New app that could streamline hospital waiting times is rolled out in North Wales

People visiting accident and emergency units in North Wales will soon be able to access an app that tells them how many others are waiting to see a medical professional.

The app, which was developed in partnership with the North Midlands NHS Trust, provides patients with information such as waiting times, opening times, directions and contacts.

After initially launching in Staffordshire, the app is now making its way to the North Wales region. Developers believe it’ll help patients choose the best place for them to get treatment.

The app comes at a time when pressure on NHS hospitals and services is constantly increasing, and as a result, patients can end up waiting hours to see a specialist.

Liz Rix, who is chief nurse at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, said this app is an innovative step for the NHS and will help patients make more effective choices.

“This is an innovative way of helping the public choose which health provider best suits their needs, whether that’s an A&E or a local minor injuries unit,” she said.

“It’s often the case that patients with minor conditions can be treated without the need to visit an acute hospital.

“The app gives real-time information on waiting times and show how busy the departments are at any time during the day. This is about empowering patients to make the most appropriate choice for them.”

Nigel Lee, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s director of secondary care, said patients now have a way to get the right treatment for them while streamlining waiting times overall.

“With the winter upon us we know that our emergency departments are going to be incredibly busy over the next three months, dealing with many people who are seriously ill,” he said.

“This can mean that people whose conditions are not urgent can face long waits to be seen. But the NHS in Wales offers many ways to get healthcare quickly.

“Local pharmacists are qualified health professionals who can advise on treatments for many common illnesses using simple ‘over-the-counter’ remedies, while our minor injuries units are a way for people who have suffered less-serious injuries to get the care they need.

“This app is a great way for people who have been injured to work out where is the best place to go to get seen with a minimum of delay.”

Image credit: Lydia