Patients can opt for private hospital care via NHS app to support waiting lists – report | British News
A report says patients will soon be able to opt for private hospital treatment via the NHS app to reduce waiting times.
The NHS The waiting list for routine treatments is more than seven million and is expected to continue to increase until next spring.
Both major political parties are banking on more people opting for private care to reduce waiting times and take pressure off the NHS.
A report by The Times said only 28 NHS hospitals currently allow their patients to manage appointments through the app. However, it is expected that this will be expanded and then the option for private hospitals will be offered for the first time.
A Whitehall source quoted by the newspaper said: “There’s definitely scope for that.”
“Use of the NHS app is increasing, there are already some features that allow patients to book directly and we want to modernize those booking features and update the options in the app.”
The addition of private facilities will also expand the number of diagnostic centers offering screening for cancer and other diseases – from the current 106 to around 190.
Only 63.5% of patients diagnosed with cancer begin treatment within two months of being referred for testing, while the target of 85% has not been met in nine years.
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A statement from the Department for Health and Social Care said: “Reducing waiting lists is one of the Government’s top five priorities, with the NHS app playing a crucial role in giving patients more control over their own care and recovery after to support elective care.”
“We have already begun implementing the work of the Elective Recovery Taskforce and a full roadmap will be released shortly, setting out how we can go even further to develop the independent sector to accelerate patient care and reduce waiting lists .”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to confirm the plans in the coming weeks, The Times said.