New NHS app aims to reduce waiting times for minor injuries in Herts
PUBLISHED: 08:30 22 March 2020
A free app with live information from A&E departments and urgent care centres in Hertfordshire has been launched to help people find prompt treatment for their minor injuries.
The WaitLess app - an NHS pilot project - draws on live information feeds from treatment centres including Lister Hospital’s A&E department in Stevenage, the urgent care centre in Welwyn Garden City and the minor injuries unit at St Albans City Hospital.
Factoring in each user’s current location, the app combines live waiting time information with mapping, traffic and public transport insights to suggest where people with minor injuries could visit for timely advice and treatment.
The number of patients waiting, the current waiting time for an adult to be seen if they have a minor injury, and the combined travel and waiting time for each facility is highlighted, so users can make an informed choice before they travel.
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The app shows the opening times and description of each facility and does not display information on places that are closed, or that will close before a patient can travel to them.
A&E consultant David Gaunt for West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We hope the WaitLess app will raise awareness of the location and range of services offered in our area’s minor injury and urgent treatment centres, helping people with minor injuries to get seen and treated more quickly.
“If our trial of the app goes well, we would hope to see both a reduction in waiting times for people with minor injuries and a benefit for busy A&E departments which currently experience a lot of demand from people with minor injuries whose needs would be best met elsewhere.” Minor injuries include fractures or broken bones; minor head and eye injuries; objects stuck in ears and noses; sprains, strains and joint pain; cuts, wounds, bites and stings; and minor burns and scalds.
Smartphone users can download the WaitLess app free from the Apple App Store and Google Play now.
The app displays waiting times for adults only. If you are seeking care for a child under 16, call 111. You can also visit 111.nhs.uk for advice. If necessary, NHS 111 can connect users with a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP.
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