Case study:
University Hospitals of Leicester

Accelerating elective recovery and transforming outpatients through digital communication

The COVID-19 pandemic left NHS University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) with the largest elective recovery trajectory of any acute trust nationally. In 2022, they formed a strategic partnership with Accurx to tackle this challenge. Today, the partnership is focused on transforming outpatients with Accurx's easy-to-use technology and transformation support.

Impact at a glance:

22,000 patients

have been removed from our waiting lists through text message validation

>7,500 patients

have been moved to digital PIFU, freeing up appointments

390 hours saved

of clinical time per year, by replacing phone calls with questionnaires by the surgical Day Case Team

>900 hours freed up annually

by replacing follow-up ward rounds by a simple questionnaire in our Anaesthetics service

Context: traditional contact routes made it hard to keep up

As the RTT waiting list increased by 85% during the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at UHL struggled to validate high volumes of patients, track appointments and follow up with patient information.
Time-consuming and inefficient communication methods (e.g. letters and phones) held up patient care and impacted productivity. Staff would often spend five to ten minutes to send letters, discuss symptoms with outpatients over the phone, or make manual or automated  calls to notify patients about updates in their treatment.
There was a high rate of unnecessary face-to-face appointments and Did Not Attends (DNAs). Outpatient appointments were often used to share routine information, such as normal test results that could be communicated quicker digitally.

Now, UHL use Accurx for:

Patient questionnaires

Teams at UHL use digital questionnaires to prioritise appointments by patient need, redesigning pathways based on the answers provided. Patients no longer have to take time out of their day to attend default face-to-face appointments, and are now offered one when there's a clinical need.

Digital Patient-initiated-follow-up (PIFU)

39 teams at UHL now use Accurx to better manage their PIFU processes, removing the need for face-to-face appointments altogether in some cases. Services include Cardiac Surgery, ENT, Trauma & Orthopaedics, Gastroenterology and Thoracic Medicine.

Waiting list validation

UHL were able to validate their full Trust RTT waiting list using Accurx, sending SMS messages to almost 400,000 patients. With a 70% response rate, they've removed over 22,000 patients from their waiting list this way.

Training and collaboration

Through regular touchpoints with the Accurx team, the team at UHL are fully supported to make the most out of the software. They can review progress against targets, ensure technical alignment, brainstorm new ideas and identify and manage clinical risk.
This work has allowed us to focus more on training. It’s freeing up time for colleagues to see new patients and spend more time with them. It has also avoided patients having to experience the anxiety of waiting. It’s great to have a simple system customised to what we need, that’s extremely responsive. It’s been invaluable.
Ed Caruana, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon