What now for NHS Waiting lists? The 10 million patient question

16th July 2020 - 6 minutes read

With NHS Confederation suggesting the NHS waiting list could reach 10 million by the end of the year, possibly higher if there is a second wave of COVID-19 and a lack of treatment or a vaccine. A staggering 516,000 surgeries were cancelled back in March with all non-urgent elective operations postponed for at least three months.

UK Charity Patient Safety Learning has commented that “the sheer scale of this problem and the practical challenges it poses means that there will be no quick solution; it will likely be an ongoing issue for years to come. How we deal with this problem will have serious implications for the safety and wellbeing of patients”.

The question we pose here is; More than ever before, is now the optimum time for the NHS to use Insourcing as a trusted model to reduce waiting lists within the safety of NHS premises?

What is Insourcing? “A frequently asked question,” remarks Morgan Reidy, CEO of SHS Partners. “Insourcing – not to be confused with outsourcing – is a simple, cost-effective and proven way to reduce NHS waiting lists. Insourcing uses NHS premises and equipment to deliver extra clinical capacity, outside of when they are normally in use such as evenings and weekends. In most cases, it is simply an extension of the Trust’s existing clinical service”.

SHS Partners have a positive track record of working in collaboration with NHS Trusts and Health Boards delivering proven waiting list results. Morgan explains, “We have helped over 75,000 waiting list patients since 2016. The NHS trust retains capacity planning in-house, while SHS Partners ensure patients receive in-patient and out-patient care within the normal hospital environment. Fully accredited consultants, healthcare professionals and nursing staff undertake all care, many often have day jobs elsewhere in the health service”.

When it comes to efficiency and cost savings, NHS Commercial Procurement Services are clear about the benefits of adopting Insourcing. Ian Bailiff Commercial Procurement Specialist at The Countess of Chester Hospital explains “Insourcing is a way to maximise your in-house capacity, letting you reduce or eliminate the need for additional mobile facilities and expensive outsourcing. At the same time, reducing in-patient and out-patient waiting times, referrals expedited, service quality improved, and Trusts can release considerable cash savings.”

Over the last few months, SHS Partners has worked with several NHS clients to deliver reduced capacity face to face clinics in the areas of Cardiology and Rheumatology. “We are delighted to be conducting in-hospital clinics, and patients are getting the vital care they need. Every precaution is taken to ensure patient and staff safety, including onsite temperature checks, face masks, readily available hand sanitiser and socially distanced consultations.” SHS Partners Consultant Rheumatologist.

SHS Partners Face to Face Clinics NHS Elective Care

And when face to face clinics are not feasible, virtual clinics have been adopted using the latest interactive technology to ensure cardiology patients can access routine and follow-up appointments from the safety of their own homes. “Virtual clinics are a highly effective way to reduce waiting lists and maintain essential contact with patients.” Dr Craig Barr, SHS Partners Consultant Cardiologist.

Today the UK and global healthcare landscapes have shifted beyond recognition as they respond to the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the words of Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive the virus “presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation”.

Morgan goes on to say, “We do not underestimate the scale of the challenges faced by the NHS. The long term solution needs to harness the best available integrated services. Our company motto is ‘Standing shoulder to shoulder with the NHS’; we evolve in unison with the service.

SHS Partners are ready to respond to the challenge and build sustainable relationships to benefit patients, NHS Trusts and staff. With experience in over 20 clinical specialities including Ophthalmology, Radiology, ENT and Orthopaedic Surgery, we work in complete partnership, never competition, with the NHS. Our commercial frameworks are bespoke for each service solution, and we share the PBR tariffs, thus benefiting both parties.

SHS Partners Areas of Clinical Specialism Elective Care NHS

SHS Partners can provide post-pandemic waiting list recovery solutions to NHS Trusts and Health Boards. Services include accredited COVID-19 staff and patient screening, capacity and demand assessment/planning through to the delivery of full or partial patient pathways utilising NHS premises and facilities.

To find out more about how SHS Partners can help with Post COVID-19 Waiting List Recovery SEE HERE.

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