Choosing another hospital: Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System (PIDMAS)

Choosing another hospital: Patient Initiated Digital Mutual Aid System (PIDMAS) image

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In England NHS patients have the right to request to move to a different hospital to receive their care / treatment if they have been waiting longer than 18 weeks. As the NHS continues to recover from the covid pandemic we are initially contacting patients who have been waiting over 40 weeks for their first outpatient appointment or for their operation and inviting them to consider whether they wish to move hospital to receive earlier care / treatment. This initial cohort excludes patients under 18 years and those that have been referred from another hospital).

Please be aware that by making a request to move your care to another hospital, your entire pathway of care will be moved. This includes all appointments, any required treatment / surgery and any follow up care.

You may have been referred to the hospital by your general practitioner (GP) or another community clinician and are waiting for your first appointment or you may have previously been seen at the hospital and are awaiting an operation.

If a patient requests to move, every effort will be made to identify an alternative hospital, however there may be circumstances in which it is not clinically appropriate to move to a different hospital or alternative capacity is not available. In these circumstances you will remain on the waiting list at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and will be contacted as soon as an appointment becomes available.

Patients are being contacted via text message and postal letter (for those patients who we do not have a mobile number on record or have requested they are not contacted by text) as part of this work.

In the text message / letter, patients will be given information regarding which department they are waiting to be seen by and a link to the national Patient Choice portal. If patients would like to be considered for treatment elsewhere they will need to click on the link and complete the required information. This information will then be sent to the relevant department for clinical review to see if it is appropriate for the patient to move hospital. There will also be a national helpline number (included in the patient text / letter) if patients have any queries regarding the process or are unable to access the link.

Please note that this contact is in addition to any communications you may receive regarding whether you still require your appointment / procedure – further information on Automated calls for patients awaiting first outpatient appointment is available here.

We would like to assure you that:

  • Our communication will only ever ask questions relating to your care
  • We will never ask for bank details or make reference to money or payment
  • We will never ask you for your name or address. Please note you may need to provide personal details if you are creating a new NHS login or are contacting the national helpline to submit your request where you will be asked particular information relating to your request
  • Our message will only include a link to the national Patient Choice website and our hospital website.