according to clinical need.
There are also certain exceptions to the entitlement to ask to be referred to another hospital as set out in: Asking to change hospital if you have to wait longer than the maximum waiting times
In addition, Iasking to be referred to another hospital could result in a patient needing to have certain tests, investigations or appointments again before they can be added to the waiting list where they would join the end of the list at their new trust.
For the NHS to manage the recovery of elective treatment we would encourage patients to remain under the care of their existing hospital. Should capacity become available elsewhere locally which would mean being treated earlier then the hospital or health team will be in touch with patients directly to discuss the options.