Those seeking medical attention at KGH and Corby Urgent Care Centre can now see how long the wait is on a smartphone app.
The app, called WaitLess, enables those in need of urgent but not life-threatening care to see waiting times at the two sites, as well as at Northampton General Hospital.
It will also factor in journey times using live traffic and travel information to help them choose the most appropriate location to have their condition or injury seen to.
Developed by Transforming Systems, WaitLess aims to reduce the pressure on the county’s urgent and emergency care services by spreading demand and helping patients to make an informed choice about where to go for treatment.
Simon Weldon, chief executive at Kettering General Hospital and urgent and emergency care lead for Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership, said: “When people need urgent treatment for an injury or medical condition they often head straight to their nearest hospital – but with demand and waiting times constantly changing the closest location isn’t always the best.
“WaitLess allows people to quickly view the local urgent care and minor injury facilities where they can go for treatment and how long they are likely to wait to be seen there.
“Not only does this enable them to choose the most appropriate location for their needs but it also helps to reduce pressure on our busy services.
“That’s especially important at this time of year when demand for urgent and emergency care is particularly high.”
The app uses real-time waiting time data from the three Northamptonshire care centres and signposts people with minor injuries and illnesses away from the busiest sites.
People needing treatment are then spread more evenly across the system, supporting pressurised A&E departments and allowing them to dedicate their capacity to the care of patients with life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
Kate Holt, chief executive officer of Healthwatch Northamptonshire, said: “Healthwatch is pleased to see the launch of this app, which puts data into the hands of people and helps them to make an informed choice about where to seek care, benefiting them and the county’s health and care system.”
The app is available for smartphones or tablets running Android or iOS operating systems.
To find it on your smartphone search for WaitLess on the app store or Google Play.
There are plans to make it available from a website in the future.