NHS patient waiting times platform live in England

The My Planned Care platform – which provides patients with the latest waiting times for hospital appointments, treatments and procedures – is expected to be launched by NHS England today.

The online resource has been developed specifically to support those waiting for elective surgeries, as HTN reported earlier this month, and is part of a wider plan to help tackle the NHS care backlog.

The aim is to ‘improve transparency’ and eventually offer personalised plans to prepare patients before procedures, including help to stop smoking, and improve diet and exercise, as well as recovery support after surgeries.

Built ‘in conjunction with patient groups’ according to the NHS, My Planned Care’s chief function is to allow users to ‘check wait times at their fingertips’. This is the ‘first stage’ of the project, with around ‘5.5 million patients – of the six million on the total waiting list’ set to be able to search the new site to find average waiting times at their local hospitals, for the specialist area they require treatment in.

The website, hosted by, will contain data from 137 NHS trusts across England and be ‘expanded in the coming months’ to include personalised information and support for those on the waiting list, to ‘help them stay well while they wait’ and manage any symptoms, pain or mental health needs.

Social prescribing and care co-ordination will also be encouraged to supplement the platform, while ‘targeted packages’ of support will be aimed at patients with the greatest need or longest waits.

NHS England says that GPs and primary care teams will ‘also be able to access the information’, enabling them to have more informed conversations with their patients.

A letter to NHS leaders from Sir James Mackey, the National Director of Elective Recovery at NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE/I), meanwhile, described the new platform as a ‘national workstream’ and part of the Elective Recovery Programme, which will focus on ’empowering patients’.

‘There is no requirement on systems and providers in relation to the provision of the waiting list information as this is being used as a direct data-feed from established data collections’, the letter notes, adding that NHSE/I would ‘appreciate your support in ensuring that the platform provider specific clinical content is complete by 31 March 2022’.

The St George’s and Epson St Helier Hospital Group has already announced that its waiting list patients can access the platform, with procedure wait time information available for specialities except cancer.

According to St George’s and Epson, the site is expected to be updated weekly, be easy to use and also ‘open access’.

Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director at NHS England, said: “Treating more than 600,000 COVID patients in hospital over the last two years has inevitably had an impact on routine care and staff are doing everything they can to reduce the backlogs that have inevitably built up.

“We know that it can be frustrating for patients who are waiting and so this online site will help to give patients and their families crucial information about how long they might have to wait, helping them feel more informed about their treatment plan.

“And, as we have always said throughout the pandemic, it is vitally important that anybody who has health concerns continues to come forward, so that the NHS can help you get the care you need.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid added: “Alongside new surgical hubs to ramp up operations and Community Diagnostic Centres to provide faster diagnoses closer to home, the My Planned Care platform will help us put patients in control.”

To find out more visit the My Planned Care website.