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Only 25 per cent of trusts have strategy to reduce waiting times
A new survey by Qmatic has revealed that a significant majority of NHS trusts are failing to implement a comprehensive outpatient journey management strategy, and monitor outpatient waiting times.
Using freedom of information requests sent to 80 trusts, the research shows that just 25 per cent of NHS trusts have a strategy to reduce outpatient waiting times. The vast majority of NHS trusts are not monitoring their performance against those targets, with just 12 per cent reporting their success in meeting targets.
Vanessa Walmsley, managing director at Qmatic, said: “We have seen from our research that not only do most NHS trusts not have an effective strategy in place to ensure that people attending outpatient appointments have as short a wait as possible, many do not even monitor how long people are waiting for outpatient appointments.
“The NHS is under significant budgetary pressure but it has a responsibility to its patients to provide the best possible healthcare including the overall patient experience, and this starts with developing a strategy to manage the patient journey. An effective patient journey management strategy starts before the patient has even reached the hospital. NHS trusts should look to integrate technology into their appointment scheduling, allowing patients to book appointments online, delivering reminders to patients via SMS and enabling them to cancel appointments online, to reduce the incidence and impact of missed appointments.”