Patients soon able to use NHS app to access private healthcare as Government cracks down of waiting times
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Patients across the UK will soon be able to opt for private hospital treatment via the NHS app. It comes as the Government aims to cut waiting times after they reached record levels in February.
The waiting list for routine treatments on the NHS now stands at more than seven million and is predicted to keep rising until Spring 2024. The Conservatives are hoping that more people will choose to pay for private healthcare to bring down NHS waiting times.
Twenty-eight trusts across England currently allow patients to view and manage their appointments via the NHS app, which is expected to be expanded out further. Patients are currently able to check waiting times at their local hospitals via the My Planned Care website.
The Department of Health and Social Care has said that the NHS has cut 18-month waits by 91%, with two-year waits being “virtually eliminated”. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said:“Cutting waiting lists is one of the government’s top five priorities, with the NHS App playing a vital role in giving patients greater control over their own care and supporting elective care recovery.
"We have already started to implement the Elective Recovery Taskforce’s work and a full plan will be published soon, outlining how we can go even further to unlock the independent sector to get patients treated more quickly and reduce waiting lists."
A Whitehall source discussed the new NHS app plans, telling The Times: “There is definitely scope for that. The NHS app is increasingly well-used, there is already some functionality where patients can directly book, and we are looking to modernise those booking capabilities and update the options in the app."
The Times has said that Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak is expected to confirm the plans within the coming weeks.