The impact of COVID-19 saw a drastic reduction in routine care being delivered across the whole of the NHS. Nationally, this added to existing backlogs of care episodes already outstanding. The Integrated Care Board for BLMK (formerly the Clinical Commissioning Group) and Bedford, Luton & Dunstable Hospitals have put together information to provide support to patients living in the BLMK area whilst waiting for treatment, see below.
They would encourage anyone waiting for planned care to look at the websites below first, where you will hopefully find all the information you need. If you cannot find what you are looking for or require further information then contact your GP practice or the hospital.
My Hospital Journey
A web page has been developed, which is available on the Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust website to provide you with information on the reasons why there are long waits in the system in certain departments, what is being done to reduce the waiting lists, how we are working to keep you safe when attending hospital for appointments, how and when you will be communicated with, how you can manage your condition while you wait, and how you can prepare for surgery to ensure you are fit enough for it to proceed when your appointment is issued to avoid any further delays.
Visit the ‘My Hospital Journey’ web page for Bedford and Luton & Dunstable Hospitals.
There is also information on these pages where you can obtain further help whilst you are waiting, including links to information about the NHS App and the platforms developed by NHS England/NHS Improvement: My Planned Care and Decision Support tools. More information on these pages is detailed below:
Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone and iPad/tablet, including ordering/managing prescriptions/repeat prescriptions, viewing health information, managing appointments and referrals, and much, much more.
You can also access the NHS App services from the browser on your desktop or laptop computer. To find out more about what the NHS App can offer simply go to: www.nhs.uk/nhs-app/
My Planned Care
This online platform contains average waiting time information for 1st Outpatient Appointment and further Treatment for each speciality under the Hospital Trust.
The platform includes helpful advice and information such as how to manage pain, finding mental health support, keeping healthy, and information for accessing financial help and other local support whilst you wait. It can also help you to prepare for your appointment or operation, including how to form a plan for your care and treatment alongside your healthcare professional.
Updated weekly, the site is easy-to-use and has ‘open-access’ so carers, friends, relatives and NHS teams can also easily access this information.
Decision Support Tools
NHS England has added new information to their website to support shared decision making between you, as a patient, and your clinician. We hope you will find they are useful before, during or between consultations, depending on your care pathway. They can help you to understand your condition, the treatment options available to you and support you to make a decision on the best treatment option for you depending on your personal circumstances and desired outcome.