PATIENTS are choosing treatment in hospitals with the shortest wait times on new plans via the NHS app.
The revision of the referral system for general practitioners could shorten waiting times by three months.
Patients are offered five hospitals or clinics by their GP and these are then compared on the NHS website or app for wait times, quality of care and distance from home.
GP practices are trained in offering these options.
The system already exists, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Only one in ten patients is currently making a decision about where to receive treatment.
“We want to change that by helping the NHS offer patients real choice while giving them the information they need to make their decision.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay added: “This could shave months off waiting times.”
A record 7.3 million people are waiting for hospital treatment in England.
Rachel Power of the Patients Association said: “The work we have done shows that patient awareness of choice is not high, nor are many offered choice on a regular basis.”
“We hope the changes will result in more people exercising their right to vote.”