NHS to roll out nudge theory digital traffic light system for hospital referrals

Written by Sam Trendall on 23 April 2018 in News
News

GPs across England to get tool to help direct patients to hospitals with sufficient capacity

GPs across England will be able to better manage hospital referrals with a digital traffic light system developed by the former Downing Street policy factory popularly known as the nudge unit.

When doctors are referring patients for appointments with hospital consultants, the Capacity Alert Ssystem displays a red light next to hospitals with lengthy waiting times, and a green light next to those with more availability. 

The system underwent two trials in north-east and south-west London over the winter. During these pilots the number of referrals made to overburdened hospitals was reduced by 40%, while those made to hospitals with spare capacity rose by 14%, according to NHS England.


Related content


The capacity alert tool was developed by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), a policy unit focused on the use of nudge theory that was formerly embedded in Downing Street, but was spun out in 2014 and is now a company co-owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta, and its employees. BIT will helping NHS England with the nationwide rollout of the system by producing a guide for GPs and holding a series of workshops across the country.

Matthew Swindells, NHS England director for operations and information, said: “This system makes it even easier for GPs and patients to understand hospital waiting times which will, in turn, see benefits for patients and hospitals. The Capacity Alert system is a good example of how smarter working and relatively simple innovations can lead to another big improvement in NHS services.”

Hannah Burd, senior advisor at the Behavioural Insights Team, added: “It’s in all our interests that patients and GPs have the most up-to-date information about their options when deciding where to go for care. This simple and cheap intervention supports these conversations and helps the referrals system to run more efficiently.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

The biggest stories of 2018 – part one
28 December 2018

We take a look back at the major developments that shaped the first half of the year

 

The three public sector technology trends that will define 2019
27 December 2018

PublicTechnology editor Sam Trendall picks out the topics and trends that will dominate the year ahead, and revisits the predictions of a year ago to see any of them came to pass

Related Sponsored Articles

Why BT UniCORN Framework – Join the partnership to cut costs and create opportunities
11 February 2019

Whether you need mobile devices or fibre optics, cloud services or switchboard systems, with UniCORN you'll have more purchasing power and unlock benefits you wouldn't get alone

Why BT London ICT Framework – sole provider for a pan-London procurement framework for ICT services
4 February 2019

BT understand the public sector in the capital. Frameworks offer a single, simplified way to get the ICT products and services you need

BT Customer Experience Centres: How our infrastructure and intelligence can transform your organisation
21 January 2019

BT always talks about helping its customers be there in the moments that matter. And that’s the idea at the core of their new Customer Experience Centres. Experience BT solutions first-hand and...