Now the NHS is looking to robots to help clear Covid backlogs: robocalls will be used to decide patient priority on the health service in a bid to tackle waiting lists of 7 million.
- NHS is turning to an automated system to eliminate Covid delays
- Scheme could train over 100,000 NHS workers in coding
The robots will have the power to decide the priority of patients in the NHS after they are employed by the service to help eliminate waiting list backlogs.
The health service will use automated calls to screen people awaiting operations and prioritize their urgency to expedite referral handling.
The scheme could train more than 100,000 NHS workers in coding and child creation to reduce red tape.
The NHS is turning to an automated system to eliminate Covid backlogs, speed up referral and improve patient care.
The health service will use automated calls to screen people awaiting operations and prioritize their urgency to expedite referral handling (file photo)
But the risk of error is very real after 1,800 patients were accidentally removed from a hospital list because the robot’s “memory capacity” filled up.
The Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust has apologized for the error and promised greater supervision of staff.
Pilot schemes are in the early stages, but a major company told the Telegraph that the NHS is looking to use automation in around 100 areas.
But trials have found that 15 percent of those on waiting lists no longer needed the treatment they had been waiting for, but 10 percent of cases required more urgent care.
The bots are already being used for waiting lists at hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria with 30,000 patients due to be tested by March.
There is great concern about the response of the elderly to the automated calling system.
The scheme could train more than 100,000 NHS workers in coding and child creation to reduce red tape (file photo)
Activist Dennis Reed of Silver Voices, an aging support group, told the Telegraph: “I’m really concerned about the risk of errors and the fact that automated responses won’t be able to deal with the niceties of healthcare.” .
“I think for a lot of older people, receiving these types of robocalls can be confusing and very scary. Many will fear that it is a scam and will not know what to do about it.’
The news comes as the country’s top A&E doctor told the Telegraph that NHS 111 is sending too many people to emergency departments because its computer algorithm is “too risk-averse”.
December was the “worst ever” in A&E with waits of more than 24 hours in most departments, Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told parliamentarians.
“In terms of how we manage people who could be cared for elsewhere, the key is to improve NHS 111,” Dr Boyle told MPs.