As many as 100,000 patients on waiting lists in Lancashire and South Cumbria could be contacted by the end of March 2023 and asked about their medical condition.
Since April, 25,000 patients have been contacted by Chatbot, an automated call system, which guides patients through a series of questions designed by NHS consultants and healthcare experts.
Chatbot enables patients to let NHS Trusts know if their condition has worsened and possibly, speed up their treatment or identify if they no longer require treatment.
More than 70,000 patients are expected to be contacted either by Chatbot, an interactive text-message service or by letter in the coming months, asking them about their health condition.
Gary Doherty, director of strategy at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Chatbot is a brilliant initiative that is now getting national recognition. It uses innovative technology to establish a dialogue with our patients - giving them the help and support they need and making sure we can respond quickly to changes in their condition.
“By making sure we have up to date waiting list information, Chatbot helps us to free up staff time for other tasks and to maximise productivity, so we reduce waiting lists as quickly as possible.”
Of all the patients contacted so far:
- Eight per cent of patients indicated they could leave the list.
- 88 per cent of patients indicated they could remain on the list.
- Four per cent of patients indicated they required an appointment sooner.
On the back of its success, ChatBot has now been shortlisted for a HSJ partnership award 2023.
Patients can find out more at: www.lancashireandsouthcumbria.icb.nhs.uk/ChatBot