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Wait times for surgeries can be shortened by using a website that tries to beat the postcode lottery

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Tired of waiting months for surgery? New website wants to beat the postcode lottery by showing other hospitals nearby where patients can be operated on

  • Some Brits continue to be in pain up to three times longer with hip and hernia operations simply because of where they live
  • Data collected by Health Compare shows how long patients wait on average for a particular surgery at their local hospital, then lists others nearby, including private clinics, with shorter queues
  • Health Compare Chief executive Andrew Burgess claimed the site empowers NHS patients to make informed choices as they have the legal right to choose the hospital they are referred to for treatment – ​​anywhere in the country

A new website aims to beat the zip code lottery Brits have to endure while waiting for surgeries – some have pain up to three times longer for hip and hernia surgeries simply because of where they live.

Data collected by Health Compare shows how long patients wait on average for a particular surgery at their local hospital, then lists others nearby, including private clinics, with shorter queues.

Health Compare chief executive Andrew Burgess claimed the site empowers NHS patients to make informed choices because they have the legal right to choose the hospital they are referred to for treatment – and this could be anywhere in the country.

He added: “By exercising their rights, patients could potentially be treated months earlier.”

A new website aims to beat the zip code lottery Brits have to endure while waiting for surgeries – some have pain up to three times longer for hip and hernia surgeries simply because of where they live. (File image)

National data from Health Compare shows that people in West Sussex are eight months behind schedule for hernia surgery, compared to two and a half months in South Yorkshire. It even shows how North Londoners wait twice as long for hip replacements as South Londoners.

The site, which is free to use, claims to provide a more accurate prediction of waiting times than figures on the NHS website – which are usually two months out of date – as it gathers information from multiple sources, including from health watchdog the Care Quality Commission.

Users type into the website the treatment they need, their zip code and the distance they are willing to travel. It then generates a list of hospitals offering the procedure, along with wait times, how they are rated for quality of care, and the number of surgeries canceled.

NHS patients also have the right to change hospitals if they have waited more than 18 weeks for a consultant appointment.

One patient who shortened his wait time was Dominic Moss, a 58-year-old lawyer from Cheshire who needed a hip replacement. The father of four had to wait a minimum of three months at his local hospital, but after researching online he found that a hospital in St Leonards-on-Sea, 250 miles away in East Sussex, had shorter waiting times.

He then got a referral from his GP and had surgery the following month.

He said, “If more people knew they could get their surgery done faster elsewhere in the country, a lot of people certainly would.”

www.healthcompare.co.uk

Data collected by Health Compare shows how long patients wait on average for a particular surgery at their local hospital, then lists others nearby, including private clinics, with shorter queues.  (File image)

Data collected by Health Compare shows how long patients wait on average for a particular surgery at their local hospital, then lists others nearby, including private clinics, with shorter queues. (file image)

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