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-19 pandemic, we are initially contacting all patients who have been waiting over 40 weeks and who do not have an appointment in the next 8 weeks to invite them to be considered to move hospital to receive earlier care/treatment.
If you meet the criteria and are eligible to apply for PIDMAS, you will receive an SMS, email and/or letter with the option to opt in on Tuesday 31 October 2023 or soon after.
Many patients may be deemed clinically appropriate to move provider. However, not in all circumstances will we be able to identify alternative capacity to facilitate a move.
When requesting through PIDMAS you will be asked if you are willing to travel a certain distance for your treatment/care to be completed:
- 50 miles
- 100 miles
Every step throughout this process will be detailed.
Please note that if a patient transfers to another Trust for their appointment, this will result in all care related to that particular condition being managed under the new Trust.
Questions & Answers:
If an alternative provider is not identified, the patient will be informed and will remain with their current provider.
The NHS trust or independent sector provider who is currently overseeing the patient’s care is responsible for contacting those eligible.
If the patient’s request progresses, it is the responsibility of the ICB to try and find an alternative hospital appropriate for the patient.
The patient’s position on their current waiting list will not be impacted if a new provider isn’t identified.
Phase one is for patients waiting over 40 weeks. We will widen the offer in a phased approach over the coming months
Not all patients waiting over 40 weeks will be invited to request to move provider.
Patients who have been waiting over 40 weeks and have an appointment date within the next 8 weeks will be excluded from the process on the basis that it will be quicker for them to remain with their current provider than move to an alternative provider.
In addition, there may be some patients whose clinical condition means that it would not be appropriate to move provider. This is particularly relevant to patients whose condition is clinically complex.
Patients are invited to submit their details into the national digital solution (PIDMAS) and select the hospital they are currently under the care of. The patient details will be sent to the hospital for them to be reviewed and then shared with the ICB if the patient is appropriate to move provider
The patient will be told if a new provider has been found or not within five to six weeks of starting the process.
If a patient is not clinically appropriate to move it is expected they will be told with two to three weeks.
We will be including patients under 18 in a future cohort.
There is the existing NHS Travel Reimbursement Scheme which can be utilised.
We have also asked ICBs to ensure that the longest waiting patients who are prepared to travel beyond their local hospitals to receive earlier treatment are not disadvantaged based on their personal circumstances. Each individual will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
No, the patient will be under the care of the chosen provider throughout their pathway of care until they are discharged. This includes any subsequent appointments.
This is clear on the homepage of the PIDMAS website.
No. Some patients may respond immediately - others may take weeks to decide that they wish to opt in. There are no restrictions.
There will be no additional cost to the NHS or the patient if they decide to use an independent sector provider.
A telephone assistance line will be provided in any direct communication to eligible patients.
If a patient has been waiting over 18 weeks, they have the right to request to move provider. If a patient has been waiting over 26 weeks, it is the responsibility of the ICB to make every effort to identify an alternative provider to enable the patient to receive earlier treatment.
This announcement relates to patients who have been waiting over 40 weeks, and meet the eligibility criteria, as they will now be contacted proactively and asked if they would like to move provider if one with a shorter waiting time can be found.