Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has created a first of kind app which shows patients real-time A&E and outpatient clinic waiting times and attendance.

The trust decided to develop the app, which went live in October, because it wanted to improve the way it provides information to patients and “do something a bit more 21st century”.

As well as showing waiting times, the app also provides patients with the latest trust news and important notifications.

Hull and East Yorkshire’s head of IT services Ian Hutty, told EHI that the app focuses on four areas, with more in the pipeline.

“When you open up the app, it is a dashboard with four modules. You can click on the A&E module and see approximate waiting times and and how many people are waiting,” he said.

“The other thing is clinic times for the four trust sites. It lists all the clinics that are running, if it’s been cancelled, waiting times, generic clinic details, who’s running it and so on. We use GPS to map it as well.”

The app also has a module for trusts news, information alerts, such as notifications of ward closures, lights not working, or A&E updates.

“It’s live data, which is fed in from our iSoft patient administration system,” said Hutty who belives Hull is the first trust to create an app like this.

Although it is only available on Android devices at the moment, an iPhone version is due to be released within days.

Hutty said that the trust has plans to develop it further and create more modules soon.

“What we wanted to do was focus on four modules and then put more in. We got ideas like a car parking module, putting leaflets on it, theatre session waiting times, major incidents and an interactive site map. “

The trust has used an external company to create the front end of the app, while the back end has been done by the trust.

“The back end part; pulling in real-time data from PAS, we have done on our own,” said Hutty.

The new app is one of several measures the trust is taking to improve patient experience and streamline services.

Last year, Hull and East Yorkshire installed self-check-in and triage kiosks in its A&E department where patients can self-register when they come in to the emergency department.

Some 82% of people attending A&E use the kiosks and the trust has managed to get rid of long queue in its A&E reception.