|NHS Digital; An alternative to ‘waiting at a red light’!|
A pilot system is now making it easier for GPs to understand the waiting times at hospitals for their patients.
The e-traffic light system could help reduce hospital waiting times while offering patients a clearer choice of treatment and is set to be rolled out across the country after a successful NHS trial.
A tweak to the GP referral system sees a red light appear against a hospital with longer waiting times while a green light shows those with spare capacity, meaning doctors can offer patients potentially quicker routes to treatment and help them make more informed choices.
Results from two London trials have been promising – red lights reduced referrals to overbooked hospitals by nearly 40%, while green lights increased referrals to hospitals with available capacity by 14% this winter.The Capacity Alert system was developed after NHS England commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to come up with ways of helping hospital trusts ease pressure on services. Following the success of the trials in North East and South West London, BIT is now supporting the roll-out of the Capacity Alert system across the NHS in England.