Patients visiting Scunthorpe Hospital’s A&E can now see real-time waiting information on newly installed screens.

The digital screens display information about how many patients are in the department, how many of those are waiting for assessment, how many are receiving care and how many are waiting to be admitted to a ward.

It’s hoped the initiative will help patients feel more involved in their care process.

The display is much like the system clinicians are using to monitor their patients, and bed availability, throughout the hospital.

Data is pulled from the systems clinicians look at, anonymised and then displayed in a patient-friendly format in the waiting room.

Karen Ayscough, department manager at the hospital, said: “We regularly receive feedback from patients and their families that they want to know how long they’ll be waiting to be seen.

“We are a very busy department and patients are treated in order of urgency rather than on a first-come, first-served basis.

“While we do our best to keep people informed verbally, this new screen will help to improve the experience for patients as they’ll be able to see for themselves the current waiting times giving them realistic expectations as to how long they’ll be waiting for.”

Waiting times are split by the severity of patient’s injury or illness, in the following order:

  • Immediate medical attention
  • Potential threat to life
  • More serious/may need admission
  • Walking wounded/minor
  • Very minor

There were 70,919 attendances to Scunthorpe’s emergency centre during 2018, an average of 194 a day.

In a similar move, it was announced in May 2018 that Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is to introduce mobile phone appointment check-in for patients.