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Tired of waiting months for an operation? New website aims to beat the postcode lottery by showing other nearby hospitals where patients can have surgery

  • Some Britons are left in pain for up to three times longer for hip and hernia surgeries simply because of where they live 
  • Data compiled by Health Compare shows how long patients will wait, on average, for a particular surgery at their local hospital, and then lists others nearby, including private clinics, with shorter queues
  • Health Compare chief exec Andrew Burgess claimed site empowers NHS patients to make informed choices because they are legally entitled to choose the hospital they are referred to for treatment – anywhere in the country

A new website aims to beat the postcode lottery Britons endure in waiting for operations – with some left in pain for up to three times longer for hip and hernia surgeries simply because of where they live.

Data compiled by Health Compare shows how long patients will wait, order labetalol on average, for a particular surgery at their local hospital, and 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 are legally entitled to choose the hospital they are referred to for treatment – and this can be anywhere in the country.

He added: ‘Exercising their rights might mean patients could possibly be treated months sooner.’

A new website aims to beat the postcode lottery Britons endure in waiting for operations – with some left in pain for up to three times longer for hip and hernia surgeries simply because of where they live. (File image)

Health Compare’s nationwide data has revealed that people in West Sussex face delays of eight months for a hernia operation compared with two-and-a-half months in South Yorkshire. It even highlights how North Londoners wait twice as long as South Londoners for hip replacements.

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to offer a more accurate prediction of waiting times than figures on the NHS website – which are usually two months out of date – because it collates information from multiple sources, including from health watchdog the Care Quality Commission.

Users type into the website the treatment they need, their postcode and the distance they are prepared to travel. It then generates a list of hospitals that offer the procedure, along with waiting times, how they are rated for quality of care and the number of cancelled operations.

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

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

He then secured a referral from his GP and had his operation the following month.

He said: ‘If more people knew they could get their operation done quicker elsewhere in the country, I’m sure a lot of people would.’

www.healthcompare.co.uk

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

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