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5 Jan 2021, 19:00
A new NHS pilot project has been launched to help people in Hertfordshire and west Essex to find prompt treatment for their minor injuries.
‘WaitLess’ is a free to download app which 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 ‘WaitLess’ app draws on live information feeds from Watford General Hospital A&E, the Lister Hospital A&E in Stevenage, The Princess Alexandra Hospital A&E in Harlow, the Urgent Treatment Centres in Welwyn Garden City and Hemel Hempstead and the Minor Injuries Units at St Albans City Hospital, the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford and Cheshunt Community Hospital.
WaitLess factors in each user’s current location before displaying live information on a selection of treatment centres in the Hertfordshire and west Essex area. Some other areas also have access to the app so they may be displayed too if you are close by. 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.
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.
Dr David Gaunt, A&E consultant and Chief Clinical Information Officer at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and a member of the Clinical Technology Group for Hertfordshire and West Essex STP, said:
“We hope the WaitLess app will raise awareness of the location and range of services offered in our area’s five 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.
“It’s not always easy for patients to know where to go – particularly if they are worried or in pain. That’s why we recommend everyone to go online to 111.nhs.uk for free for advice before you travel.”
If necessary, NHS 111 can connect users with a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP, and uses a series of tried and tested questions to advise you on whether you have a minor injury or an urgent health concern which requires immediate specialist help.
Smartphone users can download the WaitLess app free from the Apple App Store and Google Play now.
1. Data shown on the app is provided by and is the responsibility of the NHS. Some organisations may operate a triage system which could affect waiting times. The app is only to be used for minor non-life threatening injuries. The nature of your illness could affect waiting times.
2. The app displays waiting times for adults. If you are seeking care for a child under 16, please dial 111. For serious injuries and medical emergencies please call 999.
3. The definition of a minor injury is:
4. NHS 111
NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. To get help from NHS 111, you can go to 111.nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only)