Online blood appointment booking system launched at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals

A new online booking system has been launched at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) to allow patients using the trust’s blood test services to book themselves into their chosen clinic.

The Dedalus Swiftqueue self-service appointment booking system has been introduced, procured using tech funding received from NHS Digital.

The trust sees approximately 4800 appointments per week across 16 WWL locations. Since the system went live in May, WWL noted significant reduction in call waiting times, with more than 3000 appointments made online in the first week and 8411 appointments booked in total to date.

“The system was implemented in only six weeks which is a huge achievement,” said Martyn Smith, Associate Director of Information Management and Technology. “In the first few days of go live, thousands of bookings were made using the new digital tech, providing a far better experience for our patients and it has released pressure and time for our internal appointment centre teams, allowing them time to support those who need it.”

Mary Fleming, Deputy Chief Executive, commented: “As the trust’s previous ‘drop in’ service had to be stopped as part of our COVID-19 response, the number of calls to book blood tests had steadily increased to around 3,500 per week. This is the first WWL service to offer online booking, where patients can register and book or reschedule their own appointments. The Phlebotomy Team, Health Care Operations Team and Project Team have worked very hard to achieve such a quick and safe launch of this service – they should be very proud.”

Colin Henderson, Managing Director for UK & Ireland for Dedalus, commented: “Through the Swiftqueue platform we have offered WWL a capability that greatly improves the workflow of their appointment management. A real advantage is how quickly the technology has been deployed as NHS trusts find themselves under continuing pressure to manage waiting lists.”

The new system is one of many new initiatives to be implemented at WWL as part of the trust’s digital strategy, with the trust planning to invest in solutions to allow patients access to healthcare from home, including use of virtual wards, virtual outpatient consultations and e-prescribing.