From early August, 12 hospital trusts began testing the use of an average (mean) wait between being referred by a general practitioner and starting treatment for routine conditions. The testing will help the National Health Service to see whether keeping the focus on patients at all stages of their pathway can help to reduce long waits. As well as using the data from trial sites to assess whether the testing has met these criteria, there will be an evaluation of the testing which will consider the impact they have had in the following areas:
- Patient safety;
- Waiting times;
- Process change;
- Patient and public experience;
- Clinical outcomes;
- Variation in outcomes, experience and performance; and
- Staff experience.
As set out in the CRS interim report published in March, the NHS will hold a public consultation on the proposals. This will be informed by further evidence from field testing.