This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/news/New-screens-for-ED-and_UTC-wait-times.htm
Date: 20 September 2021
The screens are in place to keep people informed of the latest wait times for both the Emergency Department (A&E) and Urgent Treatment Centre, further dynamic information is displayed underneath each screen, via a scrolling text bar.
Having the current wait times on public display enables people to make an informed decision to either wait to be seen by a clinician at the hospital, or seek professional healthcare advice elsewhere.
The wait times on the screens will complement the recently launched NHS 111 First campaign that encourages everyone to contact NHS 111 first for the right care in the right place. Unless it is a medical 999 emergency, the NHS is urging everyone to call 111 rather than turning up at the hospital.
When people call NHS 111, they are taken through a series of questions which will determine the next course of action. This new scheme may result in a recommendation to visit a local pharmacy, an appointment being made with a GP, or an arrival time being given for the Urgent Treatment Centre or Emergency Department at St Mary’s Hospital. This helps the hospital know who and when someone is due to attend either department.
The aim is that the combined wait times on the electronic screens in conjunction with NHS 111 First, will prevent people from having an unnecessarily long wait to be seen at the Emergency Department or Urgent Treatment Centre.
For those that do decide to attend either department, then they can still keep any eye on the wait times via a screen in each one that mirrors the information. The Trust is also in the process of implementing the wait times on the front page of their website, making them visible without even entering the hospital site.
Joe Smyth, the Trust’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We want people to have the most up to date information so they can make informed choices. These information boards will display the current waiting times in our Emergency Department and in our Urgent Treatment Centre. They will remind people that there are alternatives if they do not wish to wait and that these services can be accessed by calling NHS 111 First. This is another step in our on-going journey of making our services more accessible and patient focused.
“Our Emergency Department performance figures have improved significantly over the past six months, the public can support this improvement by remembering to call NHS 111 first for minor illness or injury.”
Samara Lamb, Head of Nursing for the Urgent and Emergency Care, said “The new screens displaying current Emergency Department (A&E) and Urgent Treatment Centre will inform and encourage those with non-life threatening emergency to seek the most appropriate service for their health care needs by calling 111 before presenting to either department.
Samara continued “By the nature of the services, average waiting times can change significantly based on the number of attendances and acuity of presentations. Therefore, to keep patients informed of average waiting times is major progress.”
Photo: Joe Smyth, Chief Operating Officer, standing next to one of the electronic screens.