If you have been waiting more than 40 weeks for your first outpatient appointment or a scheduled date for surgery with us, you could now be eligible for Alternative Patient Choice. Patient Initiated Requests to Move Provider or PIDMAS, went live on 31 October 2023.
Received a text message or letter?
Please do not call us direct – please visit the national website at www.pidmas.nhs.uk or call the helpline on 0345 450 6166
Under PIDMAS patients who have been waiting the longest will receive either a text message or letter from us. This message will ask if you would like to consider moving your care to a different hospital, initially within the Humber and North Yorkshire area, if it means you are able to receive an appointment more quickly.
You do not need to contact us to make enquiries; if you become eligible for the scheme, we will be in touch with more information and details of how to express an interest in moving hospitals.
There is, of course, no obligation to move your care. If you don’t take up the offer, you will simply stay in your current place on our waiting list and we will offer you an appointment date just as soon as possible.
If you do want to know more or think this could be right for you, you’ll be asked to register your details and say how far you would be willing to travel on the NHS website. Someone will then be in touch to let you know what happens next and which other hospitals in our region, if any, could see you more quickly. Full details on how to register will be provided through your letter or text message.
Alternative Patient Choice will not be suitable for everyone, and it is important to be aware that, if you choose to be seen by a different hospital for a particular problem, all your care and future appointments related to that problem will also take place at the other hospital; care cannot be transferred back to us once you’ve received your appointment or treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
I think I should have received an invitation to change provider?
There is no need to contact us as we will be in touch if you are suitable to be offered Alternative Patient Choice, either via text message or letter. Offers to patients who have been waiting the longest will begin to go out from 31 October 2023 and will continue to be sent over the next 8 weeks. This is a big piece of work, so we do appreciate your patience and understanding.
How do I move to another hospital?
If you have received an invitation and would be interested in moving hospital, please follow the web link or call the national helpline number contained in your letter/message. You will be asked to provide a few details and confirm how far you would be willing to travel, then someone will be in touch with more information and to let you know if an alternative regional hospital is able to see you more quickly.
I have been offered a hospital much further away from home than expected – why am I not being offered care at another hospital near to where I live, such as Doncaster or Lincoln?
Patients on waiting lists with Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust will be offered a choice of provider within the Humber and North Yorkshire region in the first instance; this catchment area does not cover places such as Doncaster or Lincoln which fall into different catchment areas (South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire respectively). If you wish to be treated more quickly but do not wish to take up an offer from within the Humber and North Yorkshire region, we can look to other providers further afield and in different catchment areas, but this is no guarantee that your preferred hospital will be able to treat you any more quickly.
What happens if a place can’t be found for me?
If you register to transfer your care but a place cannot be found for you at a different hospital, you will simply stay on our waiting list and we will offer you an appointment just as soon as possible. You will not ‘lose your place’ on our list.
Can I have my first appointment / treatment elsewhere then return to my local hospital for follow-ups?
No. If you decide to be seen at another provider, all your other appointments associated with this particular episode of care – e.g. scans, pre-assessment and follow-ups – must all take place at the new hospital too.
What happens if I don’t reply to my invitation letter/text message
If you receive an offer but don’t respond, you will simply stay on our waiting list and we will offer you an appointment just as soon as possible. You will not ‘lose your place’ on our list.
How long do I have to decide?
There is no time limit on your decision, as we understand some people may need more time than others to think about the offer.
I’ve received a text message / letter but I’m not sure if it’s genuine?
Text messages will always come from NHS NLaG and will be worded as follows:
This is an important message from Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust. We are sorry that you have been waiting over 40 weeks for your [type of] appointment/procedure. You may wish to consider moving hospital to receive your treatment sooner. If you wish to be considered to move hospitals please submit your details via www.pidmas.nhs.uk. If you need support to complete this please contact the NHS National Helpline on 0345 4506166
Can I claim, or will my travel costs be paid for, If I choose to be seen elsewhere?
If you are already eligible to claim through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme, for example, if you are in receipt of income support, jobseeker’s allowance or pension credit, then you may able to claim for help with the costs of attending an alternative hospital for treatment. Full details of the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme can be found on the NHS website.
Some patients who need either physical or emotional help to travel will also be able to access Patient Transport Services (PTS) for help with getting to and from medical appointments. In order to be deemed ‘suitable’ for PTS, one or more of the following must apply:
- Your medical condition requires the skills or support of PTS staff throughout your journey
- The condition of your health might suffer if you were to travel by other means
- Your medical condition affects your ability to access healthcare without PTS.
How do I find out if I’m suitable for PTS?
To find out if you are suitable for PTS:
People living in North Lincolnshire or East Yorkshire should call 0300 330 2000, where PTS is provided by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
People living in North East Lincolnshire should call HT Group on 0808 164 3030.
In both cases, you will be asked for appointment details and will need to answer a few questions to determine your suitability for non-emergency patient transport.
If you are not eligible for either PTS or the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme, then unfortunately, as per national policy, travel costs are not able to be paid or reimbursed. Please remember, if you choose to move your care to another hospital to benefit from shorter waiting times, all of your associated follow-up appointments must also take place at the new hospital. Please think carefully and remember to take the issue of travel and transport costs into consideration.
Read a full set of FAQs around travel costs and PTS