A NEW online self referral service for physiotherapy has placed the Department of Health ‘streets ahead of the UK NHS’, according to Minister for health, David Anderson.
Patients will now have the opportunity of a simple self-request form for physiotherapy services that can be completed and submitted via the Department of Health website.
The physiotherapy service historically received 3,665 referrals per year, which potentially created a waiting list of over 12 months. By introducing self-referral, it is anticipated that demand will increase to 5,000 referrals per year. Self-referral will allow for the increase in demand by reducing the number of treatments needed because the person opts in to the service earlier, when they most need it.
The rate of did-not-attend occurrences will significantly reduce, which has already enabled 45 per cent more new patients to be seen compared to the same period in 2011.
The new online form available at http://www.gov.im/health/services/Hospitals/Physiotherapy/selfref.xml provides patients, who have online access with an exceptionally quick way to make a self-referral request at any time of the day, from any location via a computer or mobile device. An instant acknowledgment of receipt is provided using an automated email reply system. Once the form is submitted whether online, by post or by hand, the service asks that patients; telephone the new patient line two days afterwards for a first appointment on 642119. The line is available from Monday to Friday between 8am and 10am.
No appointment will be made until the patient contacts the service after submission of the form.
Mr Anderson MHK, said: ‘It is testament to the hard work of both the physiotherapy service and the e-Business team that this has been possible following the launch of the department’s new website. This is a major first for the Isle of Man Department of Health and places us streets ahead of the UK NHS in online customer service provision. Embracing internet technology in order to improve customer service and access to services is an important element in the Department of Health strategy for the future of health services in the Isle of Man’.