My Story: Directing patients to the fastest place to access urgent care services for minor injuries
Sarah first came across WaitLess when her daughter injured her foot and needed medical attention. When they arrived at a local A&E she couldn’t believe how busy it was and wondered how long they would have to wait for. Luckily, she spotted a sign advertising the WaitLess app. She quickly downloaded it and found out that another local hospital had much shorter waiting times, helping Sarah and her daughter to be seen in under an hour.
“My daughter was at a local church group (running away from a boy!) when she tripped over her own foot. I took a look and realised that she would need to be seen by someone. I ended up giving her a piggy-back to the car because she couldn’t make it down the hill.
“Margate Hospital was absolutely crowded”The waiting time was about three hours because it was so rammed. Somebody happened to say that they were waiting for an x-ray and they had been there for four hours already. Well luckily, I noticed a sign saying ‘Try the WaitLess app’. I looked it up and downloaded it there and then. I could then see what was still open and what was busy. It said Canterbury had a much shorter waiting time so I went back to the car and we got her seen there.“We went to Canterbury and there was only one other person there. It’s mad, absolutely mad”
“For me, there wasn’t much difference in the time it took to get there. And because my daughter didn’t need to be seen urgently, it wasn’t any trouble.
“I do first aid at events, mainly at university sports in Canterbury. WaitLess is great for that because if someone comes in with a minor injury, like a broken wrist, and you need to tell them to get it looked at further, you can have a look at the surrounding area to see where has the shortest waiting time. I can then say, well you can go to Ashford and wait four hours, or you can go to Canterbury and wait two hours, or you can go to Margate and wait five minutes!
“There’s a few of us who work together and we all have WaitLess on our phones”
“Obviously if it’s something serious we would call an ambulance, but for minor injuries it’s absolutely amazing. They don’t seem to have it anywhere else. We do events all over the place. I go to Essex and I was at King’s in London and they don’t have it there. It’s a shame because you know if you send someone on, they’re going to spend half the night waiting to be seen. It saves a lot of bother for the hospital staff as well because you don’t have people coming in to a busy A&E for something small. I could have sat there for hours in A&E with my daughter to have her foot looked at, but because I could see where the waiting time was so much less, it saved her and me an uncomfortable night sat on a chair somewhere. WaitLess is worth it’s weight in gold.
“WaitLess is free and easy to use. I downloaded it from the App store. I think it’s a great idea – I love it.”WaitLess is a free patient-facing app which shows users the fastest place to access urgent care services for minor emergencies.
- Commissioned by CCGs and co-designed by patients and GPs, WaitLess was launched in east Kent in 2016. The app allows people with minor injuries to select the location which will get them access to treatment fastest.
- WaitLess has been shown to reduce minor injuries activity in A&E by 11%, specifically during the busiest times of day.
- The app has 125,000 uses as of January 2018 with 99.6% patient satisfaction rate.
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