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Waiting Well

About the programme

Waiting Well is a programme offering targeted support to certain groups of patients waiting for surgery in the North East and North Cumbria. The programme has been developed by the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), in collaboration with partners across primary and secondary care, local councils, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE), and patients.

Our region has some of the starkest health inequalities in the country and it's a situation that has been being exacerbated by the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis which is having the greatest impact on those living in its most deprived communities.

This picture is reflected in the patients we care for too and is why this programme targets and supports those patients waiting for planned care from our most deprived communities.  

There is lots of evidence to show that by taking some simple steps before surgery or treatment to improve fitness, diet and mental health, helps patients make a better and quicker recovery. It also reduces the risk of their treatment being cancelled because of them not being well or fit enough to have the operation.

Waiting Well brings together partners with a range of expertise to help us to deliver an offer underpinned by RAIDR, a smart ‘digital dashboard’ that enables identification of patients, based on risk factor profile, at GP practice level across our region.

How it works

Co-ordinated by a Central Hub, eligible patients will be contacted and offered help to prepare them for their surgery.

Depending on a patient’s needs, there are tiered levels of support offered ranging from access to online resources to more bespoke and holistic offers such as social prescribing for those patients who require more complex support due to their health and social circumstance. A personalised needs assessment looking at what matters most to the patient will establish what help is needed.

Some of things the Waiting Well Team can help with include:

  • healthier eating
  • stop smoking
  • finding appropriate exercises
  • drinking less alcohol
  • support to help with anxiety and sleep
  • and much more.         

If the offer is accepted, the patients will be referred to Waiting Well Teams, local to where they live, where they are receiving their care.

Not all patients who are waiting for surgery will be offered support from the Waiting Well team as this is determined by the level of help that a patient may need.

Patients cannot refer themselves for the Waiting Well service. Currently, only their surgical consultant can refer them to Waiting Well.

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